How to Write Research Methodology
You’ll have to talk about the methods you utilized to conduct your study in your thesis or dissertation. The methodology chapter discusses what you did and how you performed it so that readers may assess the research’s dependability and validity. In general, the methods section should be written in the past tense.
In a dissertation, thesis, or research paper, the methodology section is critical for illustrating how specific research methods will contribute to achieving desired outcomes.
Students pursuing master’s from a university in Ireland find the writing methodology section to be a very difficult task. In this article, our expert team of Ireland assignment help is providing the step-by-step process of writing the methodology section.
What is the definition of research methodology?
The practical “how” of any piece of research is referred to as research technique. It’s about how a researcher systematically designs a study to produce accurate and reliable results that address the study’s goals and objectives.
Research methods can be referred to as a process that includes the identification, selection, and analysis of information about specific topics. In the dissertation or the thesis, you need to write the methodology section after the literature review.
The methodology section in the dissertation or research paper mainly includes the discussion of the method which you have used for performing an investigation. It is a section in a thesis, dissertation, or research paper that provides the reader with ease in analyzing the validity and reliability of research. The methodology section of the research paper involves:
- Type of investigation
- A technique used for a collection of facts
- Method utilized for analyzing information
You also need to provide detail of the tools that you have used for conducting the survey. You must provide the proper reason for choosing a specific methodology.
What types of research methodologies are there?
When performing research, many sorts of research methodology are used. Professors of research methodology have established that there are ten primary forms of research technique: qualitative research methodology, quantitative research methodology, Descriptive Research, Analytical Research, Applied Research, Fundamental Research, Exploratory Research, Survey, Case studies, and Conclusive research.
How to write a research Methodology?
The four-step procedure for writing the research methodology section is:
Step 1: Explanation of research methodology
You should start writing research methodology by introducing an approach that you will utilize for performing an investigation. Here, you need to define research questions or specific issues which you will mainly concentrate on during your study. You also need to specify the type of information you intend to collect about a specific topic.
The different types of research methods are :
- Qualitative methods
You can consider such type of technique if you intend to measure or categorize some things. Researchers can use qualitative methods such as surveys for the identification of patterns.
For example: In ethnography research, you might have an aim to gain knowledge about the real world. You may have the intention to develop an understanding of how different external factors affect the behavior of human beings.
- Quantitative methods
This is a good technique when you want to provide a description and interpretation of concepts. The qualitative research methods will allow you to develop a detailed understanding of problems or subjects.
Example: In the context of experimental research, you can have the aim of producing generalize knowledge about the reason for the occurrence of specific phenomena. Experimental research requires careful selection of participants and controlled variables that can be replicated by other researchers.
- Mixed methods
It is a research method that investigators cause for exploring the phenomenon and doing numerical measurements.
Note: While making the selection of a specific research methodology you should keep in mind the aim and field of investigation.
Step 2: Description of the technique used for the collection of facts
After writing the research approach, you need to now provide detailed information about the technique which you will use for the collection of facts related to the topic. It is a step where you should also specify the process or tool that will be used for the selection of participants. You can categorize methodology for data collection into two categories these are qualitative and quantitative methods.
1. Quantitative methodology
Some research methods which can utilize for the collection of data are:
You should define the procedure you will perform for executing a survey. Here, you should provide detail about the technique which you will use for designing research questions. It is very much essential for you clearly state the tools such as telephone, and e-mail that you will use for collecting information by applying the survey techniques. You should also define the sample size and rate of response.
Here, you need to provide detailed information about the techniques and processes you will use for performing an investigation. It is very much essential for you to define the procedure of designing experiments.
You should also define the technique you will use for recruiting participants. If you are performing experimental research, then it is very much essential for you to provide detailed information so that other investigators can easily reproduce the outcome.
- Existing data
At this step, you need to describe the sources from which you will gather facts about the topic. You should also specify how original data will be produced, the criteria that you will use for the selection of material, etc.
2. Qualitative Methodology
- Interview or focus group
In this step, you should provide a clear explanation of the interview process which you will use for collecting information about the topic directly from participants. You need to describe how you have selected participants, the number of participants you will involve in the study, type of interview that you will conduct for conducting an investigation.
- Participant observation
Here, you need to describe how, where, and when the observation activity researcher will perform. It is a step where you should define the community that you will observe. You should also provide an explanation of the procedure you will use for recording data.
- Existing data
You need to provide explanations about the way you have made the selection of case study materials. While explaining the selection of case study material you need to emphasize analysis. You should clearly define the type of material you will analyze and the process you will use for the accumulation of facts.
