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The significance of writing a dissertation methodology


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Writing dissertation methodology on the paper

The basis of any scientific research is its methodology - a set of methods, ways, or principles, and their sequences. One of the most important requirements for dissertation methodology writing is scientific generalization, which allows you to establish the relationship between the phenomena and processes being studied and draw well founded conclusions.

Empirical methods of cognition play a significant role in scientific research; they are not only the basis for reinforcing theoretical assumptions, but often make up the subject of a new discovery or scientific research. Theoretical methods are aimed at studying and identifying the causes, relationships, and dependencies that allow you to establish the behavior of an object as well as determine and study its structure, characteristics, and principles. As a result of using both these types of methods, laws are formulated, theories are developed, facts are verified, etc.

How to write a dissertation methodology section

The methodology chapter is one of the crucial parts of a dissertation that includes an outline of the research process and is used as a plan for the whole paper. As a rule, writing your dissertation methodology includes describing various research methods that have been used to obtain results. They may be:

  • interviews,
  • surveys,
  • data collection and analysis,
  • practical testing, etc.

Here, it is important to give a clear explanation of why you have chosen this or that method and how it helped to generate the results and fulfil the research objectives. You can use empirical methods (collecting information and doing some sort of study) or non-empirical methods (all information comes from the already published sources). Obviously, writing methods section of dissertation takes more time when empirical methods are used since it requires looking for some additional data.

There is also a need to decide on the approach to information collection and its analysis. You can choose between quantitative methodology for dissertation and qualitative; you can use them separately or combine them together in order to find a perfect match for your topic.

The important thing to note about methodology is that you will have to mention the strengths and weaknesses of the approach chosen and give arguments as to why you think they are relevant for your research. However, to avoid all the pitfalls of how to write methodology in dissertation, we would recommend you to get help from people knowledgeable about the matter.

Special requirements towards the methodology section of dissertation

It is evident that writing your dissertation methodology is not an easy task at all. It has to be unique and relevant to your particular study so that it could help you compose a professionally written dissertation that would have a scientific value.

Research methods in the dissertation must meet several requirements:

  • Relevance. The methods used to study the objects must be consistent with current trends in this field of knowledge;
  • Efficiency. The chosen method should give a reliable result;
  • Compliance with research objectives. The selected type of research should focus on obtaining the desired result;
  • Interconnection. All the methods used should be an integral sequence of procedures that allow a comprehensive and complete study of the object under investigation.

The completeness and objectivity of the results depends on whether the research methods are correctly selected. When describing the selected methods, you can additionally indicate why they are the most informative and relevant for studying the given object or scientific problem.

Tips from experts

Meet our advisors
  1. Expect everything to take longer than you thought.
  2. Write a catchy title in 10-15 words. Do this last.
  3. Use primary sources (e.g. peer-reviewed journals, books, etc.).
  4. Important information goes at the beginning of each paragraph in the sections.
  5. Don’t use jargon or cliches. Use industry words sparingly.
  6. Follow the assigned formatting style.
  7. Make an outline with the number of chapters/sections.
  8. Write First, Support Later. Anytime you feel that a pesky reader will say, “What’s your support for this?”, CITE it.
  9. Use a Speech Dictation application.
  10. Mix figures, charts, graphs in with text. This both gives clarification to the reader and a chance to get a break from reading your text.
  11. Find a proofer who is neurotic about your dissertation’s weaknesses.
  12. Use an editor – pay someone.
Penny J. Larsen

College professor with 30 years of teaching experience

Dissertation methodology structure and its peculiarities

Research methods and their choice essentially define ‘what is methodology in a dissertation?’. They are means and ways used to prove the theory and substantiate practical results. Their choice depends on the topic and the characteristics of the study. The peculiarity of writing methodology for dissertation lies in the fact that a whole set of scientific methods can be used to obtain target results. And the order in which these methods follow each other presupposes the structure of the methods section of dissertation.

Here is an example of a standard structure for this section.

“In course of the studying process, the following general and particular methods were used:

  • analysis of relevant scientific publications;
  • questionnaires, surveys;
  • observation;
  • experiment;
  • generalization and analysis of the results.”

After composing an outline for the chapter, like the one above, the researcher should go into more detail on every method used and explain what every one of them means, how and why it was used, and what results it had brought.

Documentary analysis method presupposes collecting data through examining documents and publications. Such sources, if freely accessible, can help a researcher to analyze the recorded data and ideas about people, events, organizations, etc.

Questionnaires are used for gaining both qualitative and quantitative information. They can be easily delivered to many participants to collect the data, but this data will not be as detailed as the one got with the help of interviews. Questionnaires are usually applicable when a measurement of some parameters or characteristics of a group of people is needed.

Observations, as well as questionnaires, can also be applied to qualitative and quantitative research. Sometimes the only way to collect data is to observe the behavior of the test subjects under certain circumstances. And creating such circumstances brings the researcher to experimentation. The interesting thing about this method is that participants are not always aware they are involved in an experiment, which can even make for more accurate results since they are more prone to act naturally.

The last point of this outline is generalization and analysis of the results. Here, you should concentrate on what information was obtained from using all the other methods and what conclusions were drawn from it; whether it confirms or disproves the hypothesis you put forward; whether the results obtained coincide with the results predicted.

And this is how to write methodology for a dissertation. Simple enough when you have the outline worked out.

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14 days - 15.99 18.99
10 days - 16.99 20.99
7 days - 18.99 22.99
5 days - 21.99 24.99
3 days - 22.99 29.99
2 days - 24.99 31.99
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