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Best Dissertation Methodology for Writing a Chapter

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❶Key to justifying your methodology is demonstrating that it is fit for the purpose of answering the research problem or questions you posed at the start. However, it is easy and even enjoyable when you have someone to support you and lend you a helping hand if you are in trouble!

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The approach is the key in this section, as it will have a much bigger say when it comes to the type of data collection implied. For example, primary quantitative data comprises of techniques like structured questionnaires, observations, and self-completion questionnaires. At the other end of the scale, the qualitative data collection is made up of participant observation, exhaustive interviews, and focus groups.

It is important to justify the reason for selection of a particular data collection techniques. The researcher will go through the process of a guided conversation in order to know more about the views and feelings of the other person. Define some psychological and body language points to follow before starting an interview, and note down your questions and certain directions the night before.

Observations — This is adopted when the researcher is in need of information about the activities of people under some circumstances. Observing them provides the best possible answer to the question, and it may be either in the form of qualitative or quantitative research. Questionnaires — These can be performed depending on the requirement of the research. If data from a large number of people is required, this option may be taken. As a side note, questionnaires are probably one of the best options for you to get the opinion of a huge number of people if that is what you are looking for.

Data analysis comprises of two aspects — primary and secondary. It is imperative to analyse the data that has been collected in order to answer the multiple questions that may come up in different forms. Some of the common questions that throw up in the data analysis included questions about their changes and the reason for changes.

The researcher will also provide concrete reasons if the results were not conclusive. The meaning of the data in the context of research will also be questioned. It is important for the dissertation methodology section to include the various sources of data that have been used. These could be the accounts, official records, websites, or even interactions with people.

Besides, the conclusion of the dissertation and the expected time for the research are also provided so as to enhance the professionalism of the product even further. Essential considerations in all types of research, issues of reliability and validity must be explicitly discussed. Many matters fall under this area, including accuracy, precision, sources of error and statistical significance. Questions concerning sampling techniques and sample size can be considered under reliability and validity, but are often important enough to be given special attention.

The impact of sample size upon statistical significance of your results is an issue of such importance that you should be mindful of this when designing and writing up your methodology.

Keep your methodology chapter focussed and lucidly written by appending indirectly relevant material to the end of your dissertation writing. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological material should usually be placed in the appendix. Include a section in your methodology which directly addresses the question of how far data obtained through your approach can be generalised.

Bear this issue in mind when designing your methodology too, as results with general significance outside of your direct data set will tend to increase the persuasiveness of your eventual findings. Recent Posts How often should you reference? A great example of a reflective essay How to write a captivating conclusion to your essay How to write a dissertation literature review: How to structure an essay Top 10 essay referencing tips.

Top 10 tips for writing a dissertation methodology. Problem The methodology typically follows your literature review, so for the purposes of clarity and regaining focus it is useful briefly to recap the central research questions of your dissertation. Approach Give an overview of your approach to primary research in order to guide the reader and contextualise your methodology. Reproducibility The ability to reproduce the results of an experiment is a hallmark of proper scientific method; in the humanities also, reproducibility indicates greater credibility and usefulness.

Again, you can place such information in an appendix and refer to it. When you start your dissertation project, you may already have some broad ideas about the methodology you want to use. Regardless of your level, your dissertation methodology will develop as you review the literature in your field and refine your initial research questions. Your literature review and methodology will therefore develop in tandem with each other. Your response to the literature will help you decide on the approach you want to take to your research question, but your methodology will probably already be decided by the time you actually write up your literature review, meaning that you can frame it so as to position the methodology as a clear, organic and natural progression from your survey of the field.

Unless you happen to have access to a particle accelerator at your university, the chances are your quantum physics project will be based on theoretical projections rather than physical experimental data. For most students, an undergraduate dissertation is their first opportunity to engage in detail with scholarship in their fields and to design and conduct a rigorous research project.

In an undergraduate dissertation, you therefore need to show a capacity to engage with a broad field of research, to synthesise diverse and even opposing approaches to a problem, and to distil this down into a design for a research project that will address your research questions with the appropriate level of scholarly level.

The best undergraduate dissertations will of course show originality of thought and may even be able to make an original contribution to their field — but the focus will generally be on demonstrating that you have the fundamental research skills to undertake investigative work in your field. A postgraduate dissertation , by contrast, can be expected to make a substantial contribution of high-quality, original research to its field.

The best postgraduate dissertations will be publishable by leading journals, or even as scholarly monographs. As you build your career as an early career researcher, the impact of your dissertation on its field — as measured by citations in the work of other scholars — will be crucial to enhancing your academic reputation.

Although some scholars may well cite your conclusions as a basis for their own work, a far greater number of citations is likely to result regardless of discipline from your development of a framework that other scholars can use as a point of departure for their own work. The best postgraduate dissertations are those that convince at every level — that are based on a rigorous engagement with the field, that develop reproducible frameworks for engaging with that field, and that supply high-quality and convincing results and conclusions.

But the methodology is the central point around which the dissertation — and its potential impact to the field — pivots.

When developing and presenting your dissertation methodology, you should therefore think not just about how well it can answer your particular question, but also about how transferable it is — whether it can be used by other scholars to answer related questions, or whether it can be made more adaptable with just a few tweaks without compromising your own use of it, of course.

A crucial but often neglected component of this persuasive function is the role of rhetoric in persuading your audience of the merits of your work.

The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing , Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein discuss what they call the art of metacommentary, "a way of commenting on your claims and telling others how — and how not — to think about them". This kind of commentary allows you to control the agenda for discussion of your work, and to head off potential objections to your arguments and methods at the pass. Sound rhetorical presentation of your methodology is not just "decoration" — it forms an integral part of its overall rigour and structural soundness, and can make the difference between a 2: Your methodology chapter is not the place to go into detail about these methodologies hopefully your literature review does this , but you should remind your reader that you actively considered these other methodologies before deciding on your own.

Even if you decided on your methodology early on in your research process, it should appear rhetorically as the result of a careful weighing of competing factors, before you decided on the most logical choice. A little reassurance goes a long way Judicious use of metacommentary can also help to make up for any shortcomings in your methodology section, or simply create a sense of balance between scholarly groundedness and innovation if your methodology might seem to veer a little too much in one direction or another.

If your methodology takes a bold new step that some may find off-putting, you can acknowledge this whilst taking extra care to emphasise its grounded relationship to established work in the field.

You might, for instance, ensure that you refer back to your literature review frequently and use phrases like, "This approach may seem like a significant departure from established approaches to this field, but it combines the proven data-gathering techniques of X with the statistical analysis model of Y, along with the following innovations".

Dissertation methodology structure

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To address how to write a methodology, in the Methodology section of your dissertation you have to justify and explain your choice of methodologies employed in your research. You don’t however have to explain the methodological .

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A key part of your dissertation or thesis is the methodology. This is not quite the same as ‘methods’. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

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