But do you get what I mean? So if it so important, what should you include in your methodology chapter? Now we get to the juicy part of this article. Let me take you through it! Here we go! Video Support: Methodology In case you are enjoying the article, do not forget to watch the video with further support on how to write the methodology chapter in your thesis. What does it mean? That she is extremely upset! So yes, pay attention to what is about to come.
Oh, just one more thing I promise : I am not here to try to explain to you what your methodology should be. So make sure to discuss with your supervisor the methodology you should apply to your study. I am simply making clear all the relevant sections you should include in your chapter so that you do not forget any relevant information, ok? In other words, broadly speaking: are you aiming to describe a phenomena descriptive design , are you aiming to explore a topic exploratory design , are you looking to identify causal relationships between factors causal design?
PS: It is beyond the scope of this article to explain to you what every design is and how it should be applied. So make sure to gather good methodology books and do two things in this section: — First, explain the research designs, using academic references use research methods books to reference it ; — Second, explain WHICH design you have used or more than one, in case it is a mixed-design study and WHY it suits your research aim.
PS: Should everyone include this section in their methodology chapter? I have also created a mind map with an overview of research designs to help you! Research Methods Following the description of your research design, you should also devote a section to describing the research methods you applied during your study.
Each design will provide you with many possibilities of methods to use. Which one should you use? Read about it, reflect and discuss with your supervisor, ok? Measurements Once you clarified the method you used, it is time to explain exactly WHAT you measured e. Or will you avoid doing your own research with human subjects at all, and base your research on documentary evidence or a pre-existing data set?
What is the scope of your data and conclusions? Is there reason to believe it can be generalised to other contexts, or is it highly specific to the particular location or cultural context in which you conducted your research? In addition to answering all these questions, you must satisfy your reader that you have considered all the ethical questions associated with your research.
Part of this, of course, entails obtaining sign-off for your design from the appropriate ethics bodies, but even then there might be aspects of your study — inviting subjects to relive episodes of grief and trauma, for instance, or broaching culturally sensitive matters within a particular target group — that some readers could consider contentious or problematic.
Make sure you address such concerns head-on, and if necessary justify your methods by emphasising the potential value of your conclusions. A critical dissertation in the arts or humanities Methodological rigour is just as valuable in the arts and humanities as in the sciences and social sciences. However, if you're writing an arts or humanities dissertation the way in which you convey this rigour — and convince your audience of it - is a little different.
The methodology section in an arts or humanities dissertation is likely to be much more closely linked to the literature review than a scientific or social sciences study; even the most innovative dissertation in the arts or humanities typically involves applying X's theories in a new context, or combining X and Y's insights to yield a new theoretical framework.
For this reason it can be tempting to gloss over the methodology section in an arts or humanities dissertation, and move more or less seamlessly from literature review into analysis. But it's crucial that you provide a detailed justification of your chosen frameworks and how they relate to your research question here too; without this justification a critical reader may very well take issue with your entire analysis because you've failed to convince them of the appropriateness of your theoretical underpinnings to the material you're analysing.
In particular, it's vitally important that your dissertation methodology shows an appreciation of the historical and cultural contexts of the theoretical frameworks you use, especially where there's fundamental disagreement between theorists.
If you use the work of theorists from differing or even opposing schools of thought to support your readings, your methodology section should show a clear understanding of how these schools of thought disagree and a justification of why there are nevertheless aspects of each approach that you've decided to use in your own work.
A creative arts dissertation Many programmes in the arts offer the option of completing a creative rather than critical dissertation; that is, of submitting a piece of creative writing or a portfolio of artworks, rather than an extended critical project, for the dissertation component of the programme. However, in virtually all cases, your creative project must be accompanied by a substantial critical essay or introduction, or commentary that theorises your creative practice.
Critically engaging with one's own work is a notoriously difficult thing to do, which makes the development and adherence to a rigorous methodology especially important in this context.
You need to not only show that you're capable of detaching yourself from your own creative work and viewing it through an objective lens, but that you are able to see your own creative practice as methodology — as a method of creating work that is grounded in theory and research and that can be evaluated against clear target goals.
What should my methodology not contain? No part of your dissertation should be hermetically sealed off from the others, and there will undoubtedly be some overlap between your methodology and literature review section, for example. You might even find yourself moving material back and forth between sections during edits. But you should resist the temptation to include the following in your dissertation methodology, even if they seem to belong there quite naturally: An extensive review of methodologies It's likely you'll want to refer to precedents for your dissertation methodology, and to the theorists or practitioners upon whose work it is based, as you describe your own methodology.
