Include enough detail that your study can be replicated by others in your field, even if they may not get the same results you did. Provide background for uncommon methods. Particularly in the social sciences, you may be using methods that aren't typically used, or that don't seem to fit with your research problem.
These methods may require additional explanation. Basic investigative procedures don't need to be explained in detail. Generally, you can assume that your readers have a general understanding of common research methods that social scientists use, such as surveys or focus groups.
Cite any sources that contributed to your choice of methodology. If you used anyone else's work to help you craft or apply your methodology, discuss those works and how they contributed to your own work, or how your work is building on theirs. You would mention those as contributing sources.
Explain your selection criteria for data collection. If you're collecting primary data, you likely set eligibility parameters. State those parameters clearly and let your readers know why you set those parameters and how they are important to your research.
Justify the size of your sample, if applicable, and describe how this affects whether your study can be generalized to larger populations. For example, if you conducted a survey of 30 percent of the student population of a university, you could potentially apply those results to the student body as a whole, but maybe not to students at other universities.
Distinguish your research from any weaknesses in your methods. Every research method has strengths and weaknesses. Briefly discuss the weaknesses or criticisms of the methods you've chosen, then explain how those are irrelevant or inapplicable to your particular research. State whether you actually encountered any of these common problems during your research. Describe how you overcame obstacles. Overcoming obstacles in your research can be one of the most important parts of your methodology.
Your problem-solving abilities can enhance your readers' confidence in the results of your study. Evaluate other methods you could have used. Particularly if you're using a method that seems unusual for your particular subject matter, include a discussion of other methods that are more typically used for your type of research. Explain why you chose not to use them. For example, there may be multiple papers providing quantitative analysis of a particular social trend.
However, none of these papers looked closely at how this trend was affecting the lives of people. Describe how you analyzed your results. Your analysis generally depends on whether your approach is qualitative, quantitative, or a mixture of the two.
If you're using a quantitative approach, you may be using statistical analysis. With a qualitative approach, state what theoretical perspective or philosophy you're using. For example, you might do a statistical analysis, and then interpret those statistics through a particular theoretical lens. Explain how your analysis suits your research goals.
Ultimately, your overall methodology should be capable of producing answers to your research questions. If it isn't well-suited, you need to either adjust your methodology or reframe your research question.
While you could do interviews of college-educated people who grew up on a family farm, that would not give you a picture of the overall effect. Writing Methodology Allows Verification. In science, you are hopefully never presenting a personal opinion or arguing for preconceived biases. The value of your work rests squarely on how well it conforms to the principles of the scientific method.
Other scientists are not going to take your word for it; they need to be able to evaluate firsthand whether your methodology is sound. In addition, it is useful for the reader to understand how you obtained your data, because it allows them to evaluate the quality of the results.
For example, if you were trying to obtain data about shopping preferences, you will obtain different results from a multiple-choice questionnaire than from a series of open interviews. Laying out your methodology allows the reader to make their own decision about the validity of the data and understand how this may have produced the results it did.
If the research about shopping preferences were built on a single case study , it would have little external validity. The reader would rightly see these results very differently from those of a study with a more vigorous experimental design and thousands of participants. Whilst there are slight variations according to the exact type of research, the methodology can usually be divided into a few sections.
This is the very basic structure behind your methodology, and lays out the most important aspects of how you actually carried out your research. The writing for the method should be clear and concise. The major point is not to stray off into giving background info, interpretation, or irrelevant detail.
However, you would need to explain exactly how the box was used, to allow exact replication. You would also note any area where you deviated from what your readers will expect. Whilst not always possible, the methodology should be written in chronological order, always using the past tense. A well laid out and logical methodology section will provide a solid backbone for the entire research paper , and will lead to a strong results section. The only real difficulty with the methods section is finding the balance between keeping the section short, whilst including all the relevant information.
The other problem is finding the correct style of writing: APA guidelines suggest that you should use 'I' and 'We', but most supervisors still prefer an impersonal passive tense. Check this with your supervisor before you start writing, to avoid unnecessary editing! Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jan 4, Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.
The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically.
For academic writing help, focus on these criteria and tips on how to write a great research methodology for your academic article.
Methodology is the process used to gather and analyze data needed to answer the research questions guiding a study. Strive for clarity and accuracy when describing each step of the methods you used. Writing Methodology at the Core of the Research Paper A well laid out and logical methodology section will provide a solid backbone for the entire research paper, and will .
Jun 28, · How to Write Research Methodology. The research methodology section of any academic research paper gives you the opportunity to convince your readers that your research is useful and will contribute to your field of study. An effective 67%(3). Writing your Dissertation: Methodology. 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.