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Writing a Dissertation Methodology: Dos and Don’ts

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❶Each method is associated with a different approach to gathering data. You will have to explain how the data was collected by what means and then explain the analysis tools you used.

What is the Methodology?

A Scientific Approach


A review of the relevant literature will doubtless find some comparable endeavours, in which case the adoption of those methodologies may lend authority to your approach. It is absolutely essential that you provide sound reasons for the methods your have chosen to conduct your research. This aspect is particularly important when adopting a novel or non-standard methodology.

Approaches at odds with comparable endeavours require considerable rigorous justification. No matter what type of research, there are almost always a number of methodological approaches available. In your rationale, critically evaluate alternate approaches in order to defend the methods you have finally chosen.

Weigh up the pros and cons of all relevant alternatives, including your own choice. Essential considerations in all types of research, issues of reliability and validity must be explicitly discussed. Many matters fall under this area, including accuracy, precision, sources of error and statistical significance.

Questions concerning sampling techniques and sample size can be considered under reliability and validity, but are often important enough to be given special attention. The impact of sample size upon statistical significance of your results is an issue of such importance that you should be mindful of this when designing and writing up your methodology.

Keep your methodology chapter focussed and lucidly written by appending indirectly relevant material to the end of your dissertation writing. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological material should usually be placed in the appendix.

Include a section in your methodology which directly addresses the question of how far data obtained through your approach can be generalised. Bear this issue in mind when designing your methodology too, as results with general significance outside of your direct data set will tend to increase the persuasiveness of your eventual findings.

Recent Posts How often should you reference? The level to which this source is appropriate relies on the research question, related objectives and research designs Saunders et al, Therefore, the researcher, as a friend of an employee within the organization, was in a favorable position to get access within the organization. I contacted a friend of mine who currently works within graduate recruitment at Lloyds TSB, and discussed the prospects of my dissertation.

She spoke to several of her colleagues on my behalf and they agreed for me to conduct telephone interviews with 4 members of the graduate recruitment team, some of which had been there for an average of 5 — 10 years reasons expatiated further in this chapter. Due to the non-intrusive nature of my research, there were no objections or limitations raised by the participants with regards to the questions asked or the purpose of the study.

This study would adopt a case study strategy in answering the research question. Robson asserts that the case study strategy would be useful if the aim of the study is to gain a rich understanding of the research perspective and the process being endorsed. Therefore as this study aims to understand the recruitment process within Lloyds TSB and also any benefits associated with online recruitment, a case study would be most effective.

Two separate yet parallel approaches would be utilized in this study, and are outlined in the table 1 below. Quantitative methods are mainly used in the data collection process of research.

It involves data that is either in the form of, or expressed as numbers Easterby-Smith et al, The quantitative questionnaires were handed out to 10 graduates and undergraduates.

The questionnaire was mainly designed with rating scale questions, where respondents were asked to state their opinion or preference for a particular question on a scale of 1 — 5.

The quantitative questionnaire distributed to respondents is outlined in appendix. Quantitative questionnaires are useful as the results derived are quantifiable and measurable against other variables in an objective manner Saunders et al, Following the access grant to four members of the recruitment team within the organization, 15 — 20 minute qualitative telephone interviews were carried out.

A semi-structured interview is a qualitative interview that is defined by a pre-set question guide. It aims to provide in-depth findings through informal discussions with participants Collis and Hussey, This interview method was chosen over unstructured or structured interviews, because this study intends to answer the research questions by asking specific questions, but not so much unstructured that it generates useless data, and not so less structured so as not to miss out on any unanticipated information.

The interview questions in the semi-structured interview are in appendix. The themes utilized in this study were derived mainly from the literature review and were crucial in developing the questions that were raised during the study. The semi-structured approach also provided the researcher with the ability to probe answers. Answer probing was particularly useful in responses whereby more explanation was needed in order to fully understand the answers. Due to the recent adaptation of online recruitment, the semi structured interviews was targeted at members of the team who had witnessed or orchestrated the shift towards online recruitment, that way these respondents would be better able to answer questions that relate to the comparison of both methods.

Also, members of the online recruitment team being interviewed had different positions within recruitment and handled separate tasks. The questionnaires were given to them beforehand, when the approval was first sought, and each respondent chose the questions that they were more qualified to respond to. Therefore the research was such that all respondents answered some questions, while some others were answered by a particular individual because of their knowledge of that process.

Table 2 outlines the respondent details and their interview theme. Each respondent were asked for their consent to interview, prior to the interview sessions, and also requested not to have their names mentioned so as to prevent any form of organizational backlash if the contents of the study were interpreted in any other non-academic form, and distributed.

Mixed Method Deductive Research 2. How to Structure a Dissertation: Understanding Mixed Research Methods. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it. Including student tips and advice. Click here to ask a question about this article. Dissertation Help How to write a methodology? How to Structure the Methodology Chapter? How to write a methodology. How to write a methodology? Subscribe If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.

Subscribe Enter your email address below to receive helpful student articles and tips. Error, group does not exist! What are the advantages and disadvantages of the doctrine? Aims to mirror scientific method.

Uses deductive reasoning, empirical evidence and hypothesis testing. Quantitative data, surveys based on scientific methods, larger sample sets, numeric. The world is knowable, and this knowledge is communicable between agents.


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Because your dissertation methodology is basically an explanation of your research, you may want to consider writing it – or at least drafting it – as you gather your data. If you are on a PhD course, or a longer masters course, then you may be able to finish researching before you begin writing but it doesn’t hurt to start working on it early that way you can keep on top of what you need to do.

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A key part of your dissertation or thesis is the methodology. This is not quite the same as ‘methods’. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

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Dissertation Methodology Examples Below you will find our Dissertation Methodology Examples index. This index contains a number of genuine, methodologies that were written by . We have compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help you write your dissertation methodology below. Think of this like a check-list for you to utilise throughout writing your methodology. If you want further guidance on writing a dissertation methodology, our article Writing your dissertation methodology answers the most common questions asked by students and is packed full of helpful advice.

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Masters Dissertation Methodology – Dos and Don’ts. An important part of any dissertation, the Methodology chapter details the methods of collecting data and a consideration of the chosen concepts and theories behind the methods. The dissertation is the final stage of the Masters degree and provides you with the opportunity to show that you have gained the necessary skills and knowledge in order to organise and conduct a .