Before you learn how to write a methodology for a dissertation, you need to understand what is a methodology. Basically, the word “methodology” refers to all the practices, techniques, and procedures applied by the researcher in the research process. You should know that there are several different types of methods including surveys, interviews, archival research, experiments, and many others. Some of these methods will be definitely included in your methodology chapter.
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What Is a Methodology in a Dissertation?
A methodology chapter in a dissertation clearly indicates what the researcher is going to do and how they are going to do that. In other words, it is the chapter in which one outlines the key steps taken in order to get the anticipated result.
What Is the Purpose of a Methodology Section?
The methodology chapter is, perhaps, the most important chapter in a dissertation because it shows to the reader what has the researcher done in order to obtain the result. In this chapter, the researcher will prove that they have used legitimate scholarly methods. No matter if the methods were traditional or innovative ones, all of them should be indicated in a methodology chapter and discussed in detail. When working on a dissertation, remember that your methodology chapter is your chance to demonstrate how you have contributed to the particular research area.
How Long Should a Methodology Section Be?
The length of your methodology chapter depends on the length of your dissertation. However, regardless of its length, your methodology chapter should describe all the methods used along with their short descriptions. The choice of methods and their number is up to you, however, pay attention that two or three methods are not enough for writing a dissertation. You probably realize that dissertation is the most important assignment in your academic career that involves the knowledge and skills obtained in the whole process of study. As such, none of its chapters, including a methodology one, should be underestimated. We highly recommend you to read more about the key methods used in dissertation writing and choose the ones that fit your research topic best of all. For many students, writing a methodology chapter is a great challenge but we are going to provide you with efficient information that will help you cope with this task easily.
What Should Be Written in a Dissertation Chapter?
As it was mentioned previously, a methodology chapter should clearly indicate what techniques, procedures, and practices were used by the researcher when exploring the dissertation topic. In addition to indicating these methods, the researcher should also explain why they were selected and why these methods are effective in this particular research. Basically, the fundamental aim of the dissertation methodology chapter is to familiarize the readers with the key approaches used. In a dissertation, a methodology chapter usually goes after the literature review.
Common Methods Types
All the methods used in a dissertation can be divided into two major groups: empirical and theoretical ones. If you are going to impress your supervisor by a professional approach, you need to use both types of methods combining them in your methodology chapter. Below, you will find helpful information on each of these methods that will enable you to make the right choice when choosing your methods:
The empirical procedures and techniques enable to investigate the practical side of your topic. On the basis of empirical techniques, specific facts are collected. Moreover, these methods allow identifying and describing specific phenomena. Empirical methods include qualitative comparison, observation, experiments, and accurate measurement. The methods based on comparison usually focus on the establishment of the similarities and differences of certain phenomena and objects. Observation is the process that is characterized by cognition and activity. It is mainly based on human senses and addresses the most primitive and basic activities. Observations are very efficient when one needs to find out more about the properties of the specific object.
In their essence, all theoretical methods are generalized and abstract. Their primary goal is to systematize the factual material. The core techniques of scientific research are divided into the following categories: axiomatic, general logical methods, formalization, and dissertation abstract. As for the most common logical methods, one should talk about cognitive synthesis, logical analysis, analogy, and necessary deduction.
How to Structure a Methodology Chapter?
There is no official requirement on how to write a methodology for a dissertation. Nevertheless, there are basic rules that should be followed if you want to achieve a successful outcome. We recommend you to look through the list of components given below to understand which ones should be included in your dissertation.
- Study review. In this part, you need to state the topic of your dissertation once again;
- Gathering material. In this part, you need to explain how did you collect your information about the topic. Indicate what means were used, e.g. questionnaires, surveys, interviews. Do not forget to indicate which approach helped you achieve your result;
- Research organization. In this part, make sure to provide information about the structural elements of your methodology;
- Data evaluation. In this part, you need to evaluate the significance of the collected material in terms of your research. Did you manage to obtain the anticipated outcome? If yes, which methods were helpful? Make sure to include both the qualitative and quantitative data, as well as the sources you are dealing with. If there were some complicating factors in achieving your results, do not forget to inform your reader about them.
How to Write a Methodology Section?
When working on this chapter of your dissertation, you should keep in mind that this section has a descriptive nature. It means that it should provide your readers with the exact details on your topic so that they could understand the essence of your research, as well as its key features. Moreover, this chapter will indicate whether you as the researcher has chosen the right direction.
The writing process should begin with careful studying of the professor’s prompt. Indeed, every academic paper should be written in accordance with some instructions. If you find some moments unclear, feel free to ask your supervisor for assistance. We assure you that if you want to reach a good outcome and impress your professor, you need to understand every point of your instruction. Also, we want you to know that the amount of data about the methods used in research you need to provide depends greatly on the type of research you are going to conduct. For instance, if you have undertaken primary research, you will need to make a very detailed description of the way you have researched your issue. Besides, it is necessary to divide the process of subject investigation into a few stages and outline the main features of each of them. On the contrary, if you undertake secondary research for your methodology dissertation chapter, you will not need to provide too much information about the adopted research strategies.
Before you start writing your dissertation methodology chapter, you need to study all the research methods that can be used in research. Undoubtedly, knowing the key strengths and weaknesses of each method, you will be able to pick up the best ones for your dissertation. No matter what research type you conduct, you need to make sure that all sources you use are credible and valid. Your readers should understand that you have made a thorough analysis of the accurate data learning the sound arguments of other scholars.
All in all, you should keep in mind that a methodology chapter of your dissertation is particularly important. Therefore, you need to keep it into serious consideration.
Create Several Drafts
Considering the importance of the methodology chapter, you have to be very careful when working on it. In particular, we recommend you to write several drafts of your methodology section and revise them as many times as needed to get the desired outcome. Pay attention that your methodology should not include irrelevant information. In your methodology section, do not analyze the sources used or interpret the data obtained as there are other chapters for that. Finally, do not forget about grammar. Only a truly flawless paper will bring you the best grade! If you still do not know how to write a methodology, make sure to find the efficient methodology samples available on the web. These samples will help you understand how such a good methodology chapter should be written and organized.
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