How to Write a Dissertation Methodology Guide With Examples
When you are facing the challenges of dissertation methodology writing, it is just like a thesis statement for a thesis essay because the methodology is what represents the essence of what you must present. Since one always has limitations regarding content structure and formatting, choosing your methodology correctly must not be ignored. Unfortunately, many students often procrastinate with their methodology section or cover it briefly as they come up with various ideas or sample data. As a way to help you avoid trouble, we came up with this helpful guide on how to write a dissertation methodology, including all the critical rules and examples.
What is a Dissertation Methodology?
While it will always differ, depending on what structure you include (or your academic discipline), the methodology can be defined as the collection of broad philosophical principles and paradigms that help you explain chosen research methods. In simple terms, it tells your audience whether you are approaching qualitative or quantitative research methods. Of course, it can represent a mixture of both in certain cases. Your methodology section must explain why it matters and why exactly it has been chosen.
Your methodology chapter dissertation parts must justify the research purpose and objectives that you are planning to take. Your methodology should tell about theoretical frameworks that you have included, criteria for data collection like experiments, lab calculations, research methods, surveys, and so on. While this part may sound like something insignificant, dissertation methodology should be approached with due care. It is a part of your scientific research that must help fellow researchers see what methods are more beneficial and what exactly could prove some thesis or hypothesis. It also helps to evaluate various theories or focus on the author’s method of approaching some problem. Your methodology must reflect your way of thinking and coming up with a particular conclusion for your dissertation paper.
Things to Remember For Dissertation Methodology Organisation
Remember that the methodology section usually comes after a literature section and past your introduction, which is why it should always remain related to the preceding notions. For example, when your literature list is mainly focused on numbers and specific laboratory experiments in mechanical engineering, it is recommended to implement a quantitative method. Correct methodology for dissertation must have both theoretical and systematic analysis parts that present clear scientific theories, academic research techniques, and theoretical frameworks.
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Steps of Dissertation Methodology
- Explore Similar Methodology Subject Sections. You should discuss it with your supervisor who must provide you with several helpful examples if this is your first dissertation or you are unsure about how to approach things.
- Plan Your Structure In Advance. Each relevant dissertation methodology chapter should include aims, research methods, explanation of methodology chosen, data analysis, and references. Using these as your chapter headings will help you sort existing information accordingly.
- Your Audience Must Be Considered. As you work on your methodology, think over what needs explanation and what must be kept short if you are dealing with something that is most common in your field of research.
- Keep Things Focused. Every argument or tool explained must be clear enough for the definition of each question that is being brought up.
- Mention Obstacles Faced During Research. If there have been any challenges during data collection and subsequent analysis, your methodology section must mention it to increase the overall accuracy and credibility of your work.
Dissertation Methodology Structure
A successful dissertation methodology structure may vary from subject to subject, yet in most cases, it must not simply include research design and work methods but also explain why exactly they have been chosen and what literature, lab experiments, surveys, interviews, or any other supplementary tools have been used.
Part 1: Introduce Your Research Objectives.
Writing methodology for dissertation, think about your audience, and focus on major issues that you plan to research in your dissertation. Your thesis statement should not be copied per se because you must explain your problem in simpler terms.
Part 2: Describe Dissertation Research Methods.
This part is the essence of methodology since you must explain your work methods, research approach, and objectives. Explain why you have chosen to focus on surveys or lab experiments here. It is also a good place to tell about what bits of information you have chosen and what your main points are. Come up with a special outline where you talk about how your theoretical ideas and thoughts can be applied in practice. It may include various requirements, inventions, risks, innovations, and many other research aspects. Do not make your methodology structure too complex, yet provide all the necessary details. If you are familiar with a process essay, you will already know how to approach your methodology part. It is like a step-by-step list of your objectives that other researchers should be able to follow.
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Part 3: Define Your Academic Background Clearly
Remember that it also takes an explanatory paragraph where you discuss those factors that have motivated you for a particular methodology. It may be a list of books and journal publications that you have consulted, certain schools of thought, social campaigns, and individual works of scientists. It should not be all detailed because the purpose here is to talk about those critical influences. Since you have already created a literature list, it should be like a brief summary.
Part 4: Self-critical Method Evaluation
The most common mistake is missing the point when trying to match one’s methodology with a thesis statement. Do not make your writing sound like something you won’t achieve because it should be within your resources and skills. Discuss the flaws of your method along with all the faults and errors. Without a doubt, even if you choose both qualitative and quantitative methods, it is impossible to avoid certain challenges or issues like impartiality. Discuss things with your audience as you write. Describe survey or interview mistakes, offer some ways to fix your collected samples, and so on.
