Steps in Writing A Dissertation Methodology
The methodology is a chapter in the dissertation paper where a student is expected to describe the research methods. It is the "what" and "how" of the research paper and gives the reader an insight into whether you were thorough with research. In general terms, you will be describing things you have already done. As such, you only use the past tense and not present or future tense.
What should I write in the methodology chapter?
Your dissertation methodology has five general parts or sections. First, you must explain the type of research that was involved in accomplishing your dissertation objectives. Second, a learner must illustrate the methods used for data collection and justification for the same. In the second part, a student explains how data for the research was collected and where from. The third critical section indicates whether a learner analyzed data collected for the project and the methods used for analysis. Note that data analysis results are not inherently discussed in the methodology chapter, even though they can be briefly highlighted. The fourth section of the methodology chapter indicates the tools and materials used for the research. For instance, a student can describe the tools used for data collection and analysis and materials used for recording data. Lastly, the chapter ends with a short section where the writer expresses the justification for the paper's methodologies.
Tips for Writing An Effective Dissertation Methodology
- Refer to and cite relevant sources
Each research paper must cite previous works done by others. However, the choice of citations may differ from one learner to another based on their research skills. Nevertheless, an exemplary methodology must refer to recent works done in the field of interest. Students should ensure that the cited works are as close to the subject as possible. And when citing sources, we recommend you paraphrase the content rather than quote directly.
- Focus on fulfilling the research objectives
Every research paper has one or several research questions and objectives. It is wrong for a student to abandon these questions and write things outside the scope. A reader should see how the methods used to fit with your objectives and research questions. As such, your methodology should closely reference the problem statement of your dissertation.
- Highlight challenges faced
Students often make the mistake of imagining that supervisors want to see a perfect dissertation. Generally, that is not the case, and professors and lecturers understand that you may face challenges in the course of research. Therefore, it is logical to discuss the challenges you faced in the study's data collection and analysis phases and illustrate how you overcome them. You would be surprised to know that some supervisors will only consider your dissertation rigorous and exhaustive only if you faced significant challenges.
- Know your audience
Dissertations are usually specialized in a subject of study and are addressed to knowledgeable audiences. Therefore, there is no point in being wordy with the methodologies since the reader may already know the methods in the study field. Instead of defining methods, you should show how each was used and the motive behind it.