However, this is not the place for an exhaustive review of methodologies you're not using — that work belongs in your literature review chapter , and you should refer back to that chapter for context on why you're taking or not taking a particular approach. Very long, detailed lists of equipment or excessive procedural detail Your methodology section should equip a reader to reproduce your research, but it should also be a readable chapter of your dissertation and should retain the interest of somebody who doesn't necessarily want to reproduce your experiment from start to finish.
If it's possible to convey all the information another scholar would need in order to recreate your work in the body of your dissertation, do so; however if your methodology section starts to look like a shopping list, you should move some very detailed content into an appendix and refer to that.
Raw data The methodology section is not the place to reproduce any data, even if you're illustrating how a questionnaire or other data-gathering mechanic works. Again, you can place such information in an appendix and refer to it. Deciding on your methodology When you start your dissertation project, you may already have some broad ideas about the methodology you want to use.
You'll refine these ideas in conversation with your supervisor and develop them further as you read about the previous work that has been done in your field, and other scholars' approach to your subject area. With closed questions you could even give your interviewees a small selection of possible answers from which to choose. If you do this you will be able to manage the data and quantify the responses quite easily. The Household Survey and Census ask closed questions, and often market researchers who stop you in the street do too.
The problem with closed questions is that they limit the response the interviewee can give and do not enable them to think deeply or test their real feelings or values. This would give you a very good idea of the variety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer and so show their feelings and views more fully.
But it is very difficult to quantify these results. You will find that you will need to read all the comments through and to categorise them after you have received them, or merely report them in their diversity and make general statements, or pick out particular comments if they seem to fit your purpose.
If you decide to use interviews: Identify your sample. Draw up a set of questions that seem appropriate to what you need to find out. Do start with some basic closed questions name etc. Don't ask leading questions. Try them out with a colleague. If time constraints negatively impacted your study in any way, acknowledge this impact by mentioning a need for a future study e.
Also, it is possible that researchers will have biases toward data and results that only support their hypotheses or arguments. There might be multiple limitations in your study, but you only need to point out and explain those that directly relate to and impact how you address your research questions.
We suggest that you divide your limitations section into three steps: 1 identify the limitations; 2 explain how they impact your study; and 3 propose a direction for future studies and present alternatives. Step 1. The first step is to identify the particular limitation s that affected your study. A word critique is an appropriate length for a research limitations section.
In the beginning of this section, identify what limitations your study has faced and how important these limitations are. You only need to identify limitations that had the greatest potential impact on: 1 the quality of your findings, and 2 your ability to answer your research question.
Step 1: Identify and describe the limitation. Step 2. For example, when you conduct quantitative research, a lack of probability sampling is an important issue that you should mention.Print Print Can you cook? I will admit: I am a terrible cook. I know how to make a decent salad, incredible popcorn to me it counts as cooking. Do not judge.
Would that be accurate?
What should my methodology not contain? Even the production of numbers is guided by the kinds of questions asked of the subjects, so is essentially subjective, although it appears less so than qualitative research data. Send me beer or coffee.
Discuss both the pros and cons of these alternatives and clearly explain why researchers should choose these approaches. Deciding on your methodology When you start your dissertation project, you may already have some broad ideas about the methodology you want to use.
Do not judge. What kinds of study limitations exist?
A creative arts dissertation Many programmes in the arts offer the option of completing a creative rather than critical dissertation; that is, of submitting a piece of creative writing or a portfolio of artworks, rather than an extended critical project, for the dissertation component of the programme. Your literature review and methodology will therefore develop in tandem with each other. Do not judge. Could you use a little help with your dissertation methodology?
Too complex. 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.
This should be clear and detailed enough that another scholar is able to read it and apply it in some way, outside of the immediate context of your dissertation. Do not judge. If your sample size is too small, it will be difficult to identify significant relationships from the data. An evaluation of your choice of method, and a statement of its limitations No research method is perfect, and it's likely that the one you've chosen comes with certain trade-offs.
However, the complexity of working with human subjects means there are a number of additional questions to consider. This is the part of your methodology where you clearly explain your process for gathering and analysing data, or for approaching your research question. 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.
Using quantitative and qualitative research methods together This is a common approach and helps you to 'triangulate' ie to back up one set of findings from one method of data collection underpinned by one methodology, with another very different method underpinned by another methodology - for example, you might give out a questionnaire normally quantitative to gather statistical data about responses, and then back this up and research in more depth by interviewing normally qualitative selected members of your questionnaire sample. If you do this you will be able to manage the data and quantify the responses quite easily. 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. Measurements Once you clarified the method you used, it is time to explain exactly WHAT you measured e. Could you use a little help with your dissertation methodology?