If you are submitting as a single thesis, then the Methodology should explain what you did, with any refinements that you made as your work progressed. The purpose of this guide is to provide advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social sciences. Writing the methodology lies at the core of the paper, and fulfills one of the basic principles underlying the scientific method. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.
However, where the research consists of a series of experiments or studies that are reported separately, it is usually more appropriate to devote a chapter with its own methods section to each study. For example, if you were trying to obtain data about shopping preferences, you will obtain different results from a multiple-choice questionnaire than from a series of open interviews. All this will be set out in preliminary form in the research proposal you wrote for confirmation of candidature, but it is likely that you have refined and developed it since then. The detail and emphasis of what is covered will be different in different disciplines. Provide sufficient information of the whole process so that others could replicate your study. If you are submitting your dissertation in sections, with the methodology submitted before you actually undertake the research, you should use this section to set out exactly what you plan to do. Again, it should have a clear academic justification of all the choices that you made and be linked back to the literature. You must explain how you obtained and analyzed your results for the following reasons: . There are numerous research methods that can be used when researching scientific subjects, you should discuss which are the most appropriate for your research with your supervisor. To assist this, you need to give a completely accurate description of the equipment and the techniques used for gathering the data.
Any scientific paper needs to be verifiable by other researchers, so that they can review the results by replicating the experiment and guaranteeing the validity. The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability. Present the basic demographic profile of the sample population like age, gender, and the racial composition of the sample. The explanation of the collection and the analysis of your data is very important because;.
Finally, you must provide an explanation of how the raw data was compiled and analyzed. You may need to summarise available methods and theoretical approaches for your research topic; you will certainly need to justify choice of method(s) (where a combination of methods is used, that needs to be justified too), and indicate any relevant limitations they may have. The methodology section of a research paper answers two main questions: How was the data collected or generated? This evidence may have many different forms and be gathered or selected by many different methods, according to the discipline and field of inquiry. Writing Methodology Allows Verification Other scientists are not going to take your word for it, and they want to be able to evaluate whether your methodology is sound. Discuss the anticipated problems in the process of the data collection and the steps you took to prevent them. Methodology is crucial for any branch of scholarship because an unreliable method produces unreliable results and, as a consequence, undermines the value of your interpretations of the findings. In the classic “Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion” thesis structure common in the experimental and social sciences, the discussion of research methods occupies a separate chapter. In most cases, there are a variety of different methods you can choose to investigate a research problem.
In addition, it is useful for the reader to understand how you obtained your data, because it allows them to evaluate the quality of the results. Readers need to know how the data was obtained because the method you chose affects the findings and, by extension, how you interpreted them. You should be clear about the academic basis for all the choices of research methods that you have made. The methodology should be linked back to the literature to explain why you are using certain methods, and the academic basis of your choice. This covers not only the methods used to collect and analyse data, but also the theoretical framework that informs both the choice of methods and the approach to interpreting the data, and relates all of these explicitly to the research question(s) addressed in the thesis.