What is Methodology?

The word methodology refers to the techniques, practices, and procedures that a researcher uses when conducting research. There are many different types of research methodologies. Experiments, surveys, interviews, and archival research are all examples of different tools used for different types of research projects.

What Is the Methodology Section of a Dissertation?

The methodology section of your thesis is where you state what your research questions are and describe exactly how you went about answering these questions. It's where you outline, step-by-step, the plan you followed to answer your research questions.

What Is the Purpose of the Methodology Section?

The methodology section is an important part of any research paper, as it explains to the reader in detail exactly how you tested your hypotheses and answered your research questions. In your methodology section, you'll demonstrate that you've used legitimate scientific methods. It's one of the places in your thesis where you demonstrate what you learned to do in graduate school: you learned to do research like an academic! If you used new or innovative methods in completing your project, this is where you tell your reader about them, making sure you back up the legitimacy of these methods with peer-reviewed sources. It's your chance to demonstrate how you've contributed to the way that scholars in your field conduct research.

How Long Should My Methodology Section Be?

In some fields or departments, you may be expected to devote an entire chapter to describing and justifying your methodology. In other fields, there may be less of an emphasis on methodology. You may briefly describe your methods in a few pages of your introduction or first chapter. These guidelines are usually outlined in your postgraduate school handbook. If not, your supervisor should be able to offer guidance on how extensive your methodology section needs to be. One of our consultants can also advise you on best practices for a methodology sections in your field of study.

What Should My Methodology Section Include?

Again, this will depend on your particular field of study. In Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation, the authors explain that, for a dissertation in the social sciences involving human subject research, you should describe the context or setting of your study (ie: when and where you conducted your research), who participated in the study, what instruments or methods you used to collect data, and what procedures you used to complete your study and analyse your data.

For other departments, your methodology section might look different. In a literature thesis, for instance, your methodology section might outline which texts you are analysing, and explain what theoretical perspective informs your analysis. It's best to consult with your supervisor – or one of our PhD-educated consultants - about what is appropriate or necessary for your particular dissertation.

Do you need help with your methodology section? Our consultants can help. Do you need research assistance? We have PhD-educated researchers who would be happy to provide you with the services that you need. Do you already have your methodology section drafted, and need an editor? We have PhD-educated editors ready to help you out. We are your one-stop shop for thesis services!

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