What is a Dissertation Methodology and How to write it
When writing a dissertation, perhaps the most challenging task is to write a dissertation methodology for your research. Though it is a laborious task, it is the most important course of action to enlighten how you collected the information for your work. The reason why the methodology in dissertation writing has importance is that it helps understand the philosophical approach behind your study. In other words, you need to collect data using a systematic approach that is recognized by researchers across the globe. Wondering how to write a dissertation methodology? Read on to find everything you need to learn about dissertation methods.
Significance of Dissertation Methodology in Research
Whether you are pursuing an undergraduate, postgraduate, or a PhD level degree, dissertation writing is inevitable. For each dissertation method, you need to justify why you adopted this method and how you can collect valuable information using a specific technique among others. Writing dissertation methodology enables a student to work in line with the academic literature and use renowned techniques for data collection. Importantly, it helps a researcher to integrate their research, formulate a hypothesis, and research questions. Also, it supports to structure of your dissertation in a way that is recognized among researchers throughout the globe who publish researches in academic journals.
When it comes to writing methodology for the dissertation, this section requires answering two key questions. Those include a) how the research is performed? b) why a particular method is appropriate to research other techniques? While answering these two questions, you need to present justifications for your selections.
Proven Tips to Write Dissertation Methodology Chapter – Step-by-step Approach
A typical dissertation methodology structure is presented below. Some of the descriptions vary in terms of primary or secondary research such as sample collection is not needed for the latter type. A research onion is an ideal illustration of the dissertation methodology structure as composed by Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill. This onion model is also utilised by experts at the Royal Dissertation Help to write the methodology chapter of a dissertation. A perfect methodology dissertation example includes a description of the following techniques and practices in line with the research onion model.
The philosophy of research determines the understanding of information in terms of epistemology and ontology. For any academic study, a researcher needs to define his or her stance on data collection. It can either be in terms of positivism, interpretivism, or realism. Positivism prefers a scientific approach to collect factual data; interpretivism presents data in terms of the observer’s perception. Those who want the best of both worlds choose realism as it involves the mix of both leaving no or very few grey areas.
After selecting the philosophy, the researcher chooses an approach to conclude the research. There is an inductive approach where a researcher develops a hypothesis or theory after evaluating the data from the study. In contrast, there is a deductive approach where a researcher proposes a hypothesis and conducts a study to approve or reject the hypothesis. In other words, with the inductive approach, a researcher creates a new theory based on evidence whereas a researcher tests an existing theory with a deductive approach.
One of the most important dissertation methodology descriptions is in terms of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodology. Each of the research methodologies reflects the research philosophy. If a researcher uses the positivism approach, he or she chooses the quantitative method as both prefer data in form of numbers. For an interpretivism and realism philosophy, the researcher uses qualitative and mixed methods respectively.
As per the research onion model of research methodology, a research strategy determines the means of data collection. It may include experimental research, surveys, action research, or interviews among other strategies. Here, the researcher chooses one of the strategies to collect a particular type of data that helps achieve the research purpose.
Though this part of the research model is presented under the terms time frame, it is also an important part of a dissertation methodology. Many researchers present Gantt charts or time table to illustrate when they will finish particular sections of their research. It can be represented in terms of longitudinal data which implies observations that take a longer time to study. A researcher can also collect cross-sectional data to collect all the observations from a single point.
Data Collection Technique
Also referred to as a research instrument, this section focuses on how a researcher collects the information. It is similar to research strategy but here a researcher presents justification regarding why a particular research instrument was used to collect data. For secondary research, the data is collected from the literature and previous researches whereas a distinct instrument is used for primary research.
Research Population and Sample
The research population encompasses all the research participants who are eligible to be part of a research study. Since a researcher cannot collect data from all the population, he or she collects data from a sample that represents the population. For instance, consider a digital marketing dissertation that aims to determine the impact of online reviews on Amazon. The researcher can collect data from 100 online users on Amazon out of millions of online users on the platform.
The final layer of the model represents the procedure used to analyse the collected information. For the quantitative data, a researcher can use SPSS software for statistical analysis. To evaluate the qualitative information, a researcher can use NVivo software among others.
Whether it is a primary or a secondary dissertation methodology, ethical considerations need to be stated in your research. This section is taken into account to determine how your research will influence the individuals to the population who are not a part of your research. Also, you need to justify the actions undertaken to preserve the author’s intellectual property in the research. The reason is that you need to avoid plagiarism because it is non-negotiable in the research work. Confidentiality issues also need to be highlighted including the handling of collected data for the study from the participants.
