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Writing a Dissertation Methodology: Dos and Don’ts

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❶Full transcripts of the interview are in the appendix. Each is suitable for a different sort of study, and each involves different assumptions about the world ontology , how we know that world epistemology and the nature of knowledge.

A Scientific Approach

What is the Methodology?


The following table sums up key details about each philosophy, and should help you decide which is most useful for your area of study. Saunders et al The main decision you are likely to make is whether you will be using qualitative or quantitative methods or methods which combine both.

Each method is associated with a different approach to gathering data. If so, you are likely to be collecting numerical data in reasonably large quantities 30 or more and running statistical tests on this data. By looking at broad areas of interest, you are aiming to generate theories about the area you are investigating.

If this is the case, you will be adopting a qualitative approach concerned with analysing textual responses in detail. Should I use Primary or Secondary Research?

The Steps involved in writing a Dissertation. In this section you will outline how you collected your data; and you will have to explain your choice for using the methods you did, such as online surveys, phone surveys, face-to-face-interviews and so on.

How did you choose your sample? Explain the choice of age group and ethnicity of your respondents. What questions did you ask and how have these contributed towards answering your research question or how did these test your hypothesis which formed the basis of your research?

It is actually better to write this at the start of your research, so that it can be changed if your methods are not producing the results you need. However as this is not usually how dissertations are written- they are written in hindsight, then you will have to be honest about the flaws in the design. Another thing to remember is that you need to convince the reader that the results you obtain are valid and reliable.

When discussing why you selected the methods you did, you should be convincing that these methods are the best ones available given what you want to achieve. You will have to explain how the data was collected by what means and then explain the analysis tools you used. Make sure each chapter of your dissertation offers something new to the paper! Clearly define your methods. Unreliable methods produce unreliable results, which will affect the outcome of your entire dissertation. Make sure that your methods are clearly outlined so that there can be no doubt what your dissertation will aim to discover.

Imagine that the next person to read your dissertation needs to replicate your methodology exactly the same as you did yours. What would they need to know to be able to do this?

Use figures or tables. The methodology section should be used to describe your chosen research methods and the application of said methods to your research. Research before you start writing. Make sure before you begin writing that your sample size is adequate for your project and that your methods of data collection are accepted and put into practice in your field of study. Yin suggests that in studies whereby the research question has been formulated based on the literature review; these theories that have been used in the postulation of the research question could also be used in analyzing the findings.

Thereby suggesting that a deductive approach to data analysis would be essential for theoretical driven studies. Based on these arguments, this study analyzed the qualitative findings using deductive methods. The findings from each respondent and questionnaire theme were analyzed according to the literature review topics discussed.

In the instance whereby different respondents had something to say about a particular issue, all their opinions were recorded and taking into consideration in the analysis of findings. A fact sheet of all findings according to the theory is illustrated in chapter 4. Full transcripts of the interview are in the appendix. The pattern matching procedure, as postulated by Saunders et al, , would be utilized in this deductive analysis.

It involves predicting a pattern of outcomes based on theoretical propositions. These propositions are thereby analyzed in the data analysis process. This procedure involves the development of an analytical framework, utilizing existing theory, and then testing the adequacies of the framework as a means of explaining the findings Saunders et al, In the instance where a pattern is found as initially predicted, it would be evidence that suggests that there is indeed an explanation for findings.

A number of ethical issues have been identified and raised with respect to this study. The issues, and steps taken to alleviate such issues are discussed below:. Apart from these ethical considerations, no other ethical dilemmas have been found with relation to this essay.

Therefore, in order to alleviate these issues, the questionnaire and interviews would be designed in such a way that it does not offend, harm, provoke or stress any of the participants in any way. Questions asked would be non-instrusive as no personal information about names; age or post would be requested. Also, in terms of graduate questionnaires that have been distributed, some candidates may think that answering these questions and including personal details may impede or even benefit them when applying to said organizations.

Therefore the questionnaires would fully state that it is an academic research and in no way constitutes a study conducted by the organization. Assignment , dissertation , dissertation examples , dissertation topics. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it. Including student tips and advice. Research Philosophy — Dissertation Examples b. Qualitative Semi Structured Interviews e.

Primary Data Collection f. Subscribe If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it. The WritePass Journal September 15, Subscribe Enter your email address below to receive helpful student articles and tips.

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Because your dissertation methodology is basically an explanation of your research, you may want to consider writing it – or at least drafting it – as you gather your data. If you are on a PhD course, or a longer masters course, then you may be able to finish researching before you begin writing but it doesn’t hurt to start working on it early that way you can keep on top of what you need to do.

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A key part of your dissertation or thesis is the methodology. This is not quite the same as ‘methods’. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

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Dissertation Methodology Examples Below you will find our Dissertation Methodology Examples index. This index contains a number of genuine, methodologies that were written by . We have compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help you write your dissertation methodology below. Think of this like a check-list for you to utilise throughout writing your methodology. If you want further guidance on writing a dissertation methodology, our article Writing your dissertation methodology answers the most common questions asked by students and is packed full of helpful advice.

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Masters Dissertation Methodology – Dos and Don’ts. An important part of any dissertation, the Methodology chapter details the methods of collecting data and a consideration of the chosen concepts and theories behind the methods. The dissertation is the final stage of the Masters degree and provides you with the opportunity to show that you have gained the necessary skills and knowledge in order to organise and conduct a .