The Most Common Research Methods
The most common research methods for your methodology dissertation writing include:
- Surveys. These are various questionnaires of target groups with the aim to collect information regarding processes, changes, and opinions.
- Experiments. These may include various laboratory experiments or fieldwork for engineering purposes or those cases when some scientific checking must be done.
- Existing Data. It means that you are using information that you have collected by means of primary research or based on your past works or studies. At the same time, it may stand for the list of literature that you have consulted. When discussing how to write methodology in dissertation, many college professors will mention using a synthesis of existing research.
- Interview or Focus Groups. Interviews remain the most common methodologies for both qualitative and quantitative methodology methods. It helps to determine your focus group and also narrows things down.
- Participant Observation. This is most often implemented for social sciences and nursing when a patient or a group of patients must be observed. These samples are usually written down in free form based on the outline.
- Mixed Data Analysis. It is usually a mixture of several tools with a clear purpose based on existing data analysis.
How to Approach Methodology of Dissertation?
It always depends on your initial paper structure and subject. It means that even the length of methodology is often affected by your discipline. While the general rules will still apply, some subjects or fields of study have slight variations.
- Scientific Dissertation Writing
Aiming to compose a dissertation for scientific studies, it is necessary to offer as much detailed information regarding your research methods as one can collect. If you choose Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, or Physics, it is safe to use a quantitative methodology in most cases where every number plays a crucial role as you make various references. Scientific work dissertations must include a listing of lab equipment, your personal gear setup, methods of calculation, and brief reasoning for making a certain choice. You should also provide due analysis and justification of statistical models along with flaws and errors that have been encountered.
- Social Subjects
One of the most challenging aspects of social disciplines is providing enough information regarding reproducing each research stage in question. Your task is to explain why certain results have been achieved not as a result of an accidental procedure but have been chosen because of research logic and the sequence of events.
- Behavioural Studies
It is why one must justify every claim related to experiments and model scenarios. Your methodology section must describe each tool that has been used to analyse human behaviour (interviews, surveys, literature studies). You may also describe mathematical models or environments that have been taken as the starting point. If you have some doubts regarding candidate selection or tools used, mention them here. Speak about factors that may have influenced your data collection methods.
Still, what is methodology in dissertation that would be most suitable for humanities and social subjects? An optimal structure for such kind of methodology structure would be:
- Description of challenges that you aim(ed) to solve in your dissertation. Explain how it has affected your respondents (if there were any). Explain whether you have used lab or real-life conditions.
- Talk about how the interviews have been conducted. Mention it all from location to what equipment has been used to collect information.
- Tell about what justified statements have been disclosed and whether they could be confirmed or disapproved. Provide statistical data and numbers, if possible.
- It is recommended to refer to various similar works on the subject to support your ideas and methods. You may also mention similarities and differences compared to your method.
- Dissertation On Creative (Non-Standard) Subjects
Take time to explore your creativity and make sure that you provide an explanation of your artistic vision and the methods that you have used to explain your objectives and practical suitability. It must represent some critical evaluation of your artistic skills as well. It should not be like a resume since your purpose is to write a short critical essay with an explanation for your audience. In most cases, it will include at least two paragraphs where the first paragraph explains your vision and why some style or method has been chosen, and the second paragraph analyses your creation through the lens of critical acclaim and art in general.
What to Include In the Methodology Section?
Regardless of your dissertation subject, your methodology must include these four crucial aspects:
- Brief explanation and recap of research matters that are being explored.
- Description and subsequent justification of your design, structure, and method.
- List of your tools and research strategies with a rationale of your dissertation methods section.
- Self-critical analysis and evaluation of chosen methods with a study of existing shortcomings and limitations.
Explain the logic of your research inquiry, which can be either qualitative or quantitative. Discuss pros and cons and prove your point by discussing the appropriate research settings, participants, data collection methods, procedures that have been at play, and the ethical issues that have been addressed.
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What Should My Methodology Avoid?
Learning how to write methodology, avoid all sentences that have superficial meaning or those that are not directly related to your method’s choice.
- Avoid repeating detailed information about the literature in question because it is already listed in a separate dissertation section.
- Avoid getting into details for aspects that are already clear to your target audience.
- Results will have their eponymous section, which is why it is only necessary to explain why chosen method and tools are best-suited.