A perfect dissertation methodology example is one where a researcher also states the reliability of the research instruments and entire research work. The researcher can also state the limitations of the study that might include the sample collection limitations among others. Once completed, you need to perform dissertation proofreading to check and correct any errors and mistakes. Failure to do so will deduct your credits.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Methodology of Dissertation
How to define a dissertation methodology?
An appropriate methodology structure of a dissertation is expected to include the following descriptions and specifics.
- The pros and cons of the selected techniques and why you believe such methods are superior among others for data collection.
- Description of the research design, philosophical approach, models, and data analysis methods in dissertation.
- Presenting explanations regarding the methodology selection and how it will help achieve answers to the proposed research questions.
What are some common types of methodology in dissertation?
The type of dissertation methodology can be distinguished as per the discipline of the study. For instance, there are different methods and techniques for behavioural science studies and art dissertations. Read below to learn more about the methods used for a particular discipline.
Dissertation methodology for arts and humanities discipline requires to represent some creative theoretical frameworks and school of thought that needs to be justified. One can combine different methods or use a certain framework in a new context for data collection.
The dissertation methodology for behavioral and social science needs a comprehensive explanation of the selected technique with justification. It includes research design, approaches, research instrument, and compliance with the research ethics.
Dissertation methodology for scientific studies requires a precise explanation of methods with transparency. Here you need to describe the experimental designs, techniques, and research equipment including various controls.
Dissertation methodology for creative arts entails a creative portfolio of visual or written artwork that authors use for a detached perspective where they reflect on the undertaken methodology to create their art.
What is a research instrument?
A research instrument or a data collection tool is a mechanism that is used to collect data for a study. For a scientific study, the tool can be a microscope, a thermometer, or any other physical instrument to calculate reading. However, social sciences and behavioural science dissertations utilize different tools to collect information from the sample audience. These include the observation method, interviews, surveys, or questionnaires.
When it comes to the research instrument, it is only used for primary research where a researcher collects first-hand data. Using an appropriate instrument and evaluating its reliability and validity, the researcher can use the instrument for data collection. However, the research instrument is not used in the secondary research because a researcher uses second-hand data that has already been used and published.
How many types of research instruments are there?
The research instruments for the dissertation vary as per discipline. You need to avoid dissertation writing mistakes and choose an appropriate tool that can collect data to address research questions. Some of the most common dissertation research instruments are described below.
Questionnaire and Surveys: These methods are used to ask for information from the individuals who match the research sample for a study. It includes a set of questions to collect quantitative or qualitative information or mixed information. They can be conducted face-to-face or online.
Interview Questions: A researcher uses this instrument to collect qualitative information from the research participants. The interviews can be conducted on the telephone, face-to-face, or online.
Focus Group Discussions: Similar to interview questions, a focus group discussion involves multiple participants to discuss a particular topic or subject. The discussion is being recorded by the researcher for data collection purposes.
Controlled Experiments: Such instruments are used in scientific as well as behavioural studies where the relationship between a dependent and independent variable is tested in a controlled environment.
Observations: This type of research instrument is used to understand the behaviour of individuals, systems, or animals in a natural environment or particular circumstances.
What is the difference between primary and secondary research in dissertation?
Primary research is first-hand information that is collected by a researcher using a research instrument. In contrast, secondary research is the information that has already been evaluated or published and it matches the context of a researcher. Usually, a researcher collects secondary information from the literature review of previously published researches. Though, primary research is time-consuming where the researcher designs a valid and reliable instrument to collect data. However, it is very useful in researching in a new context or an area that lacks research. For secondary research, a researcher cannot amend it as per its research questions and it cannot be used exactly to address the research aim.
What are data analysis methods in dissertation?
The technique used to evaluate the selected information to conclude is recognized as a data analysis method. It is important to choose a valid data analysis method to evaluate particular information. For instance, one can use a statistical analysis method for quantitative data to determine the degree of relationship between two variables.
That’s all we have on the dissertation methodology chapter of research work. We hope you will get help from this beginner’s guide to write a good methodology for a dissertation. If you are still wondering how to write a dissertation methodology, contact us to seek help from our professionals. Our team of British dissertation editors will help you write your dissertation on your chosen dissertation topics from scratch. So, reach out and boost your chances to get your degree with first-class scores.
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