Dissertation Methodology

a. What is the Methodology?

The methodology is one of the most important chapters that you have to include in your dissertation. When we hear the word methodology we can understand that it is something related to the methods we have used throughout our research. This makes selecting the methods very important because you need to justify them in this chapter. You cannot just choose a method and find results and not know the benefits of that specific method. You should concentrate on the advantages and the disadvantages of the methods you have chosen. Be clear in your mind and only then can you be clear when you write on a paper.

b. What approach should I take - Qualitative or Quantitative?

The approach is the overall orientation you have towards the research method you have chosen. It cannot be just one idea or just one decision that compelled you to choose the method. There should a whole reasoning behind it. There are two types of approaches mostly used in dissertations. Many times they are used together while sometimes, depending on the topic, they are used individually.

The qualitative approach is linked to the detailed information you get. When you want to know why certain people do things, you go for the qualitative approach. You have to find answers that are not to the point. You need to be able to interpret this detailed data you have obtained and convert it to words that are understood by the reader.

The quantitative approach is the idea of getting data in the form of numbers and figures. For many students, this is a much easier way to collect data and they think that a chance of errors is very less in this data. While this is true to a certain extent, it is not always the case. Obtaining quantitate data is a trouble in itself. Many people do not have set answers. They want to go into detail. In these cases, you cannot force them to convert data into a numerical form.

The best way to decide what approach you can use is by evaluating your study on a collective level first. You might find that you need both qualitative and quantitative data.

c. How to Structure the Methodology Chapter

The methodology chapter should be properly structured. This can be done in many ways. The first section should be the philosophy you are using. It should talk about the basic reason why you chose this certain research method and how it is affecting your methodology. The second section deals with the approach you have taken to find the right results. The limitations of your methodology, the added benefits, and all the other things come under this heading. The third section deals with the strategy, the fourth with the data collection methods and the fifth with the ethics and reliability of the work you have done.

d. Methodology - Dos and Don’ts
Do’s:
-Always follow the instructions given to you.
-Make sure you are explaining your methods in a clear and concise way.
-Be thoroughly researched on your topic.
Don’ts
-Do not highlight only the advantages of the research methods you have used. Also, talk about the disadvantages of using these specific methods.
-Don’t use tables in this chapter. It is advisable to write down everything in words and sentences.
-Do not at any cost, plagiarize things in this section. This is entirely your own thoughts and ideas.
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