7 Things to Remember When Writing Your Dissertation Methodology
  • 3-minute read
  • 4th August 2015

7 Things to Remember When Writing Your Dissertation Methodology

When writing up a dissertation, the methodology section is often the bit that people rush to get to the results and analysis. It can also be painstaking work, requiring a lot of care and attention to detail.

But taking the time to compose a well-written methodology chapter is worth it. In fact, it’s essential if you want your work to be clear and easy to follow.

This is because the methodology chapter is where you explain your research, breaking everything down step-by-step so that your reader can quickly understand how you achieved your results. This, in turn, strengthens your conclusion by ensuring that your research can be replicated.

To help out, we’ve identified a few key factors to consider when writing up your methodology. And if you need someone to check that your methodology chapter is clear and concise, Proofread My Essay is at your service.

1. Structure

We’ll start with the basics: before you begin writing your methodology, set out a plan for how you’ll structure it. This will include a brief introduction, wherein you can outline the structure of the rest of the chapter for your reader.

2. Research Approach

Since the research approach you adopt affects the data-gathering and analysis techniques you employ, you should mention this in your methodology. The three main approaches are quantitative (focussing on numerical data and statistics), qualitative (emphasising in-depth analysis and subjective meaning) and mixed-methods research (which combines elements of both).

3. Be Descriptive!

The more detail the better. There is no stage of your research – from the sampling process right through to data analysis – which shouldn’t be documented in your methodology.

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4. Justify Your Choices

Description is important, but you should also justify your choices in your methodology. Why have you chosen to use certain techniques? How do your methodological choices help to answer the research question? Are your methods influenced by other studies?

If you can explain your decisions for each step of the research process, you should end up with a high quality methodology chapter.

5. Methodological Limitations

You should always choose the best methods for your research. This means understanding the benefits and limitations of different techniques. Being able to explain why you have chosen one method over another is vital.

Another important factor is generalisability, since it’s common for researchers to overestimate the scope of application for their work. Having a limited application is not necessarily a weakness. The important thing is to be aware of limitations and to note them in your work.

6. Ethics

Your methodology is also where you include any ethical considerations in the design of your research. This means things like seeking informed consent from participants, data protection and minimising harm.

7. Don’t Forget the Appendices!

Since the methodology chapter requires a lot of detail, it’s often helpful to include any relevant documentation – questionnaires, consent forms, etc. – in the appendices. Just remember to clearly state where these can be found!

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