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  Home (/)Postgraduate Advice | Postgrad... (/editorial/advice/)Exams, dissertations, theses a... (/editorial/advice/exams/)Theses and dissertations: how ... (/editorial/advice/exams/dissertations _and_theses/) Dissertation Methodology DISSERTATION METHODOLOGY If you are a taking a taught or research-based masters(/editorial/advice/masters_programs/your_perfect_masters_match/) course, or doing a PhD (/editorial/advice/phd/), then you will likely be asked to present adissertation (/editorial/advice/exams/dissertation-and-theses/) that includesresearch and data from a project of your own design. One of the key factorsin writing a dissertation that successfully presents your research is theDissertation Methodology. WHAT IS THE METHODOLOGY? This is the section of your dissertation that explains how you carried out your research, where your data comes from, what sort of data gatheringtechniques you used, and so forth. Generally, someone reading your methodology should have enough information to be able to create methodsvery similar to the ones you used to obtain your data, but you do not have toinclude any questionnaires, reviews, interviews, etc that you used to conduct your research here. This section is primarily for explaining why you chose to use those particular techniques to gather your data. Read more about postgraduate research projects here(/editorial/advice/exams/dissertations_and_theses/research_project/). A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH The information included in the dissertation methodology is similar to the process of creating a science project: you need topresent the subject that you aim to examine, and explain the way you chose to go about approaching your research. Thereare several different types of research, and research analysis, including primary and secondary research, and qualitative(/admin/studentsite/editorialpage/101084/editorial/advice/phd/research_methods/qualitative_research) and quantitative(/admin/studentsite/editorialpage/101084/editorial/advice/phd/research_methods/quantitative_research) analysis, and in your dissertation methodology, you will explain what types you have employed in assembling and analysing your data. EXPLAIN YOUR METHODS This aspect of the methodology section is important, not just for detailing how your research was conducted, but also howthe methods you used served your purposes, and were more appropriate to your area of study than other methods. For example, if you create and use a series of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ survey questions, which you then processed into percentages per response, then the quantitative method of data analysis to determine the results of data gathered using a primary researchmethod. You would then want to explain why this combination was more appropriate to your topic than say, a review of abook that included interviews with participants asking open-ended questions: a combination of secondary research andqualitative data analysis. WRITING A DISSERTATION METHODOLOGY It is important to keep in mind that your dissertation methodology is aboutdescription: you need to include details in this section that will help othersunderstand exactly what you aimed to do, how you went about doing it, andwhy you chose to do it that way. Don’t get too bogged down in listingmethods and sources and forget to include why and how they were suitablefor your particular research.Be sure you speak to your course advisor about what specific requirementsthere may be for your particular course. It is possible that you may need toinclude more or less information depending on your subject. The type of research you conducted will also determine how much detail you will need toinclude in the description of your methods. If you have created a series of primary research sources, such as interviews, surveys, and other first handaccounts taken by either yourself or another person active during the timeperiod you are examining, then you will need to include more detail inspecifically breaking down the steps you took to both create your sourcesand use them in conducting your research. If you are using secondary sources when writing your dissertation methodology,or books containing data collected by other researchers, then you won’t necessarily need to include quite as much detail inyour description of your methods, although you may want to be more thorough in your description of your analysis. RESEARCH TECHNIQUES You may also want to do some research into research techniques – it sounds redundant, but it will help you identify whattype of research you are doing, and what types will be best to achieve the most cohesive results from your project. It willalso help you write your dissertation methodology section, as you won’t have to guess when it comes to whether documentswritten in one time period, re-printed in another, and serialised in book form in a third are primary, secondary, or tertiarysources. Read more on dissertation research here (/blog/top-tips-and-tools-for-easy-postgraduate-research/). Subject:Type to begin searching... Attendance:    AnyRegion/Country:   United KingdomUK Location - View Map    Any UK locationTaught/Research   Taught / Research (/signup/) Course Search (/bannerredirect/6951/12416/?