How to Write a Dissertation Methodology with Examples

dissertation methodology

The methodology builds the skeleton of the research work. It gives a reader a clear roadmap and outline of the research methods.

Moreover, the dissertation methodology is linked back to the literature review. It explains why you chose a certain data collection method for your dissertation.

Are you confused about writing a dissertation methodology? Are you stuck at the first step and can’t move forward? Then this blog is for you!

Read on and get to know about the dissertation methodology in detail.

What is Dissertation Methodology?

The dissertation methodology is one of the most challenging parts of the research project. In the methodology section, you will define the research question. Also, give a detailed review of the methods used within your research.

The main purpose of the dissertation methodology is to:

  • Describe the methods of a study.
  • Explain the data sources and sampling strategies.
  • Discuss the data collection and data analysis procedures.
  • Demonstrate the algorithms that you applied to analyze collected data.

Moreover, it helps the readers understand the broad philosophical approach behind the methods you used for your research work. Also, with methodology, you will be required to justify why you chose this method over others.

In the dissertation methodology, you should include:

  • Tools and materials used for conducting the research.
  • Data collection methods include quantitative methods, semi-structured interviews, surveys, groups of people, etc.
  • Data analyzing methods.
  • Research limitations.
  • Discuss the problems that you faced during conducting the research.
  • Details of when, where, and whom the research took place.

Normally, it comes after the literature review and explains data gathering techniques. Also, describe in which ways and how the research was conducted. It is a part of dissertation writing and it is an important part of it.

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Types of Dissertation Methodology

The dissertation methodology describes the philosophical research methods you use, their advantages, results, and how you conduct research. Also, it helps the readers to assess the validity and reliability of the research.

Also, the dissertation methodology has the following types:

  • Scientific Study
  • In this methodology type, you need to elaborate on the reliability and show close attention to detail more than anything else. However, if your methods have flaws, no one is impressed. Therefore, make sure that your chosen dissertation methodology is powerful.

    Furthermore, the information should clearly state the procedure, setup, and equipment. Therefore, researchers of the same field of study can work with the same method in the future.

    The statistical models that are part of your scientific study should be included in the methodology. Also, the variables expected to falsify your data must hold into the equation to avoid vagueness. Therefore, it is better to use a comprehensive strategy to deal with these variables when collecting and analyzing the data.

  • Behavioral or Social Sciences
  • The behavioral or social sciences methodology is built on the same lines as scientific or lab-based research. This type of methodology exhibits both firmness and reproducibility. Therefore, the other scientists can use your complete research methodology or recreate your examination according to their own research needs.

    However, there are some inquiries to consider when working with human subjects. First, you need to decide if your analysis will be based on quantitative, qualitative, or blended research methodology.

    The following are the questions that you need to consider:

    • Will you notice or watch the participants undertaking some activity or other?
    • Will you request them to fill a questionnaire or record their responses during the interview?
    • Will you abstain from examining human subjects and base your research on existing evidence?
    • What is the size of your information, and define its scope?
    • Is the data exceptionally explicit to the location or social setting in which you carried your study?

    Therefore, you will be required to show that you have taken care of the above questions. Also, you must address your research study’s ethical issues.

    However, you have to get formal approval for your research design from suitable ethical committees.

  • Humanities and Arts Dissertation
  • For humanities and arts-based dissertations, the thoroughness and dependability of the research methods employed remain unquestionable. However, the convincing strategy you will use to convince the readers is slightly different.

    Furthermore, the humanities and arts-based dissertations must be directly linked to the literature review. However, the dissertation for humanities and arts is less complex, and there is no need to justify it in detail.

    However, ensure that you have provided enough information about the theoretical frameworks your research methodology is based on.

  • Creative Arts Dissertation
  • Numerous degree programs in the arts allow the students to take the portfolio of artworks or creative writing. Other than presenting the long dissertation research work.

    However, your creative research will be required to be submitted along with a comprehensive evaluative paper. Also, as a scholar, you will be expected to show the ability to analyze your methodology critically. Besides, you are capable of critically evaluating your creative work.

    Therefore, keep these types of research methodology in mind and choose the one according to your needs.

