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dissertation methodology

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What Is A Methodology Chapter?

Writing the methodology chapter of a thesis or dissertation is one of the key aspects of the write-up. Many students confuse “methodology” with “methods,” but those two are not the same thing.

Whatever kind of theoretical hypothesis sustaining the research approaches of your choice is the methodology. Whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods or perhaps a hybrid of the two, you express all that data in your methodology. Your methodology also includes why you chose the method you are using for the research.

Give proper reasons of choosing that particular method; you can just write that it was more continent or it seemed more enjoyable to use. You will have to go in detail for this explanation. Be clear and remember to highlight the academic basis for your choice of research methods as well.

Why Do We Write A Methodology?

Why do we write a methodology and what you include in it is decided by how you will be presenting your dissertation or thesis.

If you are planning to submit your dissertation or paper in segments, submitting the methodology before you start the actual research. Then your methodology should elucidate your ideas for your future research. Link the methodology to the literature; explain why you used the current method and its academic foundation for your research.

On the other hand, if you are going to submit your thesis as a whole, then your methodology should clarify what you did in that thesis. Once again, you need to make sure that your methodology shows clear academic validation for your choice while linking them back to the writing.

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Social Sciences’ Common Research Methods

When it comes to social science, there is an abundance of research methods you can use for conducting your study. It is always a good idea to consult about choosing the appropriate research method with your overseer. Here we will be discussing some of the most common research methods used in social sciences:


An interview is one of the most common, and flexible methods used all over the globe. Interviews are usually aimed to gather qualitative information about individuals’ understandings, opinions, interpretations, identifications and emotional states.

You can think of a meeting as a controlled dialogue between two or more people, in this case, the researcher and the participants or volunteers for the experiment. Although most interviews follow a semi-structured layout, the level of the structure of an interview may vary per the needs of the experimentation. So the researcher gets to create a guide to the subjects that they want to cover in the interview. This may also include writing question he or she intends to ask during the meeting.

Nevertheless, an interview is not bound to follow set conversational paths. The interview is free to walk any path of conversation or deviate from the one fixed by the researcher. So an interview is an excellent selection for gathering detailed information if the research queries are open-end.

The downside to an interview is that it is not well suited for collecting statistics from a broad audience. They are slow and require great care while selecting the applicants with the necessary traits for answering the essential questions.


Conducting an inspection is the best way to get the required information within the natural habitat of the participants. It is the most direct method of getting information to a particular kind of circumstances. An observation can be both a quantitative or qualitative research.

However, this method of conducting research has a vast number of moral concerns. Observational studies must be done without the knowledge of the individuals under observation.


Looking for a way to gather information while confirming that it is the general context? If so than the best method you can choose is the survey.

You can use surveys to collect both quantitative and qualitative statistics. However, you will require lots of maintenance and attention to the design and delivery of the overall questionnaires. Surveys are better suited for the search for means and average values and percentages of various phenomenon.

Documentary Analysis

In a documentary analysis, you gather the existing data from different documents from past researches. This research method is the most common among historians; it is their go to method for obtaining subject matter. But it has been known to be used by modern social scientists.


If you want your dissertation to be a success, then you really need to make sure that you have a detailed and precise methodology and research methods. This section alone has a sufficient part to play in your dissertation's success.

Always remember to use all the resources you have at your disposal, you can use all the help you can get at this moment. Discuss your plans and the details of your research methods with your professor or supervisor. Try to buff out all the flaws that you can and never shy away to address potential weaknesses within your approaches.

Choosing a Methodology

Whatever the choice of your methodology maybe, it has to track back to your original research queries, linking the past researches to your current one. Consider a visit to your college or university library if you get the chance, that little trip can help you to identify the traditional research methods used in your particular academic field. You can hunt for ideas and also get a look on how previous researches conducted went.

You need to clarify the theoretical foundations of your research. And that is what your methodology section of your dissertation is for; your methodology needs to simplify the weakness and strengths of your chosen approach. Highlight how you used the good and dodged the failures of your predecessors.

Organizing the Methodology

Set the conceptual framework for your methodology; it is the first thing you need to do. Be very clear about your approach's strong suits and flaws in addition to how you handled the situation. Mention any cautionary precautions that should be taken while conduction the research. Then you can move on the discussing your research question and the method you used in the research addressing them. After all that is done, you can move on to concluding your methodology, summarizes all your research methods and supporting approaches.