How to Craft a Great Dissertation Methodology

dissertation methodology

A dissertation methodology is a core part of a dissertation that explains the main philosophical underpinning to the selected research methods, including whether you used quantitative or qualitative methods or both, and why. The methodology section (chapter) comes immediately after the literature review in a dissertation, and you should ensure it flows organically from it.

When writing the methodology in a thesis, you are expected to have done the study. Therefore, you are reporting what you did and MUST be done in past tense. Here are the things to include in a dissertation methodology.

  1. The type of your study
  2. Method of data collection
  3. Method of data analysis
  4. Materials and tools that were used
  5. The rationale for the selected method

Now that you know what is methodology in a dissertation and what to include, the next step is getting the right structure. By the time you get to the methodology, you will have defined the dissertation research questions, and checked how other scholars arrived at their conclusions. So, here is a dissertation methodology layout to help you craft a winning methodology.

Start by Explaining Your Methodology of Study

At the start of the study, you need to define the overall approach of the dissertation. Here, you need to revisit the research questions that you highlighted at the beginning of the dissertation. Also, indicate the type of data that was required to answer the questions.

  • Qualitative methodology: These include the use of methods such as interviews and observations, and are considered best when you target gaining insights into pre-identified concepts.
  • Quantitative methodology: These include methods such as surveys, and are considered the better option for identifying things such as patterns and ranking.
  • A mixture of qualitative and quantitative methodologies is preferred when you want to use in-depth exploration and numerical measurements in your study.

When doing a quantitative study, the aim might be generating generalizable information about the leading causes of a specific problem. In the study, you need to have a clear representative sample as well as controlled variables that can be replicated in other studies.

In a qualitative study, a researcher might target to generate real-world understanding of social structures and behaviours of a specific group of people. But because qualitative studies are less controlled, it is important to be extra careful, ensuring to comprehend how perceptions and participation affect the results.

Example in a Dissertation Methodology

The report utilizes a quantitative research methodology to explore the research questions because it allows the researcher to do an in-depth exploration of the new distribution patterns in cases of obesity in children.

Describe the Methods You Used for Data Collection

Once you have introduced the approach of the methodology, go to the next step of providing full details of the methods that you employed. Here, you provide the tools, materials, and procedures that were used when collecting data.

Quantitative Methods

Some of the common methods you can use when doing a quantitative dissertation methodology include:

  • Surveys: With surveys, you should describe where, when, and how the survey was done.
  • Experiments: Provide full details of the techniques, procedures and tools that were used.
  • Existing data: Here, you explain the process you used to gather data and the materials used in your analysis.

Qualitative Methods

If your methodology of the study is qualitative, here are the methods to consider:

  • Interviews: You describe how, when, and where interviews were done.
  • Observations: Again, you describe when, where and who did the observations.
  • Current data: Here, you should demonstrate how the selected materials were selected for analysis.

Dissertation Methodology Example: Qualitative Method

To get a better insight into the possibility of enhancing products range, we used structured interviews administered to 20 returning customers of Business A. A returning customer is a person who is a repeat client in Business A. We used the survey to identify the people who were between the ages of 22 years and 50 years. Interviews were done in the general manager’s boardroom and took 15 minutes each. Answers were recorded through taking notes and filming. Five respondents opted not to be filed.

Describe the Method Used for Analysis

The next step is showing how you processed and analyzed the data. Here, you should ensure to provide all the information, but be as concise as possible.

  • In quantitative methods, the analysis is based on numbers that were gathered from the study. So, show how you prepared data for analysis, software used, and statistical methods.
  • Qualitative methods. When doing a qualitative research, you need to include content analysis, thematic analysis, and discourse analysis.

Methodology Section Example: Analysis Method Description

After interviews, the information was transcribed, and additional thematic analysis done. This included coding the data before identifying the main themes and reviewing them. Further, every theme was examined to gain insights into the participants’ motivations.

Justify Your Methodology

Finally, you need to demonstrate why you selected the specific method of study, especially if you did not use the standard approaches. Tell the reader how the new method helps to advance knowledge in your field of study. Go a step further and highlight the key limitations that you encountered. However, show that the strengths outweighed the weaknesses.

Dissertation Methodology Justification Example

Laboratory experiments are not always 100% accurate, especially when simulating real-life behaviours. However, they work pretty effectively when analyzing casual relationships between different research variables.

Tips on How to Write a Methodology Section

When working on research methodology of your dissertation, you need to appreciate that the goal is not to simply describe them, but demonstrating why and how you used them. So, here are some useful tips to help you perfect the dissertation.

  • Make sure to focus on the dissertation research questions. The overall goal of the methodology, together with other parts, is helping to answer the study questions.
  • Ensure to cite the relevant sources. The methodology will look stronger and professionally done when you carefully reference the information and concepts borrowed from other sources.
  • Make sure to focus on the reader. Although it is true that you are working towards closing the dissertation, it is important to always keep the targeted reader in focus. Because dissertations are targeted at other scholars or academicians, you should not dwell so much on justification. Instead, focus on the core of the study with the target on answering the study questions.
  • Make sure to read a good example of methodology in thesis to understand how pros do it. You could even compare several methodologies and ensure that yours is better.
  • If you encountered obstacles, make sure to tell the reader about it and indicate how you handled them. If there were any critique of your method, ensure to talk about it too.

Seek Professional Writing Help with Dissertation Methodology

With the above steps and pro tips, writing a dissertation methodology section should now be easy. Start by making sure that you understand methodology definition, and then follow the step-by-step guide we provided in this post. But if you encounter difficulties trying to craft your methodology, consider working with expert writers. They are experienced, affordable, and guarantee you one thing: the best dissertation methodology.

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