Writing The Methods Section Of A Dissertation

Often, documenting how you overcame obstacles can form an interesting part of the methodology. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. A qualitative approach, such as conducting interviews or content analysis of archival texts, can yield exciting new insights about a research problem, but it should not be undertaken simply because you have a disdain for running a simple regression.

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The introduction to your methodology section should begin by restating the research problem and underlying assumptions underpinning your study.

This is followed by situating the methods you will use to gather, analyze, and process information within the overall “tradition” of your field of study and within the particular research design you have chosen to study the problem.

Do not confuse the terms "methods" and "methodology." As Schneider notes, a method refers to the technical steps taken to do research.

Descriptions of methods usually include defining them and stating why you have chosen specific techniques to investigate a research problem, followed by an outline of the procedures you used to systematically select, gather, and process the data [remember to always save the interpretation of data for the discussion section of your paper].

This statement informs the reader that your study was conducted in an ethical and responsible manner.

In some cases, the IRB approval notice is included as an appendix to your paper.Methodology refers to a discussion of the underlying reasoning why particular methods were used.This discussion includes describing the theoretical concepts that inform the choice of methods to be applied, placing the choice of methods within the more general nature of academic work, and reviewing its relevance to examining the research problem.Remember that you are not writing a how-to guide about a particular method.You should make the assumption that readers possess a basic understanding of how to investigate the research problem on their own and, therefore, you do not have to go into great detail about specific methodological procedures.Such a list of sources is useful in and of itself, especially if it is accompanied by an explanation about the selection and use of the sources. Framed in this way, all empirical social sciences research involves theories and methods, whether they are stated explicitly or not.The description of the project's methodology complements a list of sources in that it sets forth the organization and interpretation of information emanating from those sources.. However, while theories and methods are often related, it is important that, as a researcher, you deliberately separate them in order to avoid your theories playing a disproportionate role in shaping what outcomes your chosen methods produce.Introspectively engage in an ongoing dialectic between the application of theories and methods to help enable you to use the outcomes from your methods to interrogate and develop new theories, or ways of framing conceptually the research problem.This is how scholarship grows and branches out into new intellectual territory.Just as the literature review section of your paper provides an overview of sources you have examined while researching a particular topic, the methodology section should cite any sources that informed your choice and application of a particular method [i.e., the choice of a survey should include any citations to the works you used to help construct the survey]. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Rudestam, Kjell Erik and Rae R. “The Method Chapter: Describing Your Research Plan.” In . There can be multiple meaning associated with the term "theories" and the term "methods" in social sciences research.A description of a research study's method should not be confused with a description of the sources of information. A helpful way to delineate between them is to understand "theories" as representing different ways of characterizing the social world when you research it and "methods" as representing different ways of generating and analyzing data about that social world.

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