How to Write the Methodology Chapter of a Dissertation or Thesis
When learning how to write the methodology chapter of a report or thesis, you will need to study the four basic parts. The first part of the methodology chapter is a simple review of the problems that need to be considered when tackling the subject at hand. In other words, you need to determine the question(s) that you are attempting to answer and the problems that you might face in finding answers.
The methodology chapter of a report or thesis is an important component that essentially maps out the methods that you will utilize when researching and writing this lengthy chapter. Therefore, your methodology chapter must include a general definition or some type of overview of the approach that you will use in conducting your research. You will also need to provide a thorough description of how you will go about collecting the necessary data, as well as the analytical procedure that you will use to draw conclusions based on this information.
The methodology chapter of your dissertation or thesis is not necessarily meant to provide so much detail that the reader can completely recreate the process that you used to conduct your research. At the same time, it should be thorough enough that the reader can plainly see that you were thorough in your methods and that the methodology you utilized was sound. In other words, it should demonstrate that you took various variables into account and that you can be reasonably assured that the results are accurate.
As with any type of writing, your methodology chapter should include an introductory paragraph that describes the problem that you will be addressing through your methodology. The subsequent paragraphs should not go on to further address the issue, however. Rather, the paragraphs that follow should provide an explanation of the methods you will utilize to gather the data necessary to address the problem. In addition to describing these methods, you might also provide justification for selecting this method of data collection.
When providing justification for the method of research you are using, you might also provide an explanation for deciding not to utilize certain commonly accepted research methods. Or, you might provide an explanation for purposely including or excluding certain groups from your research. If writing a dissertation about the effects of feminism on American society, for example, you might choose to exclude a certain ethnic group or you may choose to focus solely on one group. In either case, you should provide a brief explanation for this decision and the impact this decision is expected to have on the outcome of the research.
When discussing the methods you will utilize to conduct your research, you should also discuss certain variables that may have an impact on the outcome of your research. If conducting research on women with diabetes that are over the age of 50, for example, you might acknowledge that certain lifestyle choices may have an impact on your results. As such, you should develop a dissertation methodology or thesis methodology that will account for these variables in order to still conduct useful research that will have a true impact upon the field.
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