Published on February 25, by Shona McCombes. Revised on February 8, In your thesis or dissertation, you will have to discuss the methods you used to do your research. The methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research. It should include:. The methodology section should generally be written in the past tense.
Research methods are specific procedures for collecting and analyzing data. Developing your research methods is an integral part of your research design. When planning your methods, there are two key decisions you will make. First, decide how you will collect data. Your methods depend on what type of data you need to answer your research question :. Table of contents Methods for collecting data Examples of data collection methods Methods for analyzing data Examples of data analysis methods Frequently asked questions about research methods.
This article is part of an ongoing series on academic writing help of scholarly articles. Previous parts explored how to write an introduction for a research paper and a literature review outline and format. The Methodology section portrays the reasoning for the application of certain techniques and methods in the context of the study.
For example, how did the researcher go about deciding:. Importantly, a good methodology chapter in a dissertation or thesis explains not just what methodological choices were made, but also explains why they were made. In other words, the methodology chapter should justify the design choices, by showing that the chosen methods and techniques are the best fit for the research aims and objectives, and will provide valid and reliable results. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods are different types of methodologies, distinguished by whether they focus on words, numbers or both.