Research methodology refers to the procedures, techniques, tools, and analyzing processes run over any data collected for a specific topic of the research. In other words, it justifies what, how, and why this research topic needs to be studied. Whatever the area of interest you are studying, a dissertation methodology should have some specific dimensions as given under:
Research methodology vs research method
The research methodology is a systematic step by step process to solve the identified research problem. It is the process through which a researcher describes and predicts the phenomenon under study. In simple words, research methodology provides a road map to the whole research.
On the other hand, research methods are the methods used to collect and analyze the data. Thus, the research method is a little dimension of the research methodology.
Essentials steps required for writing a methodology
How to write a research methodology? A research methodology should reveal a clear relationship between the research question, literature review, and the findings you concluded. Either you are writing your thesis or research dissertation, research methodology should include the following dimensions:
- Discuss the research problem or questions
The key to the methodology of the research is that you should justify that research problem or questions can ideally be assessed and answered through the procedure and steps of the methodology you intend to apply. For this purpose discuss your research questions or research problem while introducing methodology. The methodology of the research should relate to the research problem under study.
- Describe your research design or method
Research design or research method is the core of the research. Here you clearly explain the method to gather data and analyze the data. Besides, you should mention every step you are taking to conduct the whole procedure. From getting institutional permission to the consent of the participants, you need to mention each craving of the research method. How will you get a sample from the targeted population? What instruments or research tools will you use? For instance, if you are doing scientific research, you should mention all the necessary arrangements and minor and major steps you will take during the conduct of the research. In the case of field research, your method should reveal as clear information as if future researchers or readers of your research want to replicate or apply this method for one’s research; it should exhibit a clear pathway.
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- Discuss the background and the rationale of the study
From the Research Prospect, Methodology not only discusses the methods you will use to collect data and analyze that data rather it discusses the reason to choose this method and how it is the best fit for the research under study. The literature review should relate to the rationale of the research. From where did this idea spring into your mind? How did you get inspiration about this topic and how this method will yield the best results? In short, the background and rationale of the study should reveal that the method chosen for the research will yield thoughtful responses to the problem you are trying to solve through this research.
- Evaluation of selected research method and its limitation
No research method is perfect; every method has its loopholes. You should know well the limitations of your research methods and describe it open-heartedly while writing a dissertation. For instance, you might be using a quantitative research method but it has some limitations as well. As a researcher, you have to justify your method by describing why it fits best with the phenomenon or research problem under study.
What should you avoid while writing methodology?
- An Exhaustive review of methodologies
You should avoid writing methodologies that you have read out in other authors’ publications. It is useless to discuss those methodologies you are not using. You need to focus merely on your methodology and justify it concerning your topic.
- Long description of tools or equipment
Your methodology chapter should be precise and to the point that could equip a future reader to reproduce your body of research or to recreate your work. Just shortly describe the tools you are using during your research. If you think of any necessary information that should be included in the methodology, just mention the reference of the Appendices and place that data into the appendices.
- Raw data descriptions
The methodology section is not the place to reproduce any new or raw data. you should make a place for raw data into appendices.
Either you are writing a dissertation for undergraduate or postgraduate level; you need to be genuine. What you have learned from your scholars and schools of thought; just shape that information into the methodology section. It will throw light on your research problem and help you make your dissertation successful. There is a complete and comprehensive guide available on Research Prospect about How To Write A Methodology For A Dissertation?