Factors To Consider When Writing A Dissertation MethodologyYour dissertation should include a methodology section where you discuss the methods you used in your research. The chapter explains what you did and how you did it to enable readers to assess your research’s validity and reliability. Usually, it appears after the literature review section. Until this point, you will have formulated your research question and discussed the views of other scholars on your topic. You will also have looked at the different ways previous researchers reached their conclusions, including their theoretical frameworks, assumptions made, and methods used to gather and present data. Using these observations together with discussions with your instructor, you will have planned how to collect and process data. Following this, the methodology chapter should include:

  • The type of your research.
  • How you collected the data.
  • How you analyzed the data.
  • Materials and tools you used in the study.
  • The rationale for choosing the methods you used.

When writing the methodology, use past tense. Specific style guidelines exist for writing the method section for different types of research. For instance, writing an APA and MLA method section will vary.

Steps To Writing A Dissertation Methodology

1. Explain the methodological approach you used:
Begin the methodology part by introducing the general approach to your research. Outline the research question you were investigating and the type of data you needed to achieve your aim. For instance, if you were establishing the relationship between cause and effect, describing the attributes of something, or exploring an under-researched subject. Below are some questions to consider; whether you needed quantitative data (expressed in numbers) or qualitative data (expressed in words), and if you collected primary data yourself or used secondary data collected by somebody else. You should also know whether you gathered experimental data by variable control and manipulation or descriptive data obtained through observations without intervention.

Depending on your approach, you might highlight the assumptions and rationale of your methodology. Explain why you think your approach is the most suitable to providing solutions to your research problem if the method is standard in your discipline or if it needs justification if there were any philosophical or ethical considerations and the criteria for determining the validity of your type of research.

2. Describe your data collection methods: After introducing your overall approach, you should provide readers with the full details of how you collected your data. There are two types of data collection methods; quantitative and qualitative methods. You need to describe your methods clearly in quantitative research to enable the reader to replicate your study. Explain how you measured the variables, the sampling method used your inclusion or exclusion criteria, and any materials, procedures, and tools you used to collect data. Examples of quantitative data collection methods are surveys, experiments, and existing data.

Quantitative Data Collection Methods

  • Survey: You should answer the when, where, and how questions. Give details of how you designed the questions and the form they were in like multiple choice, the sampling method you used to select the participants, the sample rate, response rate, the method you used to conduct the survey; was it by phone, in person, online or mail and the time participants took to respond. It would be helpful to put the complete questionnaire in the appendix section to enable readers to see the data collected.
  • Experiments: Give a detailed description of the procedures, techniques, and tools you used to experiment. Experimental researches require one to give sufficient details that will make it possible for another researcher to reproduce similar results to yours. When writing, make sure you answer how you designed the experiment, how you recruited participants, how you manipulated and measured variables, and the tools and methodologies you used in the experiment.
  • Existing data: Describe how you selected the materials for inclusion in your study. Explain where you sourced the materials, how the data was originally produced and the criteria used to select the sources.

Qualitative Methods Of Data Collection

Under qualitative methods of data collection, we have interviews, participant observation, and existing data. These methods are subjective and flexible; thus, you need to explain the approach you used and your choices.
  • Interviews: Explain where, how, and when the interviews took place. The following points should be considered; how you found and selected participants, the number of people that took part, the interview form (Unstructured, semi-structured, or structured), interview length, and how it was recorded.
  • Participant observation: Here, you should describe the community or group you observed, how you accessed them, their location, the time it took to conduct the study, the role you played in the community, and how you recorded your data.
  • Existing data: Provide details of how you chose the case study materials, the type of materials you analyzed, and how you collected and selected them.

3. Describe the analysis methods you used: Next, it is essential to show how you processed and analyzed your data. Remember not to go into too many details. Avoid discussing or presenting your findings at this stage. In quantitative research, your method section should include the preparation of data before analysis, the software you used to analyze data, and the statistical tests you utilized. On the other hand, qualitative research analysis will be based on observations, images, and language.

4. Assess and justify the methodological choices you made:
Your methodology should justify why you selected the specific methods, especially if your approach to the topic was not standard to your discipline. Highlight why other methods were not suitable for your study, and show how the selected approach contributes to a new understanding of the topic. You should also mention the limitations of your approach but justify how its strengths outweigh the weaknesses.

To conclude, when writing the methodology, you should focus on your research questions and objectives and avoid giving unnecessary details. It is critical to convince your audience that your chosen methods are the most suitable to answer your research questions and problem statement. Throughout the chapter, relate your method choices to the main point of your dissertation. You also need to cite relevant sources. Note that referencing your methodology to existing research in the topic will strengthen it. Your methodology should make a case for the approaches you used in your research; therefore, it should be well-structured.

A Ph.D. dissertation is expected to be original and of superior quality in its research field. It should be able to make a significant contribution and should be presentable. As most Ph.D. students are already burdened with an infinite number of tasks while growing in their personal and professional lives, the lack of time can have a substantial impact on writing the methodology for a Ph.D. dissertation. Regardless of what discipline you study, we can help you in writing a quality methodology chapter for a Ph.D. dissertation.

The experienced team of Ph.D. writers will assist you in producing either your complete Ph.D. dissertation or standalone parts of your dissertation such as methodology. This team consists of highly qualified writers from different specializations and rigorous industry experience. We provide all our clients with high-quality Ph.D. dissertation methodologies which are completed with accurate methods and justification. Whether you want a qualitative quantitative or mixed research approach, we will help you by developing a customized and comprehensive research methodology suitable for your PhD dissertation.

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