- Methodology chapter should not be written in an active voice because it focuses on the action that’s being done.
- All limitations must be present to avoid questions regarding your research’s validity.
Remember that your methodology should only include information related to your research methods without getting into details unless it is absolutely necessary.
Dissertation Methodology Examples
Dissertation Methodology Example (interviews):
The researcher’s objective was to find the list of challenges encountered by parents with autistic children in terms of access to medication and special tools offered by Gent Industries Inc. Interviews with the parents’ group have been conducted to evaluate their most common difficulties. 15 people have been taken as the sample group with the youngsters in their care who are placed on an autistic spectrum. The demographic of the parents ranged between 19 and 37 years old).
Regarding research purposes, both similarities and differences have been explored. It has helped to outline the most common problems faced when dealing with chemical and non-chemical solutions offered by Gent Industries Inc. Taking the period of the past three months as the evaluation of both cons and pros, all parents have been asked to reflect on their experience. The interviews for the project have been held in an office of Gent Industries Inc in their retail premises. Each interview included both the list of questions and a brief verbal conversation that lasted approximately 15-20 minutes. Responses have been recorded with the help of Zoom H4N voice recorder and noted on paper with the full consent of participants for being recorded.
Dissertation Methodology Sample Based On Lab Experiments:
The research purpose of this dissertation is to identify the role of transwaves in the field of new-age music in Great Britain. For this purpose, sound samples have been taken for reference purposes with the full consent of copyright holders. Pro Tools digital audio workstation has been chosen for research purposes as it offered sufficient scientific tools to carry out intended results and wave transposing. 7 reference recordings have been chosen for analysis purposes, including artists like Enya and Mike Oldfield. All samples lasted between 45 seconds and one minute.
A quantitative research methodology has been chosen to outline the presence of transwaves and note transposing techniques. While the percentage of error has been lower than 2%, all crucial factors like the use of delays and stereo expanding have been taken into consideration. All outcomes have been checked through the same set of audio filters available based on wavetable, vector, and crosswave synthesis methods. All responses have been presented on RME Fireface audio interface and Dynadio Acoustics speakers for playback and comparison purposes.
Social Sciences Example (qualitative):
The purpose of this chapter is to explain chosen research methodology, which is qualitative based on studies regarding what motivates children to join scouting organisations in Belgium. This particular approach has allowed for a deeper understanding of reasons that motivate Belgian youth as they choose to join either Chiro or KSA organisations and spend their after-school time involved in various activities. This research takes on a constructivist approach and implements discussions with volunteers and anonymous surveys of the children aged between 9 and 14 years old. All ethical and privacy concerns, consent of parents or legal guardians have been taken into consideration.
This study aims to build a theory that answers the following questions including:
a) What motivates children to join scouting in Belgium?
b) What motivates volunteers to help run organisations like Chiro and KSA branches all over the country and what factors act as the main driving force?
Therefore, it is appropriate to use a qualitative methodology approach as one aims to explain the phenomenon and success of both organisations (v.d. Hoorst, 2014). As it has been outlined by Frowijn (2010), a quantitative approach is most suitable when research aims to understand and analyse relationships between variables at play. As the purpose of this research was to examine experiences and perceptions of the children joining scouting organisations, a qualitative approach was the ultimate choice.
Remember that you can always use a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods for your dissertation paper.
An Extra Bit of Dissertation Methodology Help
Writing a methodology for a dissertation, students face challenges of getting their dissertation works finished. In their quest for help, some decide to pay for dissertation. Although doing so always comes with a price tag, it always depends on what kind of assistance is necessary. Asking for help with a methodology chapter, however, won’t cost a fortune, yet it may become pricey if you have an urgent deadline. Therefore, when you come up with a write my dissertation for me request, it is always good to do so when you still have time so a credible expert can look through your dissertation draft and help you. When you have a great methodology part, it means that your work is already approached as the one penned by a professional. Do not risk your academic future when you can get professional assistance that is reliable and safe.
How many words should a methodology be in a dissertation?
The research methodology part should be at least 15% of the whole dissertation. For example, if your dissertation is 20,000 words, your research methodology part should be 3,000 words. At the same time, it is not absolutely necessary to reach the maximum unless you must list all equipment that you have used.
Where should the methodology section be placed?
Regardless of your academic discipline, the methodology part always comes right after the introduction and before the results, final discussion, and conclusion part. Technically, it comes after the literature review section, which also helps to support your thesis ideas and methodology after the general introduction part has already been read (written).