Those who arepursuing a Masters or doctoral degree must be familiar with the term research methodology. It provides a sound rationale for your choice of research methods and analytical toolsand hence is a vital component of dissertations and theses. Having a thoroughly-thought-outresearch methodology gives researchers a strong grip on their methods, data, tools, and techniques. However, many scholars, even the ones at advanced stages of research, have little or no idea what methodology means. What's worse, many confuse research methodology with research methods, which leads to several ambiguities.
The term research methodology evades adefinite or easy definition. However, in academia, it is typically used to refer to the methodical and theoretical analysis of the methods you employ to carry out your research within a certain discipline or field. This means research methodology is not a fixed principle, but something that changes across disciplines and fields. While writing dissertations, the methodology section serves as a broad research strategy that tells your readers how the research is undertaken, what methods and techniques are used, and why.
As already made mention of, many students mistake research methodsfor methodology. To put it simply, the tools, processes and techniques you use to collect data are called methods. For instance, interviews, questionnaires, surveys, observation, etc. are some of the methods commonly used for data collection. Methodology, on the other hand, determines what your methods are and how they should be used. It is centered on the principles that shape your approach and guide your research practices; it further provides a broad philosophical support to the research methods you have chosen. For instance, the methodology section of your dissertation helps justify why you have chosen the qualitative method over quantitative, or why a mixed approach is necessary to gather and analyze data.
A research project is always as good as its methodology. Unsurprisingly,research guides and evaluators pay special attention to the methodology section of your dissertation. The more methodological rigor your thesis has, the better it will be. Here are a few things your methodology section should contain
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