12th August 2015
Tips for Writing Your Dissertation’s Methodology Chapter
The methodology chapter is one of the most important parts of any dissertation. This is because it’s where you set out your research approach, data-gathering techniques and various other crucial factors.
As such, your methodology must be clear, concise and packed with detail. A good methodology chapter will provide a step-by-step breakdown of every stage of your research, ideally so that subsequent researchers would be able to recreate your work at a later date.
If that sounds like a lot of pressure, try not to worry: We have a few tips to help make sure that your work fits the scientific bill.
And don’t forget that Proofed’s expert proofreaders are available to check your work before handing in, so now there’s no reason that your methodology shouldn’t be perfectly preserved for future scientists!
1. Outline Your Research Approach
Your research approach makes a massive difference to the methods you use. Quantitative research, for instance, deals with numerical data and statistics, while qualitative research often focuses on subjective meanings. Clearly stating the approach you’re using will help your reader follow your work.
2. Be Descriptive
Detail is key when it comes to methodology. Make sure to describe how your data was gathered and analyzed, as well as relating the sampling method used if relevant.
3. Justify Your Choices
Every decision you make should be justified. One way to do this is to consider how the methods you choose help to answer your research question. You may also wish to compare your method with those used in similar existing studies.
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4. Methodological Limitations
Different methods each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Consider whether the methodology you have chosen has any constraints, perhaps by comparing it with alternative methods that you could have used.
Modern research demands high ethical standards, especially if human subjects are involved. If this is the case with your work, your methodology section should include details of how you have minimized the risk of harm to your subjects. This will include issues of confidentiality and consent.
Your methodological choices have a direct impact on whether your results can be validly applied to other populations. You should therefore consider whether your work can be generalized within the methodology chapter.
The appendices are your best friend when writing up your methodology. This is where you can put any indirectly relevant material – including questionnaires, consent forms and other documents used in the research – so that the main body of your methodology section remains clear and succinct.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. For more information about writing a dissertation or thesis, read our full dissertation writing guide.
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