Writing Dissertation Methodology
Top 10 Recommendations for Writing Dissertation Methodology
1. Problem. The methodology section of any dissertation usually comes after a review of literature. Therefore, a perfect methodology section will be closely connected to the information presented in the earlier sections of your paper. Do not forget to restate your research questions at the beginning of the section.
2. Approach. Describe the research approach, philosophy, or design you are planning to use in your study. Set an appropriate context for understanding the importance of your methods. Your task is to provide your readers with a profound and well-structured understanding of your methodological choices. Make sure that you address all major aspects of your research methods, including rationale and justification, to make them clear to your readers.
3. Reproducibility. Regardless of the exact method you choose, you must be confident that it will promote the reproducibility of both the selected method and future results. The more effective your method is, the more likely it is to create favorable conditions for reproducing your study in the future. So, be as detailed as you can while describing your research procedures.
4. Precedence. Review earlier studies related to your topic or subject area and see if the methods used in those studies are similar or at least comparable to your method. You may also perform a detailed review of literature to see if the methodology you wish to adopt reflects the general trends in your field of study.
5. Justification. Do not ignore the importance of justification. Providing robust reasons as to why you have decided to conduct your research in this particular manner is a must. The importance of justification also increases if you adopt a non-traditional approach to conducting your study. You will have to persuade the scientific community that your choices are reasonable and valid.
6. Rationale. Here your task is to analyze other approaches that could have been used to inform your study. Consider the pros and cons of each method and prove that the method you have selected is the most feasible one.
7. Reliability and validity. Reliability and validity represent some of the most essential considerations when designing a study. Here you will need to address things such as precision, accuracy, bias, and so on.
8. Sampling. Sampling is one of the most challenging aspects in designing a study. You will have to determine an optimal size of your sample and provide justifications that the proposed sampling strategy will yield meaningful, valid, reliable, and/or credible results. Consider the implications of your sampling philosophy for the results of your research and include them in your methodology section.
9. Appendix. Don't be too elaborate in your writing. Be succinct, accurate, and focused. If you have any relevant information to be included here, provide it as an appendix. For example, you may want to list the open-ended questions you have asked your respondents during interviews.
10. Generalization. This is another essential component of dissertation writing, similar to the reliability and validity of study results. Provide your readers with a clue as to how your study will expand the frontiers of your study area and if its results are likely to be applicable in other areas of research and practice.