scholars in your discipline, and to shape that into a methodology that you can use to shed light on your research question, is therefore key to a successful undergraduate dissertation. It's not only your results and conclusions that may prove valuable to other scholars in your field; they may decide to use or adapt your methodology in a different context that hasn't even occurred to you. Or will you avoid doing your own research with human subjects at all, and base your research on documentary evidence or a pre-existing data set? In a quantitative study, a survey instrument that is researcher designed needs a pilot study to validate the effectiveness of the instrument, and the value of the questions to elicit the right information to answer the primary research questions.
Writing the methodology chapter of a dissertation
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Here you should specify if the research is experimental, quasi-experimental, causal-comparative, correlational, qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, or another. Regardless of your level, your dissertation methodology will develop as you review the literature in your field and refine your initial research questions. If you're completing a postgraduate dissertation, the chances are you already have a broad awareness of the different theoretical positions and schools of thought in your field, and you may well have a good idea of the schools of thought with which you most closely. Your methods must appear robust to the reader, with no obvious flaws in the design or execution. You might, for instance, ensure that you refer back to your literature review frequently and use phrases like, "This approach may seem like a significant departure from established approaches to this field, but it combines the proven data-gathering techniques of X with the statistical analysis. For this reason it can be tempting to gloss over the methodology section in an arts or humanities dissertation, and move more or less seamlessly from literature review into analysis. You will also need to discuss this again in the discussion section. The purpose of the methodology chapter is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study. Pilot testing of instruments is a procedure to enable the researcher to make modifications to an instrument based on results. Common Research Methods for the Social Sciences. This should be clear and detailed enough that another scholar is able to read it and apply it in some way, outside of the immediate context of your dissertation.