A dissertation, often known as a thesis, is a lengthy document of academic writing based on original research. It is generally submitted as part of a Ph.D. or master’s degree, although it can also be submitted as a part of your bachelor’s degree.
Your dissertation is most likely the most extended piece of writing you’ve ever completed, and it might be challenging to know where to begin and which sections to pay attention to. This article will assist you in determining what you should mention and where you should include it.
Although artificial intelligence software has made it so easy for students to write their documents, some quality remains off the page and can only be better when a student writes it themselves. Dissertation writing might be hectic, but mastering this skill can be vital for your studies.
In the dissertation, the methodology section is one of the most important. The methodology chapter describes how the research was carried out. So, it must be precise and to the point. It discusses what you did and how you performed it, allowing readers to assess the study’s reliability and validity.
But how can you develop a methodology chapter that is clear and precise? To begin, determine the main components of a research approach.
Why is methodology critical?
Presenting your methodology gives your research credibility. An unreliable or incorrect approach yields inconsistent or inaccurate outcomes. The reader of your study expects you to have established standard practices for your conclusions to be valid. The approach you report on must be reproducible, which means that anybody who employs the procedures you describe should get the same conclusions you did.
What should you include in your methodology?
Because methodology chapters vary depending on the research, it is impossible to offer an entire checklist. Having stated that most effective approaches incorporate the following:
- An outline of the research designs, indicating how the research question will be addressed.
- A summary of the research philosophy
- An overview of the research strategy
- An outline of the proposed research strategy
- The summary of the research methods: This may comprise sub-sections like Sampling, Procedures, Data Collection and Analysis, Validity & Reliability, Integrity, and so on, depending on the degree you are pursuing.
If you write your dissertation in chapters, with the methodology submitted before you begin the research, this section should outline what you intend to conduct.
The approach should be connected to the literature to explain why you’re utilizing specific methodologies and the academic justification for your decision.
If you are presenting your work as a single paper, the dissertation methodology should describe what you accomplished and any refinements you made as your work proceeded. Again, it should provide a clear academic rationale for all your selections and reference the literature.
Structuring your dissertation methodology
It is generally essential to start your methodology section by outlining the conceptual framework within which you want to operate, including references to relevant publications on that approach.
Throughout, you should be explicit about the strengths and limitations of your chosen method, as well as how you intend to handle them. You should also include a note of any concerns that you should be conscious of, such as sample selection or making your findings more applicable.
You should then go over your research questions and how you intend to answer each of them.
Restate your hypothesis or problem statements.
The first section of your methodology is a description of the problem under investigation in your study. It helps the reader follow your process from beginning to conclusion, step by step. Restating your dissertation’s hypothesis also allows you to address any preconceptions you made in your study and describe any variables or circumstances you examined.
Explain your research approach
Explain the sort of research you conducted after summarising your research questions. Describe why you chose qualitative or quantitative research or why you used a hybrid approach or any other method recognized in your profession.
If any part of your approach deviates from standard procedures in your field, explain why. For example, you may have developed a novel method for your thesis topic, or you may have modified a procedure commonly utilized in another field of study.
Because your methodology gives proof that your findings are accurate, a strong statement explaining why you used different approaches in your study addresses any potential criticism of any uncommon methods.
Describe your data collection methods
Describe any experiments you carried out, including how you devised the experiment, how you assessed any parameters, and what instruments you required to carry it out. Explain how you obtained existing data, including its acquisition, and describe the criteria you utilized to choose existing information from different sources.
For accurate generalizable results in quantitative data analysis, you should disclose your procedures in sufficient detail for another researcher to duplicate your work.
Explain how you integrated concepts and measured variables, as well as your sample strategy or inclusion/exclusion criterion and any tools, processes, and materials you utilized to collect data.
Because qualitative research methods are frequently more flexible and subjective, it is critical to reflect on the strategy you followed and explain the decisions you made.
Discuss the parameters you used to identify participants or sources, the study’s setting, and your participation in data collection.
Describe data analysis methods
The next section of your dissertation methodology describes how you processed and evaluated the data you obtained, but it does not offer any outcomes or conclusions. List the measures you took to verify the information was correct, any tools you used to evaluate the figures, and any statistical tests you performed if your study was utterly quantitative. If you just conducted qualitative research, your interpretation may be content-based or discourse-based.
Evaluate and defend your methodological decisions.
Describe the factors you utilized to select your research strategy. List any potential flaws in your approach and provide evidence to back up your choice. Include a brief assessment of any alternative approach you may have selected.
Discuss any concerns you faced and their solutions
Outline any difficulties you faced while conducting your study and how you overcame them. The problem-solving abilities you demonstrate in this part increase the credibility of your research among readers.
Cite your resources
The last component of your methodology cites the sources you used to develop your overall methodology. That adds to the credibility of your study.
Writing the methodology is complex, and AI can’t always be trusted. In fact, it’s arguably one of the most challenging aspects of the dissertation. However, if you do it step by step and request regular feedback from your supervisors, it will be much simpler.