Dissertation Methodology

This chapter is not required to be included in each and every dissertation. But for this, the researcher should ask for a format or check with the supervisor of his or her university that whether they expect one to include this section or not. Normally, this section envisages 10 to 15 percent of the entire dissertation. As a general rule, in undergraduate dissertations subjects i.e. law, politics and history does not need methodologies sections. On the other hand, dissertations that involve the compilation of new data, experiments, and interviews require explicit methodology sections. There are mainly two research types i.e. primary and secondary and three types of research analysis. An explanation of all these are being given below:-

  • 1. Primary research: It is nothing but collection of new data and information. In other words, it is the data which is accumulated for the first time by the researcher. It can be performed either by giving questionnaires or surveys.
  • 2. Secondary research: It is defined as the data, which already exist and is being used by some other researchers for their research purpose. The reusing of a questionnaire and the results that have already been published would be secondary research.

Types of research analysis:

  • 1. Quantitative research: Such type of research only produces the results on the specific issue that is being investigated and uses statistical, computational and mathematical programmes. In the quantitative research a closed-ended questionnaire is being analyzed, if the researcher has just computed the results and has turned out series of comments. Other programme such as SPSS is commonly used in this type of research analysis.
  • 2. Qualitative research: This type of research analysis is more used in case of social science and arts. It is conducted when the researcher needs to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ something has happened. In primary research, when qualitative research analysis is required to be done than mainly focus groups is being employed.
  • 3. Mixed research: Mixed methodology or research is nothing but the features aspects of each and every techniques being defined below. In a research study, where both primary and secondary research is being involved, this type of research analysis is adopted by the researcher. Thus, it can be said that herein, both primary and secondary research techniques, qualitative and quantitative mechanisms would be utilized.

The methodology section will explain the reason behind the adoption of the particular research methods as well as approach adopted by the researcher in the current dissertation. Herein, the researcher is also required to include in brief the inappropriateness of the other approaches that are not been selected, along with the ways through which the researcher has overcome any negatives being linked with the approaches.

In more concrete way it can be said that whatever technique is being adopted by the researcher to carry out the analysis, it is crucial to justify the decision. Furthermore, the background section of the dissertation must be grounded by the research methodology section. There are number of books, which offer an overview of methodological approaches. Some of them are being described below:

  • Doing your research project
  • Social research methods
  • The good research guide
  • Introducing research methodology
  • 'The anonymity of research participants: Assumptions, ethics and practicalities'
  • 'The case for qualitative research'
  • Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers
  • Real world research
  • Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook

It is not compulsory to have a look on all these books, however by using the appropriate as well as limited direct quotation for extra marks; the researcher should show at least some knowledge of the arguments being enclosed within these books. It is always good for the students or candidates doing undergraduate dissertations to include five of these books in their bibliography.

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