Students need to submit a dissertation when they are writing their thesis, the format of which is fixed. There are different sections and chapters that they need to cover when writing a research paper. Students always stumble when they come to the research methodology chapter for their thesis. We shall have a look at how to go about writing this chapter in the following paragraphs and learn the correct way to do so.
What is a Methodology Chapter
When you are writing a dissertation, there is a general set format that is to be followed. This means you need to cover the following chapters:
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Chapter I - Introduction
- Chapter II - Background
- Chapter III - Methodology
- Chapter IV - Results
- Chapter V - Conclusions and Recommendations
How to Write
If you want to make your research appear more credible, then there is no option but to understand in detail how to write a methodology. This chapter will help you showcase your knowledge of using alternative methods that help in presenting your research topic as more valid. The best way to demonstrate your research is by using a qualitative or quantitative process. The following are the general guidelines that you should follow, depending on the type of dissertation or research paper you are writing.
When you are writing a methodology, keep in mind that you are supposed to explain your basic research plan. You need to begin with a few introductory lines that restate your purpose for conducting the research. It is alright to use the basic phrases and statements you used in the Introduction chapter. Then you need to begin writing the following information in the methodology chapter:
You need to define the population or sample you have taken into consideration in this part. Then, you need to explain how many participants or samples were included in the study and the way you selected them. For example, "The population considered for this study is defined is the number of OPD patients who have made a purchase from the hospital pharmacy during the time frame of this sampling." You can explain the population considered using just one short statement or explanation. However, when it comes to the procedure of sampling, you need to explain it in detail. You will also have to give details of how you selected the sample, the place, time, specific names (if possible or needed), number of participants or samples considered, etc. Do not miss out on any details, as it very important to explain the representation of your population to the reader.
The instrumentation part is where you explain the calculations, techniques, procedures, calibration plots, or equipment used, whichever is applicable for your paper. If you have conducted a survey, then explain how, when, and why you conducted it. If you are using a survey conducted by someone else, make sure that you cite the source. You should include the original copy of the survey in the appendix and state in your methodology that the survey is included in the appendix.
- Time Period and Procedure:
Another important aspect is to explain when you began conducting your research and the time it ended or will end. You should also explain any of the procedures you followed while conducting the research, such as filling consent forms by the participants, instructions handed out to the participants, etc.
Now comes the most significant part of writing a methodology, where you need to analyze the data that you acquired in detail. You need to answer each of the research questions that you have to address. Perform the statistical tests, specifically the ones that help identify the dependent and independent variables in the data (if present). You can even explain the software that was used to help you come to the conclusion.
In case of the instruments you have used for your research, e.g., a survey, you need to prove its validity as well as reliability. You need to include the face validity of your survey, content validity that covers the topic, and construct validity that refers to the theories you have used to explore the survey. Reliability is the stability of your research over time. If your survey consists of a measurement that can undergo random errors, it loses its reliability.
As you are writing a research paper, you will need to propose the assumptions that you made at the outset. You will need to specifically state the different assumptions made to support your research questions.
- Limitations and Scope:
Limitations and scope is the part and parcel of every research. Scope is the extent to which the research can be expanded and limitations include the time constraints, lack/loss of participants, etc. The quality of the research takes a downfall with an increase in the number of limitations.