Dissertation methodology chapter is the mechanical or technical part of your research. It informs the reader what measures you took to address the research problem. For instance, it specifies data collection methods, sampling strategies, data analysis methods, and validity and reliability mechanisms. However, a research methodology section does not just specify the steps you took to address the research questions, but it also provides a justification to the reader why you chose such a method and how relevant it is to your field of interest. Therefore, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of the essential ingredients that must be incorporated into the dissertation methodology chapter.
What is a dissertation methodology chapter?
Dissertation methodology chapter includes information about the techniques employed by the researcher to address the research questions. It provides an overview of data collection and analysis strategies. It specially informs the reader about the sampling strategies and why those strategies were chosen. It critically assesses the significance of the chosen methodology for arriving at accurate results. Research methodology provides the rationale for choosing the current methods and informs the reader about the underlying philosophy of the chosen methods.
Researchers describe the theoretical approaches that influence the choice of the employed approach. It also requires a description of their placement within the academic research framework and how they might be used to address the research question. The methodology section also includes a thorough evaluation of the methods used by past researchers to study the topic. It relates to the meticulous planning of a study by the scholar to produce accurate and reliable findings that address the purposes and goals of the research.
What are the important ingredients of dissertation methodology chapter?
It is imperative to remember that the methodology section’s overall contents and structure differ across disciplines. Also, it is important to consult your department before selecting a specific research methodology for your research. For example, the methodology section of social sciences differs from the methodology of humanities dissertation. However, the fundamental components of the dissertation methodology chapter are more or less the same. The golden rule is to first make an outline of the dissertation methodology since it will provide a structure to your methodology section. Dissertation methodology chapter must stick to the following checklist:
Every chapter of your dissertation has an introduction section that provides the reader with a brief overview of the chapter’s contents. The introduction section reminds the readers about the aims and objectives of your research. It is imperative to remember that your overall research design must be compatible with the specific research aims, objectives, and questions. So, it is crucial to remind the reader about the purpose of your research in the introductory part. An outline, in the beginning, makes things easier for the reader to get a clear idea of what to expect in the ensuing passages.
In the next section of the dissertation methodology chapter, you must inform the reader about the research design. This section informs the reader about the key aspects of the research design in a detailed and logical manner. It is the major component of the methodology chapter; therefore, it must be specific and detailed. It provides the following information to the readers:
The philosophical underpinnings of the research design refer to the underlying key theories and philosophical approaches prevalent in the existing field. These theoretical or philosophical approaches determine the data collection and analysis methods that are trending or established in the current field. Research philosophy is the crucial component of the methodology chapter and serves as the foundation for your research design choice. So, you must understand the philosophical paradigm, choose a specific philosophy, and have clear reasons for choosing it. The two most common research philosophies underpin the research design, positivist and interpretive.
Positivism is the most common research philosophy employed in quantitative research. The Positivist school of thought rests on the assumption that knowledge acquisition necessitates objectively collecting the data. It posits that the external reality is independent of the researcher and the researcher empirically gathers data about the external reality through observations.
The interpretive school of thought argues that reality is socially constructed. They do not distinguish between subject and object. Instead, they argue that reality is subjective, which entails that our observation of the so-called external or independent reality is subjective and differs from person to person.
Based on your research goals and objectives, you can choose either one of the approaches mentioned above and explain them at the beginning and your rationale for choosing them.
Research type indicates to the reader what type of research you want to conduct; inductive or deductive. Inductive research is influenced by the grounded theory approach, which means that the researcher builds a theory after collecting the data. So, the controlling idea is that the research process moves from the ground up, i.e., from specific to general. Inductive research studies are exploratory. On the other hand, the deductive research type seeks to test the theory by building a hypothesis and testing it to prove or disprove it. A deductive approach means moving from general to specific.
Also, in the research type section of dissertation methodology chapter, you must specify whether your research is quantitative, qualitative, or based on a mixed methods approach. So, every component of your methodology section must be linked together logically, and it is imperative to provide a justification for making all these choices. Students often fail to provide a justification for choosing a philosophical approach and therefore fail to convince the reader about the viability of the chosen method. It is imperative to provide a valid justification, and if you face any difficulty in research design, you can always take help from expert writers at Masters Dissertation Help.
The procedural section informs the reader about the specific measures or steps you took for collecting and analysing data. There are several procedures to select from, but it depends entirely on the research philosophy and type. Following are the common procedures researchers choose:
- Case Studies
- Focus groups
Dissertation methodology chapter is the most important part of your dissertation. It informs the reader about the overall approach of your research and the practical steps you took to address the research problem and questions.