How to Write the Best Dissertation Methodology: Practical Tips

Things to Avoid in a Thesis Statement
November 23, 2018
50 Summer Jobs for College Students
January 13, 2019
Show all

How to Write the Best Dissertation Methodology: Practical Tips

Dissertation MethodologyDissertation methodology

The Dissertation methodology section appears immediately after the literature review and should be designed to flow in an organic manner. Up to the point of writing the methodology, you shall have defined the research question[s] and carried out a detailed analysis of what other scholars in the market have to say. You shall have also reviewed the ways in which the scholars have made the kind of conclusions they made. The best dissertation methodology offers a detailed account of both how you will approach it and why you have decided to give it that kind of approach.

 

What Should the Best Dissertation  Methodology Look Like?

The main aim of your methodology is to establish a clear relationship between your main research question, the existing scholarship in your study field, as well as the means by which you’ll make your conclusions. Despite of the subject area you could be working in, the section of your methodology should include the following:

A Glance Back at the Research Question{s}

The best way of justifying your dissertation methodology is to demonstrate that it is fit for the main purpose of answering the research questions or problem that you posted at the beginning. You should reflect the main questions you need to answer at the time you are introducing your methodology. However, it does not have to be a word-for-word restatement. It would be better to reword the question in a manner that bridges both your methodology and literature review.

 

Description of your Method or Design

Although this is the heart of a dissertation methodology, it is not actually a methodology. This is the component of your methodology where you explain your process in a clear manner, all for the purposes of gathering and analyzing the data.

This should be detailed and clear enough to enable another scholar to read and apply it in a certain way, outside of the dissertation’s immediate context. If you are giving a new theoretical take on a literary work, then your audience should be able to comprehend the theory enough that they can use it in another problem or text. On the other hand, if you are explaining a scientific experiment, your readers should possess all they need to recreate your experiment in a lab. When you are introducing a new kind of statistical model, then your reader should be able to use this model to their data sets after reading the methodology section of your dissertation.

The Rationale and Background for Your Design Choice

Apart from describing the method you have used, the methodology also discusses the reasons why you have picked the method you have picked, and why you believe it will bring the most innovative perspective, the most insightful analyses as well as the best results. This will borrow in part from literature review, giving out your choices as rooted and informed in sound scholarship, while at the same time, displaying creativity and innovation. It is also very important to relate your method’s rationale explicitly to your research problem. Your reader should understand that the methodology you have picked is a thoughtful one and a tailored response to the kind of questions you are attempting to answer.

 

Evaluating the Choice of Method & a Statement of its Limitations

No research method can be said to be entirely perfect, and there are certain possibilities that the ones you have picked comes with some trade-offs. You might have picked a small-scale set of interviews because the personal perspectives of an assortment of interviewees on the problem you are analyzing are more valuable compared to a large set of data about responses to the same question. That means that you have sacrificed, nevertheless, a quantitative approach to a problem that might have come in with its own set of vital insights.

While you should be upfront and honest, you shouldn’t be apologetic in any other way, concerning the limitations of the method you have picked, and be ready to justify why it is the best approach for the purposes you picked.

Even though the outline of a methodology will appear much alike irrespective of your discipline, the details might be a bit different based on the subject area you are studying.

 

Dissertation Methodology according to Subject Area

Scientific Study

The methodology part of this type of dissertation should mainly focus on reproducibility and rigour. The methods used must appear robust to the reader with no obvious errors in the execution or design. You shouldn’t only include the basic information regarding your lab setup, equipment, and the procedure to give another researcher an opportunity of reproducing your method, but also show that you have factored any variables that might distort your data. You shouldn’t also forget the justifications for – and details of – the statistical models you have used to analyze your data.

 

Social / Behavioral Sciences Study

 

This methodology should also demonstrate both reproducibility and rigour and allow another researcher either in whole or in part to reproduce your studies for their own ends. It would be important, first of all, to answer certain broad questions concerning the type of analysis you are doing. Is it quantitative or qualitative, or a mixed approach that uses the qualitative data to give background and context to quantitative data? Would you be recording interviews, or doing your research with human subjects?

In addition to providing the best answer to these questions, you must prove to your reader that you have considered all the ethical issues connected to your research. This might include getting sign-off for the design from the appropriate ethics organizations.

Arts and Humanities

 

Methodological rigour is just as important in the arts and humanities just as it is in sciences and social sciences. But when you are writing a dissertation of arts and humanities, the way you convey the rigor and convince the readers is a bit different. The methodology section in this kind of dissertation is likely to be much more connected to the literature review than a study on social or scientific studies. Even some of the most innovative dissertation in the arts and humanities area involves using the X and Y theories to come up with a new theoretical framework. For this particular reason, it can be a bit tempting to gloss over the sector of methodology in a dissertation of arts and humanities.

 

Creative Arts Dissertation

 

Several programs in the arts study offer the students an opportunity of finishing up  creative rather than  critical dissertations, which would include submitting a portfolio of artworks or piece of creative writing as opposed to an extended critical project, for the component of the project’s dissertation. However, in nearly all the cases, your creative project should be accompanied by a substantial critical essay that tends to theorize your creative practice.

 

In Summary

Methodology, as you are now aware, is a very important part of your dissertation, which would both show your ability to synthesize the kind of information you have read in the field, as well as your capacity to create an original research that draws from the precedents and traditions of your area of study to answer your research question {s}.

The methodology section of your dissertation gives you an opportunity to rationalize and justify the kind of approach you have taken to your research question[s]. it also defines your personal criteria for the success of the project.

You should be very careful with the kind of rhetoric presentation the methodology of your dissertation has adopted, to ensure that its merits and those of the conclusions and results are presented in the best light possible.  It can also be advisable to use an academic edit to a finished methodology section so that it can contain each important step for a top-class submission.  These are some of the ways of making the best methodology for your dissertation.

 

 

Leave a Reply