What do loud music and preparing a research paper outline have in common? Both are a source of headache, as is the popular opinion of college students.
This article is dedicated to research methodology. This is a part of series of informative articles that are a great source of information on how to write a research paper, how to write a literature review, etc.
Preparing a research paper involves various stages, requirements, and a long stretch of sitting with the books. There are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind while writing a research paper. One of those things is – research methodology.
What is Research Methodology?
A research methodology is a part of research paper that contains the description of ways and means to conduct the research. The basic aim of a research methodology is to explain what techniques are being used or will be used in order to obtain the data or information that is expected to be gained at the end of the research.
A good research methodology is very important for portraying a good image of your research paper. Regardless of how good your introduction or literature review is, the main judgement of your research paper is greatly dependent on your research methodology.
So how to make sure that your research methodology is as good as you would like it to be?
Let us see!
Tips for a good Research Methodology
Methodology is the section of your dissertation where you can impress your readers most effectively. A good research methodology contains every secret recipe to convince the reader that the research in consideration is actually going to be feasible and useful. Also, by the explanation of the methods of your research, you can make the readers even more interested in your dissertation.
How will you write a methodology good enough to be regarded as interesting? The following tips will illustrate:
Bring back the Problem: The methodology section of a dissertation generally follows another section, typically the literature review. Therefore to make sure that your readers are focused on the central research question, you should restate it once more, in a brief description. This will enable the reader to realign their focus on the main objective of the research.
Put it in Layers: While you are on to explain the techniques and methods that you are using for your research, you need to be organized. After you have restated the problem statement, you need to mention the context of the methods. Only after that you should describe the individual methods. This will be easier for the readers to comprehend.
Reproducibility: You should draft the methods and techniques as you perform them. Do not wait to finish the research for starting to write the methodology. Writing while performing the methods will help you to mention every little detail and tricks about the method. This information will be of much value to the reader. Also, the better the description of the method, the better your methodology section will be.
Justify: Always justify the methods that you pick. Give strong reasons for going with the chosen method and not with other counterparts. Your justification should be convincing enough for the reader to agree with your decision. A proper justification will get you even more readers and marks.
Cite: This point supports the previous pointer – the justification. You should mention the sources where from you came to know about that particular method. Doing this will help the reader know the reference to the methodology and thus, your method becomes justified.
Mind the Order: This tip has a lot of relevance because this mistake is something students generally do. They forget to put the methods they used and the respective findings in the same order. Putting both the methods and their respective findings in the same order is advisable. For two reasons – One, because the reader will be able to relate the method to the finding more easily and two, your methodology will have a cleaner look. This will make the dissertation look even more professional.
These tips will be sufficient for you to come up with a perfect methodology. Writing a good methodology section is a bit tricky, but this set of tips will help you get it done perfectly.
How to approach for a research methodology?
Now that you know how to approach for a research methodology, let’s talk about its structure and how to pen it down. The core purpose of writing a methodology is to make the readers aware of how the research work has been conducted, thereby providing a clear idea of its validity and reliability.
Typically, a research methodology is prepared by following a particular structure or model, that makes it process more comprehensible for the readers. In this article, we’ll have a look at the Research Onion model, which is one of the most popular models used in academic researches.
The methodology can be broken down into different layers or parameters such which are as follows: Research Philosophy, Research Approaches, Research Strategies, Time Horizons and Data Collection Methods. Let us look at eat of them.
Research Philosophy: The research philosophy determines the way a specific set of data has been collected, inferred and utilized for a research work. Usually, a researcher chooses among some of the commonly used philosophies such as positivism, realism and interpretivism. Your chosen research philosophy should perfectly align the research objective and your choice should be properly justified.
Research Approach: The research approach of a study determines the logical reasoning chosen by the researcher. Typically, it includes inductive and deductive approaches. As a researcher, you need to choose between these two for your study. The inductive approach allows you to form a new theory based on the gathered data, whereas the deductive approach helps to make sure if the gathered data aligns with the existing theories.
Research Strategies: The research strategies include the nature and source of the data that has been gathered to meet the objectives of the study. Based on its nature, the data can be quantitative or qualitative. On the other hand, based on source of the data, it can be either be primary or secondary. The researcher must justify his/her choice of data in terms of their relevance in the research work.
Time Horizon: The time horizon provides a clear idea of the timeline in which the research work has been conducted. Usually, there are two types of time horizons, which are: cross-sectional and longitudinal. In a cross-sectional study, the data represents a phenomenon that takes place in a single point in a timeline.
Data Collection: This section highlights the underlying process employed by the researcher to gather the necessary data for conducting the research. As a researcher you must mention the tools that you have used and methods that you have followed while collecting the required data. You must add elements like sampling process, type of questionnaires, etc. You’ll have to make sure that the gathered data are ready to be analyzed. The way you frame your methodology determines the quality of your entire research work.
Writing a research methodology can definitely be a challenge for a lot of students, especially who doesn’t have prior experience. If you are having a hard time with it, you can definitely seek professional academic help for your methodology or your entire research work. These tips, however should be helpful for you to come up with a good methodology. All the Best!