Example of Qualitative method: The researcher will perform an investigation for gathering information about the need for increasing the product range. An investigator will use a semi-structured interview.
He will ask a few questions related to the topic from customers of the retail multination companies. An interview will be arranged within an organization. The researcher will get the consent form sign before starting to collect facts.
Step 3: Technique used for data analysis
It is a step where you need to define the procedure which you will utilize for collecting, analyzing, and processing information. At this step, you should not provide detailed information.
This is a step where you need not concentrate on the discussion of the outcome. Here, you only need to highlight the research method which you will use for refining facts for extracting meaningful information. The different types of methods that you can utilize for analyzing data are:
- Quantitative methods
It includes an analysis of numbers. While writing the research methodology section you need to clearly define the procedure of preparing data. You can use special kinds of software such as SPSS for analyzing the information. Some of the mathematical and statistical tests which you can use for performing analysis are simple linear regression, two-tailed tests, etc.
Example of Quantitative research methods: The investigation conducted for analyzing the average number of death in the country due to cancer. Both primary and secondary data will be used for collecting information about people suffering from cancer. ANOVAs test will be used for analyzing the numerical data.
- Qualitative methods
Such type of data analysis includes analysis of images and language. It also includes observation. Other types of research methods that you can use for data analysis are:
- Content analysis: It involves categorization and discussion of the meaning of words, sentences, and phrases.
- Thematic analysis: This analytical research technique involves coding and a thorough examination of facts that is done for the identification of patterns.
- Discourse analysis: It involves analyzing the interaction and meaning of words in a social context.
Example of a qualitative method: Transcription of the interview has been done and the thematic analysis technique is used. It is the technique that including coding of information.
After developing the themes you need to thoroughly analyze the information as this will help you in developing the understanding of the perception of participants about a specific issue.
Step 4: Evaluation and justification of the methodological approach
You for justifying the methodology needed to first perform the evaluation. It is very much important for you to prove that other techniques are not appropriate for achieving the aim of the investigation.
You should also define the way a specific research method will help you in increasing knowledge or developing an understanding of specific research methods. Here, you can state the strengths and limitations of different approaches chosen for performing an investigation.
For example Different experiments that have been performed in the lab can not apply them in real-life cases. But those experiments could be helpful in testing the relationship between two different variables.
An outcome of the unstructured interviews cannot be generalized. But by using the unstructured interview you can obtain a detailed understanding of the Participant’s response.
Writing a methodology: Tips
Use the following tips to help you write a methodology:
- Demonstrate how and why
Show how and why you used your methods, not just a simple summary of them. This demonstrates that you conducted your investigation with care.
- Make notes as you go.
As you work, take notes and sketch out your process to ensure that you capture all of the important details. The stronger your methodology is, the better you can document your approaches and procedures in real-time.
- Concentrate your efforts on your research queries.
Relate your methodology choices to your research’s main theme. This demonstrates that you selected the most effective techniques for addressing the issue highlighted in your thesis.
- Write for your intended audience.
Create a methodology that is well-structured and written transparently. With strong writing, you may address the audience of your research and provide more than a list of technical details and methods.
- Citation of relevant sources
You can strengthen the methodology section by providing the citation of sources. The research methodology section can be made strong by confirming that you are following good practices for a specific type of investigation. You should also define the procedure used for the evaluation of different research methodologies. You must explain how you chose a specific technique for conducting research?
- Discussion on obstacles
In the methodology part of the research paper, thesis or dissertation you can write about the issues which you encounter during the collection and analysis of information. You should also define the procedure which you use for eliminating obstacles. Critical evaluation can be done for demonstrating that the choice of research methods has been done carefully.
What factors should I consider while deciding which research methodology to use?
The sort of data you require to answer your research question will determine the research methodologies you use.
- Quantitative approaches should be used to quantify something or test a hypothesis. Use qualitative methods to investigate ideas, concepts, and meanings.
- Use secondary data if you wish to evaluate a big volume of easily available data. Collect primary data if you want data that is specific to your needs and you have control over how it is generated.
- Use experimental methods to establish cause-and-effect correlations between variables. Use descriptive approaches to learn about the qualities of a study subject.
The article discusses that for research to be valid, it is crucial to follow the appropriate procedures. For instance, if you want an outcome of a study on memory and learning skills in children then using a methodology demonstrating how these two are related would yield better results than just choosing any other type of method.