How to Write a Standard Research Methodology

How to Write a Standard Research Methodology; The Research Methodology Chapter explains what you did and how you did it, It highlights the methods used, how you used it, why you used it to make the Reader understand that your research was thoroughly conducted.

Keynotes to point out here:
1. The type of Research
2. How you collected your data
3. How you analyzed your data
4. Tools and Materials used in the Research
5. Reason for choosing these methods

A Methodology is written in the Past Tense.

Focus on your Objectives and Research questions. The Methodology Chapter should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions. Be sure to always relate your choices back to the central purpose of your research.

Explain your Methodological approach, Begin by introducing your overall approach to the research. What research questions were raised?
What research problem or question did you investigate?

Did you need quantitative data (expressed in numbers) or qualitative data (expressed in words)?
Did you need to collect primary data yourself, or did you use secondary data that was collected by someone else?
Did you gather experimental data by controlling and manipulating variables, or descriptive data by gathering observations without intervening?

Depending on your discipline and approach, you might also begin with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology.

Why is this the most suitable approach to answering your research questions?
Is this a standard methodology in your field or does it require justification?
Were there any ethical or philosophical considerations?
What are the criteria for validity and reliability in this type of research?

Give full details of your data collection methods.

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to test a hypothesis by systematically collecting and analyzing data, while qualitative methods allow you to explore ideas and experiences in depth.

Quantitative methods
In quantitative research, for valid generalizable results, you should describe your methods in enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.

Explain how you operationalized concepts and measured your variables; your sampling method or inclusion/exclusion criteria; and any tools, procedures and materials you used to gather data.

Describe where, when and how the survey was conducted.

How did you design the questions and what form did they take (e.g. multiple choice, Likert scale)?
What sampling method did you use to select participants?
Did you conduct surveys by phone, mail, online or in person, and how long did participants have to respond?
What was the sample size and response rate?
You might want to include the full questionnaire as an appendix so that your reader can see exactly what data was collected.

Give full details of the tools, techniques and procedures you used to conduct the experiment.

How did you design the experiment?
How did you recruit participants?
How did you manipulate and measure the variables?
What tools or technologies did you use in the experiment?
In experimental research, it is especially important to give enough detail for another researcher to reproduce your results.

Existing data
Explain how you gathered and selected material (such as publications or archival data) for inclusion in your analysis.

Where did you source the material?
How was the data originally produced?
What criteria did you use to select material (e.g. date range)?

Qualitative methods

In qualitative research, since methods are often more flexible and subjective, it’s important to reflect on the approach you took and explain the choices you made.

Discuss the criteria you used to select participants or sources, the context in which the research was conducted, and the role you played in collecting the data (e.g. were you an active participant or a passive observer?)

Interviews or focus groups
Describe where, when and how the interviews were conducted.

How did you find and select participants?
How many people took part?
What form did the interviews take (structured, semi-structured, unstructured)?
How long were the interviews and how were they recorded?

Participant observation
Describe where, when and how you conducted the observation or ethnography.

What group or community did you observe and how did you gain access to them?
How long did you spend conducting the research and where was it located?
What role did you play in the community?
How did you record your data (e.g. audiovisual recordings, note-taking)?

Existing data
Explain how you selected case study materials (such as texts or images) for the focus of your analysis.

What type of materials did you analyze?
How did you collect and select them?

Evaluate and justify your methods.
Your methodology should make the case for why you chose these particular methods, especially if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. Discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.

You can acknowledge limitations or weaknesses in the approach you chose, but justify why these were outweighed by the strengths.


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