Let's start with the fundamental question. What is a research methodology? Why is the methodology section important?
Research methodology refers to the various ways that researchers collect and analyze data. There are a number of different research methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as experimental and non-experimental methods. Research methodology provides a roadmap for how a researcher should proceed to answer a specific research question. It is a vital part of any dissertation, research paper, or lab report. This detailed guide will help you craft your method section expertly.
The methods section should include the following essential aspects:
A sound methodology section should be able to answer the above questions and satisfy the reader's need to understand the ability to conduct research.
The first step in starting the methods section is to analyze your research design.
The three most common research designs are
Experimental research is the most reliable, allowing direct manipulation of variables and measurement. However, experimental research can be expensive and time-consuming.
Quasi-experimental research is similar to experimental research but does not allow for direct manipulation of variables. Instead, quasi-experimental research relies on naturally occurring groups or preexisting data.
Observational research is unreliable as it's only qualitative and based on observations. Observational research is often less expensive and time-consuming.
Once you are done with the observations and measurements. Follow these steps to draft your methodology section.
In the first few paragraphs, you should aim to introduce your research methodology and the approach you undertook for the study. You can start by describing "what" was your research problem or "why" you chose the specific method to answer the thesis statement.
Also, explain why your approach is best suited to derive results and deliver conclusive evidence to prove the thesis statement.
In the second part, explain your procedures to collect the data. There are two major types of data collection methods
Quantitative data collection methods generate numerical data or data that can be converted into numbers. These methods are generally more structured than qualitative methods and often involve using tools, equipment, and observations.
Quantitative methods can collect data about attitudes, beliefs, or behaviours and also fetch factual information about events or circumstances.
Quantitative data collection methods include:
Surveys are the most frequent type of quantitative data collection method. They can be administered in person, by phone, mail, or online. If you opted for Surveys for research, describe;
Answering these questions will allow you to clarify your choices expertly.
Experiments are typically used when direct observation of phenomena is impossible. It is essential to explain
Observations are another type of quantitative data collection method. It involves making systematic observations of events or behaviours as they occur naturally. In case of observation, describe;
Quantitative data collection methods have numerous advantages;
However, they also have some disadvantages:
Qualitative data collection methods are focused on obtaining non-numerical information. Data is usually collected through open-ended questions, observation, or analysis of existing documents.
Qualitative data can prove vital in research by providing insights that would not be gleaned from quantitative data alone. For example, qualitative data can be used to understand people's motivations, values, and beliefs. It can also identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent.
Some standard qualitative data collection methods include
When writing the methodology section for qualitative data collection methods, try to be as objective as possible by answering questions like
This section starts by highlighting the importance o data generated by observations and experimentation. Describe the most valuable methods in the literature used to analyze data in such scenarios.
Explain your data analysis approach. If you have used quantitative methods, start by explaining how you prepped and cleansed the data. How you tackled the anomalies in your results?
Explain the credibility of the statistical approach used and describe in detail the hardware or software tools you used in running the analysis
In qualitative research, you'll use words, pictures, and observations to conduct your analysis (often in the form of textual analysis).
Some examples of specific techniques include:
In the last part, ensure that you clearly put your case in context for readers. Showcase that your methodology is designed to yield results and geared for a successful outcome.
The first step in writing a methodology chapter is clearly defining the research problem you will be investigating. Ensure that your research is focused and keep it concise.
After defining the research problem, choose an appropriate research design. Define your data collection methods and the type of data you will collect.
Write about how you collected data, the limitations of the data, positive spikes in trends, and the authenticity of the data.
Once the data has been gathered, it needs to be analyzed. It involves using statistical techniques to identify patterns and trends in the data. The analysis should be conducted rigorously and objectively to avoid bias.
Once the data has been analyzed, it is time to write up the results. This involves presenting the findings of your research clearly and concisely. It is important to remember that the methodology chapter is not a place for interpretation or opinion but rather for factual reporting of the results of your study.