Updated 26 January Due to the complexities of the different research methods, writing your dissertation methodology can often be the most challenging and time-consuming part of your postgraduate dissertation. This article focuses on the importance of writing a good PhD or master's dissertation methodology — and how to achieve this. A postgraduate dissertation or thesis is usually formed of several detailed sections, including:. The dissertation methodology forms the skeleton of any research project. It provides the reader with a clear outline of the methods you decided to use when carrying out your research.
A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, submitted as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The structure of a dissertation depends on your field, but it is usually divided into at least four or five chapters including an introduction and conclusion chapter. Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an argument by analysing primary and secondary sources. Instead of the standard structure outlined here, you might organise your chapters around different themes or case studies.
In the sections that follow, we briefly describe the main characteristics of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations. Rather than being exhaustive, the main goal is to highlight what these types of research are and what they involve. Whilst you read through each section, try and think about your own dissertation, and whether you think that one of these types of dissertation might be right for you.
To address how to write a methodology, in the Methodology section of your dissertation you have to justify and explain your choice of methodologies employed in your research. You may consider whether or not someone else could easily replicate your study based on what you have included in this section and in the appendices. In this section you have to explain very clearly how you arrived at your findings and state clearly why they are reliable and how they answer your research questions or test the hypotheses on which your research was based. This will deal with the philosophy which underpins your research. You will set out the research paradigm here.