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Dissertation Methodology Structure

There are several ways in which you can structure your dissertation methodology. Below are some steps that will help you structure the dissertation methodology.

  1. 1. Give Research Overview
  2. In this step, reiterate the topic of your research. You can also describe your data collection and analysis process. Also, discuss and answer the research question clearly in this section.

  3. 2. Research Design
  4. You have to explain which data collection method (interviews, surveys, etc.) you used for your research work. Also, include the sample size and any attempts to defeat bias.

  5. 3. Data Analysis
  6. In this step, you will have to describe what type of data you were working on. Also, your results are conclusive or not.

What to Include in Dissertation Methodology?

Here are the elements that you should include in the dissertation methodology.

  • Research questions
  • Design methods
  • Discuss the reasons why you choose this design method
  • Evaluation of your choice of method

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How to Write a Dissertation Methodology?

Writing a dissertation methodology chapter is not difficult if you follow proper steps and guidelines. For your help, we compiled some steps that you will use to create a well-written dissertation methodology.

  1. 1. Explain Your Methodological Approach
  2. It is the first step of writing the dissertation methodology. In this step, you need to explain your methodological approach like qualitative research, quantitative research, or any other.

  3. 2. Describe Data Collection Methods
  4. After explaining the methodological approach, you should explain the data collection methods, such as interviews, surveys, etc., that you will use.

  5. 3. Describe Data Analysis Methods
  6. Now, discuss how you processed and analyzed the quantitative or qualitative data. However, do not give too much information and the results at this stage.

  7. 4. Evaluate and Justify Your Methodological Choices
  8. In this section of the dissertation, you describe why you chose these particular methods. Also, explain why other research methods were not suitable for your research goal and show how this approach contributes new knowledge.

Literature Based Dissertation Methodology

This type of methodology is also known as the secondary research methodology. The literature review dissertation methodology involves 4 steps:

  • 1. Develop your research question(s): Like any other type of research, you have to develop a research question first. Then specify the general research area in which you research will fall. Finally, aim to fill the gaps in your literature review.
  • 2. Identify a secondary data set: Look for some more past data that could be useful for your research. For example, you might need an author's permission to use their data.
  • 3. Evaluate a secondary data set: Address the following questions:
    • Aim of the original study?
    • Who collected the data?
    • When was the data collected?
    • What methods were used for data collection?
    • What is the final evaluation?
  • Prepare and analyze secondary data: You will prepare and analyze the secondary data by:
    • Outlining all variables
    • Addressing missing data
    • Recoding variables
    • Computing final scores
    • Crafting a questionnaire
    • Analyzing the data.

    Following is an example that explains how to write a dissertation methodology of secondary research:

Dissertation Methodology Secondary Research (PDF)

Dissertation Methodology Secondary Research

Read the next section for some more examples to understand the dissertation methodology.

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Dissertation Methodology Examples

Here are some examples of the dissertation methodology for your ease.

Undergraduate Dissertation Methodology Example (PDF)

Undergraduate Dissertation Methodology Example

Masters Dissertation Methodology Example (PDF)

Masters Dissertation Methodology Example

Qualitative Dissertation Methodology Example (PDF)

Qualitative Dissertation Methodology Example

Quantitative Dissertation Methodology Example (PDF)

Quantitative Dissertation Methodology Example

Dissertation Methodology Checklist Sample (PDF)

Dissertation Methodology Checklist Sample

Sample Dissertation Methodology Template (PDF)

Sample Dissertation Methodology Template

Related: Dissertation Examples for Different Academic Levels & Fields

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What Not to Include in the Dissertation Methodology?

You might get tempted to overlap between literature review and dissertation methodology. You will find yourself moving back and forth and editing between the literature review and methodology sections.

Resist the urge of including the following in your dissertation methodology:

  • Extensive Methodology Review: Do not extensively review the methodology based on practitioners’ or theorists' work. This review can be included in the literature review section.
  • Excessive Procedural Detail: Your methodology should retain your reader’s interest and not provide detailed information about the equipment and the procedures.
  • Raw Data: Do not provide any details of reproducing the data. You can present information regarding raw data in the appendix.

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