The methodology or methods section explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research. It should include:. The methodology section should generally be written in the past tense. Table of contents Explain your methodological approach Describe your methods of data collection Describe your methods of analysis Evaluate and justify your methodological choices Tips for writing a strong methodology.
Begin by introducing your overall approach to the research. What research problem or question did you investigate, and what kind of data did you need to answer it? Depending on your discipline and approach, you might also begin with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology. In a quantitative experimental study, you might aim to produce generalizable knowledge about the causes of a phenomenon.
Writing your dissertation methodology | Oxbridge Essays
Valid research requires a carefully designed study with a representative sample and controlled variables that can be replicated by other researchers. As this methodology is less controlled and more interpretive, you will need to reflect on your position as researcher, taking into account how your participation and perception might have influenced the results. Once you have introduced your overall methodological approach, you should give full details of the methods you used to conduct the research.
Outline the tools, procedures and materials you used to gather data, and the criteria you used to select participants or sources. Surveys Describe where, when and how the survey was conducted.
You might want to include the full questionnaire as an appendix so that your reader can see exactly what data was collected. Experiments Give full details of the tools, techniques and procedures you used to conduct the experiment. In experimental research, it is especially important to give enough detail for another researcher to reproduce your results. Existing data Explain how you gathered and selected material such as publications or archival data for inclusion in your analysis. The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions that the respondents had to answer with a 7-point Likert scale.
The aim was to conduct the survey with customers of Company X on the company premises in The Hague from July between and A customer was defined as a person who had purchased a product from Company X on the day of questioning. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously, and customers responded.
Because not all surveys were fully completed, survey results were included in the analysis. Interviews or focus groups Describe where, when and how the interviews were conducted. Participant observation Describe where, when and how you conducted the observation. Existing data Explain how you selected case study materials such as texts or images for the focus of your analysis.
In order to gain a better insight into the possibilities for improvement of the product range, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 returning customers from the main target group of Company X. A returning customer was defined as someone who usually bought products at least twice a week from Company X. The surveys were used to select participants who belonged to the target group years old. Interviews were conducted in a small office next to the cash register, and lasted approximately 20 minutes each. Answers were recorded by note-taking, and seven interviews were also filmed with consent.
One interviewee preferred not to be filmed. Scribbr Plagiarism Checker.
Next, you should indicate how you processed and analyzed the data. In quantitative research, your analysis will be based on numbers. In the methods section you might include:. Before analysis the gathered data was prepared.
The dataset was checked for missing data and outliers. The data was then analyzed using statistical software SPSS. In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images and observations. Methods might include:. The interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. This involved coding all the data before identifying and reviewing six key themes.
Your methodology should make the case for why you chose these particular methods, especially if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. Discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.
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Development fieldwork: a practical guide , Regina Scheyvens and Donovan Storey, eds. A Handbook for social science field research: essays and bibliographic sources on research design and methods , Ellen Perecman, Sara R. Curran, eds.
Quick ethnography , by W. Penn Handwerker.
Table of contents
Interpreting the Built Environment Architecture everywhere: investigating the built environmentof your community , by Joseph A. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Pr.
Close-up, how to read the American city , Grady Clay. Getting to know your 20th-century neighborhood , by Greta Terrell. Historic Preservation Information Booklet. Focuses on American neighborhoods developed from ; identifies architectural styles and landscaping trends. The Hieroglyphics of space: reading and experiencing the modern metropolis , Neil Leach, ed. London: Routledge, Looking at cities , by Allan B. Very useful presentation of the physical indicators that help the observer interpret an urban environment.
Real places: an unconventional guide to America's generic landscape , by Grady Clay. Includes common places, for example, bypass, district, hangout, lovers leap, parade route, porno district, shortcut, and skyline. Studying cultural landscapes , Iain Robertson and Penny Richards, eds. London: Arnold, Interviewing Doing interviews? Handbook of interview research: context and methods , Jaber F. Gubrium, James A.
Holstein, eds. Interviewing for social scientists: an introductory resource with examples , by Hilary Arksey and Peter Knight. Learning from strangers: the art and method of qualitative interview studies , by Robert S. NY: Free Pr. Qualitative interviewing: the art of hearing data , by Herbert J. Rubin and Irene S. Rubin, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage Pubications, The Research interviewing: the range of techniques , ebook by Bill Gillham. NY: Open Univ. London: Thorogood, The Short road to great presentations: how to reach any audience through focused preparation, inspired delivery, and smart use of technology , by Cheryl Reimold and Peter Reimold.
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience, Kyvig and Myron A. Marty, 2nd ed. Excellent, well-organized manual. Public places: exploring their history , by Gerald A. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.
Primary web site on U. Copyright term and the public domain in the U. Cornell University. Provides a nicely organized table of materials in the public domain and therefore not subject to copyright. This might be evidence in support of the approach you chose to, or it might be the reason you consider your choices to be limitations. Pearson-Stuttard, J. Estimating the health and economic effects of the proposed US Food and Drug Administration voluntary sodium reformulation: Microsimulation cost-effectiveness analysis.
Xu, W. L, Pedersen, N. Fratiglioni, L. You must be logged in to post a comment.