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Prior to clearing the concept of how to write a research methodology and the tips that can help you write a better methodology, let us first discuss what it is actually. To put it in a layman terms, it is this particular section of the research where you discuss the methodologies used for doing research.
In this particular section, you discuss about the methods of carrying out research work that explains what you did, how you did and enables the readers to evaluate the validity of research work.
A complete Research methodology includes the following:
Important to Note: Should be written in the past tense.
It is this part of the research paper which contains the description of ways and means for conducting research work. Basic aim of writing a research methodology is to explain the techniques used for obtaining the data or information. It portrays a good image of the research. Some people put their main focus on the literature review or Introduction but the main judgment of the Research depends on the methodologies used.
You should start by introducing over and all approach of the research. What research questions or problems do you want to investigate and what kind of data you have to answer.
What kind of methods you would use in carrying out research work depends on your approach and discipline. It is good to get the formatting and styling needs of your department clear first.
If it is a quantitative experimental study then it is aimed to produce general knowledge about the underlying causes of any phenomenon. If it is qualitative ethnographic case study, it would be aimed to produce contextual real-world knowledge about the social structures, behaviours and shared believes of the specific groups. This methodology is more interpretive and lesser controlled. It considers things like how your perception and participation have influenced the result.
After they are through with their over and all methodological approach, students need to give the full details of the methodologies they have used for conducting research work. Whatever procedures they have adopted, materials they have used to collect data and the criteria to select the sources and participants.
A full questionnaire can be used in the appendix so that the readers can see what particular data is collected.
In this step, a complete evaluation of how the data is analysed and processed can be done. You should not discuss or present your results at this particular stage. Other things like which software have you used for analysing data, how the data has been analysed, which software is being used for analysing the data and which statistical methods are used etc. can be discussed here.
In the eventual step you should discuss why you have chosen the methodologies you have mentioned. Also, to make your dissertation more impactful you can discuss why you have not chosen other methodologies and why those methodologies are not suitable for meeting your objectives. You can also choose to show how your approach would contribute to a new understanding and knowledge.
In this section you can also acknowledge the limitations and weakness of your approach to make your dissertation more engaging. However, the limitations mentioned by you are outweighed by your strengths.
It is good to remember that you should aim towards not describing the methods alone but you also need to explain how and why you have used them for demonstrating your research work.
Your methodology should be obviously clear and well-structured and should not appear just a list of technical procedures and details.
One of the most important tips to write a research methodology is to take care of the order. This tip is the most relevant one also because it is a commonly committed mistake. Students often forget to put methodologies used and their respective findings in the same order. Putting the methodologies and their respective findings in the same order is a wise idea because of the two reasons.
Firstly, because the readers would be able to relate the methodologies to the findings easily and secondly methodologies have a neater look. This also gives a thoroughly professional look to the dissertation.
Research methodology of any academic research paper is aimed towards convincing the readers that research is useful and would contribute to your studies. An effectively written methodology brings your qualitative and quantitative research to the fore and justify why you have chosen those methods over the others. These set of specific techniques or procedures are used to select, process, identify and analyse information of the topic.
Those who want to make their dissertation truly impressive should a put a special focus on writing this particular section as it is meant for evaluating study’s over and reliability and validity.
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