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bangor.a HOME (/) NEWS & EVENTS (HTTP://WWW.POSTGRAD.COM/EDITORIAL/NEWS_AND_EVENTS/)ADVICE (HTTP://WWW.POSTGRAD.COM/EDITORIAL/ADVICE/)FEES & FUNDING (HTTP://WWW.POSTGRAD.COM/EDITORIAL/FEES_AND_FUNDING/)SUBJECTS (HTTP://WWW.POSTGRAD.COM/EDITORIAL/SUBJECTS/) BLOG (/BLOG/)STUDY IN EUROPE (/EDITORIAL/STUDY-IN-EUROPE/) STUDY IN UK (/EDITORIAL/STUDY-IN-UK) REGISTER (/SIGNUP/) (http://www.facebook.com/Postgradstudy) (https://twitter.com/PGSolutions_Ltd) (https://plus.google.com/111610603053592000036/posts) (http://feeds.feedburner.com/postgrad/ufoo)   Tweet 1 3 Like  3  Whether or not you have conducted your research using primary sources, you will still want to be sure that you includerelevant references to existing studies on your topic. It is important to show that you have carefully researched what dataalready exists, and are seeking to build on the knowledge that has already been collected. As with all of your dissertation,be sure that you’ve fully supported your research with a strong academic basis. Use research that has already beenconducted to illustrate that you know your subject well. DRAFT AS YOU GO 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 master’s course, then you may be ableto 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. Analysing your own methods of research may help you spot any errors in data collection, interpretationor sources. AN EXAMPLE OF DISSERTATION METHODOLOGY STRUCTURE There are several ways that you can structure your methodology, and the following headings are designed to further give youa better idea of what you may want to include, as well as how you might want to present your findings: Research Overview:  where you reiterate the topic of your research. Research Design:  How you’ve set up your project, and what each piece of it aims to accomplish.Data Collection: What you used to collect the data (surveys, questionnaires, interviews, trials, etc.). Don’t forget to includessample size and any attempts to defeat bias. Data Analysis:  Finally, what does your data mean in the context of your research? Were your results conclusive or not?Remember to include what type of data you were working with (qualitative or quantitative? Primary or secondary sources?)and how any variables, spurious or otherwise factor into your results. RELATED DISSERTATION & RESEARCH EDITORIAL Qualitative Research V Quantitative Research (/editorial/advice/phd/research_methods/qualitative_vs_quantitative_research/)Qualitative Research (/editorial/advice/phd/research_methods/qualitative_research/)Quantitative Research (/editorial/advice/phd/research_methods/quantitative_research/)Top tips when writing your dissertation(/editorial/advice/exams/dissertations_and_theses/top_tips_writing_postgraduate_thesis/)Everything You Need To Know About Your Research Project(/editorial/advice/exams/dissertations_and_theses/research_project/) RELATED DISSERTATION & RESEARCH BLOGS Choosing A Dissertation Topic (/blog/postgrad-blog-choosing-a-unique-dissertation-topic/)How To Edit Your Own Postgraduate Writing (/blog/how-to-edit-your-own-postgraduate-writing/)How To Effectively Conduct Postgraduate Research (/blog/how-to-effectively-conduct-postgraduate-research/)Top Tips For Easy Postgraduate Research (/blog/top-tips-and-tools-for-easy-postgraduate-research/) LATEST BLOG POSTS 5 Questions Graduates CanAsk After Interviews (/blog/5-questions-graduates-can-ask-interviews)Studying, Newspapers andYou (/blog/studying-newspapers)Postgrad Careers: Is a gapyear good or bad?(/blog/postgrad-careers-gap-year-good-or-bad)5 People at University That AllPostgrads Should Know(/blog/5-people-university-postgrads-know)Student Summer Tips: ClearOut Your House!(/blog/student-summer-tips-clear-house) BROWSE(/EDITORIAL/ADVICE/) Student Life(/editorial/advice/)Careers Advice(/editorial/advice/postgraduate_careers/)Postgraduate Funding(/editorial/fees_and_funding/)UK Universities(/editorial/uk_universities/)Masters Programs(/editorial/advice/masters_programs/)PhDs (/editorial/advice/phd/)Part-Time Study(/editorial/advice/study_modes/part_time/)Full-Time Study(/editorial/advice/study_modes/full_time/)Online and Distance Learning(/editorial/advice/study_modes/distance_learning/)Agri / Horticulture(/editorial/agriculture_horticulture_veterinary/)Architecture / Transport(/editorial/architecture_transport/)Business and Finance(/editorial/uk_pg_business_finance_management/)Art and Design(/editorial/art_design/)Economics(/editorial/economics/)Engineering/ Production(/editorial/engineering_production/)Environment(/editorial/environment/)Humanities(/editorial/humanities/)Information Technology(/editorial/information_technology/)Languages / Literature(/editorial/languages_literature_area_studies/)Law (/editorial/law/)Hospitality / Tourism(/editorial/leisure_hospitality_tourism/)Management(/editorial/business_management/)Media Studies(/editorial/media_studies/)Medicine / Health(/editorial/medicine_health/)Science (/editorial/science/)Social Sciences(/editorial/social_sciences/)Teaching / Education(/editorial/teaching_education/) POSTGRADUATE SUBJECTS (/EDITORIAL/SUBJECTS/)SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us onFacebook(http://www.facebook.com/PostgradstudyFollow us onTwitter(https://twitter.com/PGSolutions_Ltd)Follow us onGoogle+(https://plus.google.com/1116106030535Subscribe toour RSS Feed(http://feeds.feedburner.com/postgrad/ufo © 2013 Postgrad.com | About Us (http://www.postgradsolutions.com/about_us) | Contact Us (http://www.postgradsolutions.com/contact_us) | Advertise With Us(http://www.postgradsolutions.com/marketing_services) | Privacy Policy (http://www.postgradsolutions.com/privacy_policy)
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