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What is a Dissertation? Save i This content can be saved to the "My Activity" tab in your user profile. Having an essay crisis? Follow these stress-relief tips. Written by Sabrina Collier. The Assistant Editor of TopUniversities. Want to leave a comment? Please login or register to post comment above our articles Join us now Why join?
Supriya D 9 months ago. However much research combines deductive and inductive elements. Research design is vital to conducting a good piece of work. At the start of your research you need to set down clearly:. You and your supervisor will discuss your design and decide whether the research is 'do-able'.
Your university may require you to produce a report e. Other people may have to look at the design to ascertain whether there are ethical issues that affect your research.
Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Researching society and culture. London, Sage Here are some references for specific methods: Interviewing for social scientists: Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. Identifying a research topic: A template for structured observation: Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site What is a Dissertation? How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies.
Introduction What approach should I take - qualitative or quantitative? Can my dissertation be entirely literature-based?
What is case study research? What's an empirical study? What is secondary analysis? Where do I find existing research data? Collecting you own data - primary research Will my research be inductive or deductive? What about research design? Resources Further reading Research papers. Methodologies 1 Introduction The way you approach your question will have a profound effect upon the way you construct your dissertation, so this section discusses the types of research you might undertake for your dissertation.
This video clip contains comments from the following academics: What if I want to find out about social trends, or the measurable effects of particular policies? What if I want to record people's views on an issue, and give them a 'voice'? Whether you choose qualitative or quantitative analysis will depend on several things: Your preferred philosophical approach realist, phenomenologist or constructionist. Your skills and abilities with methods of data collection if needed and analysis.
The topic or issue you are interested in. How you frame your research question. Can I combine qualitative and quantitative methods? You may be interested in doing an analysis that is primarily quantitative, looking at social trends, or policy implications.
However you also want to introduce a 'human touch' by conducting one or several interviews asking what these trends mean to people or how particular individuals experience events. After doing your quantitative analysis, you should include a chapter or section on the qualitative data you have collected.
In your discussion of findings you can use the qualitative data to help you understand the patterns in the quantitative analysis. You may be interested in doing an evaluative case study of a process or policy. You will have a particular focus — a 'case' that you are looking at.
You will triangulate methods — i. You will analyse each type of data and describe this, and then write a discussion that shows how each piece of analysis contributes to the overall picture of what is going on.
Download Case Study 6 Media research If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. This has the following advantages: They allow you to discuss trends and social changes.
The data are often collected through a random sample, which allows you to generalise to the population under consideration. They may also allow you to make comparisons over time, as some datasets are products of longitudinal studies. Smaller, more targeted datasets may also be available. Secondary analysis has disadvantages also: You have to find out something about that purpose, as well as the methods of collection, in order to justify your use of a secondary dataset.
Collecting you own data - primary research Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e. Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative data collection methods and their definitions: Self-completion questionnaires A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own.
Structured interviews Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee. Structured observation Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation: In-depth interviews A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview.
Focus groups A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning. Participant observation This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. This was particularly useful for one of our respondents: Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University Note: Will my research be inductive or deductive?
What's all this about research design? At the start of your research you need to set down clearly: Your research focus and research question. How you propose to examine the topic: How you will access these sources of information be they people, existing datasets, biographical accounts, media articles or websites, official records.
The proposed outcome of this research in your case, a dissertation and the form it will take. A time-frame for all this. Summary Quantitative or qualitative? A quantitative approach will mean you will need substantial datasets, as well as the inclusion of tables and statistics in your final submission.
This information could come from a variety of sources - remember to acknowledge them! Can I get my head around the research paradigms and research designs that guide my choice of dissertation i. Do I have the right skills to analyse qualitative or quantitative data?
What software packages will I have to learn to do this, if any? Dissertations are often worth a good proportion of your final year mark, if not the grade of your entire degree, so how tolerant you are to uncertainty matters.
On this basis, think about the following:. If you are, you may prefer to take on a quantitative dissertation rather than qualitative dissertation. One of the broad advantages of quantitative dissertations is that they tend to be more sequential in nature, such that you can often set out, right from the start of the dissertation process, the various stages you will need to go through in order to answer your research questions or hypotheses.
This is because in quantitative dissertations, it is far less common to change major components of the research process e. Not only does this make it possible to plan what you will be doing from month-to-month, but it also reduces the uncertainty through the dissertation process. You'll see in the Quantitative Dissertations section how we have been able to provide comprehensive, step-by-step guides to walk you through the dissertation process, as well as chapter-by-chapter guides to show you how to write up.
By contrast, qualitative dissertations are not sequential, but reflexive and emergent in nature, which means that what you planned to do at the start of the dissertation process is more likely to have to be modified. Such modification takes place because one of the tenets of qualitative research is flexibility to allow for things that are learnt during the research process to be integrated e. Whilst such changes may only happen a few times, and may be minor in many cases, they do add an element of uncertainty.
At a basic level, imagine the difference between knowing how many participants you need to have to fill in your questionnaire, and therefore, roughly how long this will take i. Whilst these might sound like small points, it can mean having to put aside another month to collect sufficient interview data in a qualitative dissertation compared with a quantitative one.
In writing your dissertation, you’re likely to be taking a practical or a theoretical approach, even though both practical and theoretical considerations are of the utmost importance in social science research.
Choosing between types There are a number of reasons why you may choose one type of dissertation over another. Some are more academic in nature, whilst others tend to be more personal or practical.
FIGURE Types of dissertation Chsqxd 5/25/ AM Page 16 need to have specific equipment in order to carry out the test, and you will have to be. Different Types of Dissertations Topic 1: Types of Dissertations USC was at the forefront in distinguishing the EdD dissertation (i.e., the purpose of the degree) from that of the PhD.
In conclusion, these are the four basic dissertation types of research that range from a research that is being conducted for the first time to a research that is used to predict the future. Before deciding upon the topic of your investigative study, make sure that you are aware of the type of dissertation in which you will be conducting the. Doctoral research is the cornerstone of a PhD program. In order to write the dissertation, you must complete extensive, detailed research, and there are different types of research for different types of studies—involving very different methodology.