Methodology: Best Methods for Writing a Research or Dissertation


Methodology: Best Methods for Writing a Research or Dissertation

The methodology is a popular practice not only among scientists but also other professionals who want to improve their work and conduct better research. Very often, the methodology is confused with the word “method”. Both terms are actually different. The methodology is a set of various methods that can be used to collect data for the research. But how do you use the methodology in your research? On this page, you can find a guide on methodology and various methods.

What are the Methodology and Research Methods?

Before you start working on any project, you need to come up with the methodology and methods that will help you not only gather some data, but also assist you during the completion of your project. The methodology is usually needed when you have to use a complex strategy for your work. Methods are usually used to describe a particular way of data collections. The methodology is about using various methods to conduct research and then explain what you found.

Types of Methodologies

There are various types of methodologies that you can use not only for your groundwork but also for your studies, writing papers like a research paper, dissertation or thesis, and learning process in general. There are three kinds of methodologies you can use: qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and mixed methods. There are also some other types of methodologies that are used in other areas.

Qualitative Methods

These methods are great for understanding other human beings and getting data for the research right from the participant. Qualitative methods allow the researcher to have a clear and open discussion about the issue you are going to address. Originally, qualitative methods were used in the social sciences. Here is a list of some of the qualitative methods:

  • Interview. Interviews are a way to have a one-on-one interpersonal conversation and gather data about people’s beliefs, habits, preferences. When interviewing someone, it’s best to make eye contact with the person.
  • Case study. The point of the case study is to examine the subject of studies and conduct an analysis of it. The case study can be used also for quantitive methods.
  • Ethnographic research. This technique studies people in their natural settings and environment. The goal of this type of methodology is to gather information about culture, society, and challenges the society faces,
  • Focus groups. This method is used to get answers to questions about any issue that you are researching.

With the help of qualitative methods, you can learn many interesting things like the level of stress in society or the leadership skills of famous people. Qualitative methods are about exploring: you learn more about people’s motives, attitudes, opinions, and behaviors.


Quantitative Methods

Quantitative methods use measurable data and statistics to gather new information, analyze it and based on the analysis come up with new thoughts on any topic. Usually, quantitative methods are much more structured than the qualitative methods, With the help of quantitative research, you question the usual nature of things. Very often, scientists come up with interesting and fascinating results.

  • Survey. This method is really common for many companies in order to help them find out more about the customers’ opinions and wishes. There are many types of survey: questionnaires, online polls, cross-sectional surveys, etc.
  • Experimentation. To conduct good research with the help of this method, you also need to use scientific methods. Very often experiments are used to support or validate a hypothesis.
  • Correlational research. For correlational research, you have to use two variables and the relationship between them.

Even though qualitative research provides you with quite interesting facts, but, on the other hand, quantitative methods in methodology allow you to improve your studies and back it up with statistics. To make your research better, you can also use journals, books, e-books, documentary movies, and different academic resources.

There are also mixed methods that you can use. The goal of them is to validate the data you received from the other two types of methodologies. With the help of mixed methods, you can look at the topic from different points of view and develop a better theory.

Top 7 Tips on Conducting a Research

In this section, you can find some tips on conducting research. You can use to work on any type of paper or study, no matter what your topic is:

  1. Decide on a topic for your research. Is there a problem, issue, or an interesting question you want to approach and explore. Feel free to take some time and think about which subject really interests you.
  2. Pose a question. Is there something that interests you? Is there any issue that worries you? Are there any phenomena the nature of which you doubt? Every hypothesis is based on a question that has to be answered in your studies.
  3. Pick the literature. For any paper, no matter what kind of methodology is used, you need to find proper documents to assist you. These could be any journals or ebooks that you can find.
  4. Define terms that will be used in your document. For every subject, you discuss you need to use specific words and terms that will describe it.
  5. Plan your research. Don’t just work on everything at once: break down your work into a few blocks.
  6. Don’t forget about the structure: even scientific paper needs an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
  7. Getting personal can be a huge mistake. You should work on the presentation of your analysis, and not your emotions.

Final Word

The methodology is one of the most effective ways to conduct research of good quality. The methodology is pretty universal, and you can use for writing any kind of papers, including thesis, dissertation, research paper, and many others. A number of researchers have chosen to use methodologies, and now you can also take a part in researches that will change the world we live it. There are not that many skills you need to be a good researcher: just work hard, and you will achieve everything. As Helene Deutsch said, “After all, the ultimate goal of all research is not objectivity, but the truth.”