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Regardless of your level, your dissertation methodology will develop as you review the literature in your field and refine your initial research questions.Your literature review and methodology will therefore develop in tandem with each other.Your methodology section appears immediately after the literature review in your dissertation, and should flow organically from it.
But you should resist the temptation to include the following in your dissertation methodology, even if they seem to belong there quite naturally: When you start your dissertation project, you may already have some broad ideas about the methodology you want to use.
You'll refine these ideas in conversation with your supervisor and develop them further as you read about the previous work that has been done in your field, and other scholars' approach to your subject area.
However, the complexity of working with human subjects means there are a number of additional questions to consider.
First of all, you'll want to answer certain broad questions about the kind of analysis you're undertaking: is it qualitative or quantitative, or a mixed approach that uses qualitative data to provide context and background to quantitative data (or vice versa)?
You should not only include the necessary information about your equipment, lab setup, and procedure to allow another researcher to reproduce your method; you should also demonstrate that you've factored any variables that are likely to distort your data (for example, by introducing false positives into your design), and that you have a plan to handle these either in collecting, analysing, or drawing conclusions from your data.
Your methodology should also include details of – and justifications for – the statistical models you'll use to analyse your data.Therefore, no matter what subject area you're working in, your methodology section will include the following: While the outline of your methodology section will look much the same regardless of your discipline, the details are liable to be quite different depending on the subject area in which you're studying.Let's take a look at some of the most common types of dissertation, and the information required in a methodology section for each of them.No part of your dissertation should be hermetically sealed off from the others, and there will undoubtedly be some overlap between your methodology and literature review section, for example.You might even find yourself moving material back and forth between sections during edits.For this reason it can be tempting to gloss over the methodology section in an arts or humanities dissertation, and move more or less seamlessly from literature review into analysis.But it's crucial that you provide a detailed justification of your chosen frameworks and how they relate to your research question here too; without this justification a critical reader may very well take issue with your entire analysis because you've failed to convince them of the appropriateness of your theoretical underpinnings to the material you're analysing.Remember that a scholar might use any single part of your methodology as a departure point for their own work; they might follow your experiment design but choose a different model for analysing the results, or vice versa!A study in the social or behavioural sciences As with a scientific study, a social or behavioural sciences methodology needs to demonstrate both rigour and reproducibility, allowing another researcher to reproduce your study in whole or in part for their own ends.This could be planning how you'll gather data, or what models you'll use to process it, or what philosophical positions most inform your work.Following this, your dissertation methodology provides a detailed account of both Your methodology needs to establish a clear relationship between your research question, the existing scholarship in your field that you have surveyed as part of your literature review, and the means by which you'll come to your conclusions.