Write a Methodology

If you’re writing up a dissertation, thesis or research paper, the methodology section is an important part of your work. It outlines the tactics you used to support your findings and provides a roadmap for how you arrived at your conclusions. But how exactly do you go about writing a methodology? In this article, we’ll unpack the topic and offer some tips.

The purpose of a research methodology is to show readers the reasoning behind the specific techniques you employed within your study. It’s a critical piece in that it ensures that your study has sound scientific methods that can be replicated in future studies. A well-written methodology also presents a clear, convincing argument in defense of your chosen research methods and how they correlate with your objectives.

Your research methodologies are based on the research area you’ve decided to explore and the questions you intend to answer. Your methodology should subsequently crystallize these aims and research questions into how you’ll do your investigation. This will include a discussion around your sample group or population, i.e. how you’ll choose your participants, and the sampling procedures you’ll employ. It’s also important to provide a rationale for your research methods, especially in social sciences (SHU Library, n.d). This is because, unlike the rules that govern the natural and physical sciences, there are often few existing guidelines that can be referred to in order to explain and justify the research methodologies you choose to use.

In the research methodology chapter, you must present a thorough and straightforward description of your data collection process. This can involve experimental tests, surveys and interviews, or it can involve analysing existing data. It’s also necessary to provide a detailed explanation of your analysis techniques, i.e. how you’ll identify and extract meaningful information from your data, how you’ll sort and organize it and why you chose these particular analysis tools.

How to Write a Methodology

Finally, you must also address any potential limitations of your study and describe how you’ll cope with them. This is a vitally important aspect of your methodology, as it shows that you’ve thought about the practical realities of your research and that you’ve taken steps to limit the impact of any limitations.

As you can see, the content of your research methodology is very different to that of your literature review or theory chapter. The format of the chapter is typically much shorter and more concise and the content should primarily focus on your research methodology and why you chose to implement certain processes and methods in your study. This is why it’s so crucial to ensure that your research methodologies align with the research aims, objectives and research questions you have in mind for your study. With a clear, concise and persuasive research methodology, you’ll be on the right track to achieving your research goals! Good luck!

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