Let’s start with methodology essentials. What is methodology in a dissertation? It’s quite simple. This is a section that serves to explain how you conducted your research and what tools helped you resolve main research issue. But that doesn’t mean you should dedicate 15% of your dissertation to the description of analytical tools you’ve employed during the investigation. It’s more about a philosophical background of the research that explains your choice of particular methods. So besides a practical value of some techniques you should provide their theoretical basis regarding relevant literature sources.
Ideally, methodology of dissertation should give a reader a clear understanding of the study and allow for its replication. This may sound too complicated but, in fact, everything depends on the accuracy of your investigation. If you thoroughly research methodology dissertation will shine.
Structuring methodology for dissertation
So, to simplify the process, let’s divide the whole methodology section into several parts each describing particular methodology aspect:
- Introduction. Generally any methodology chapter will start with a short preview of the purpose of the investigation. These shouldn’t be more than three or four sentences.
- Philosophical grounding. In this section, you should clearly define research philosophy that best suits your study. Finding the one you need isn’t a big deal. You simply look through main philosophical approaches towards conducting research and select the one that includes methods you need for your particular investigation;
- Accounting for specific research approach. This section should cover all general information about your research. To be precise, here you should account for the choice of specific approach, like qualitative, quantitative or the combination of both;
- Research design. This section is completely based on your research questions. Here you will have to explain why you have used definite methods, what criteria you applied to choose age-groups that participated in your investigation. In brief, this section explains why you have selected particular methods and why they are best to achieve the needed research results;
- Data collection description. In fact, the whole methodology has a descriptive character but this section contains the biggest cluster of descriptive details. You will have to describe the way you collected information, including setting, participants and tools used in a particular experiment;
- Ethical and data validity considerations. The closing part of methodology chapter is called to secure ethical side and reliability of the research. This includes information about data confidentiality, results validity and their practical value. But for all said, this section also describes limitations, if any, that didn’t let you obtain more results.