Grow your skills on how to write chapter 3 of your thesis or dissertation, it is known as methodology. A successful chapter 3 should help the tutor to understand the steps and method taken within study.
And it’s becoming more important every day.
In today’s guide, you’re going to learn everything you need to know how to write chapter 3 methodology of your thesis or dissertation from this dissertation writing service. First!
Let’s do this.
- What is Chapter 3
- How To Write Chapter 3 Methodology
- Pro Tips for Writing a Thesis Methodology
What is Chapter 3 (Methodology)?
The methodology part of your thesis is an integral section of the thesis because it shows the reader or the audience the process you employed in coming up with your findings. The techniques you used to collect and present data are stated in this part of the thesis. A well-written methodology thus justifies how you reached the conclusions of your thesis and clears any doubt on the reader’s side about how you arrived at your findings. Your thesis methodology will thus tell the readers the following details about your research;
- The type of research you carried out
- The methods of data collection you used
- The data analysis methods you used
- Any other materials you used in your research
- The reasons for choosing the above-listed methods or techniques or tools
How To Write Chapter 3 Methodology
When writing your thesis methodology, you shall use past tense and follow the following steps.
- Explain the methodological approach
- Describe the data collection methods used
- Describe methods of data analysis to the audience
- Justify Your Methodology
Explaining the methodological approach
In the first part of your thesis methodology, you will familiarize the readers with the overall approach you had towards the research. Start by reminding your reader of the research problem and questions you were investigating.
A good example would be; did you aim to investigate a certain phenomenon or were you describing the characteristics of something or were you simply establishing a cause and effect relationship between one item and another.
Once you have re-stated the research problem you were researching, you can then state the type of data you needed for solving that problem. State if;
- You needed quantitative data or qualitative data for the research problem
- You collected primary data or you used secondary data.
- You can also tell your readers if you collected gathered experimental data by controlling and manipulating variables or whether you collected descriptive data through observation.
After establishing these points, you can further state why you think the approach you used above was the most reliable in addressing the research question.
You can further tell the reader if these were the standard methodologies in the particular field of study, and if there are other reasons for choosing the particular methodology, you can state it.
If there were ethical considerations involved in choosing your methodologies, you can state that.
Lastly, you can tell the criteria for validity and reliability in the type of research you carried out.
Description of the data collection methods used
There are two main methods of data collection in a thesis;
- Quantitative methods
- Qualitative methods.
Quantitative methods for data collection
In quantitative methods, you can collect the data by performing experiments and tests, or you can state if you used surveys or existing data. Let’s look at each below;
- Surveys as a data collection method
If you used surveys, state when and how the survey was conducted. Tell the reader how you designed your questionnaires and the structure of your questions (did you use multiple-choice questions or yes/no questions etc.). You can further state the sampling method you used to select the respondents for your thesis.
How were the surveys conducted, did you do it through phone calls or emails, or Google surveys. And state the sample size and the response rate to your questionnaires. The questionnaire used shall be included in the appendix so that the readers can clearly understand what type of data you collected.
- Use of Experiments as a data collection method
If you used experiments to gather data in your thesis, you shall tell the readers how you designed your experiments. And also how the participants were recruited for the experiment. If you manipulated and measured the variables, state how you did that. Most importantly, list the tools and technologies you used for the experiment.
- Use of existing data as a data collection method
In your thesis methodology, if you used existing data, such as archival data, you can state the criteria you used to select the sources of your data, which data range did you use? And how was the data you have used originally produced? That gives a clear idea of the validity of your data.
Qualitative methods of data collection
If you used qualitative methods to collect data for your thesis, you shall state in detail how you went about that process. Qualitative methods are flexible and subjective so tell the audience your approach and the choices you made.
You will explore things such as the criteria you used to select the participants or sources. You can also state the context in which your research was carried out and the role you played in the data collection methods. Tell the readers if you were actively involved or if you were just a passive observer in the process. Some of the common methods for collecting data in qualitative methods are;
- Use of interviews or focus groups for collecting data;
If you used interviews,
- State how you found and selected the participants.
- State the number of participants you used in your thesis and why.
- State how you interviewed the participants, and how were the interviews? State if they were structured or semi-structured or unstructured.
- State how long the interviews took and if you were recording the participants or writing down information as they speak.
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- Participant observation as a data collection method
In case you used observation as a method in your thesis;
- State to the readers which community of people you observed and if there is a way you gained access to that group of people.
- How long did you spend carrying out the research and what was the location?
- Tell the readers what role you played in that particular community and how you were collecting your data for the time you were there (whether through audio-visuals or taking notes).
- Use of existing data;
If you used existing data in your qualitative research, tell your readers what type of materials you analyzed and how you collected and selected them.
Describing your methods of data analysis to the audience
If you were carrying out quantitative research which produces data in figures, you will state if you analyzed your data using statistical tests such as simple linear regression. If you used statistical software such as SPSS, mention that.
Data is often prepared before analysis by checking for missing data or sometimes removing outliers. If you did that, state it.
How did you present the data? If you made presentations through pie charts and graphs, state it.
On the other hand, if you carried out qualitative research that collects non-numerical data. You can tell the audience if you analysed the data by coding and categorizing ideas and themes to interpret the meaning of the data you gathered.
If you used content analysis which involves categorizing and discussing the meaning of words and specific phrases, state that so that the audience can understand.
If you used mixed methods which involve both qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze data and present multiple findings, you should state that. Mixed methods usually help researchers verify data from two or more sources.
Justify Your Methodology
In this part of the thesis methodology, you want to convince the reader that you picked the best methods for collecting, analyzing, and presenting your data. This ties back to the thesis questions you set out to answer and the literature review you have conducted, tell the audience why other methods were not suitable for the research questions. Convince the audience of the quality and validity of your methods especially if you didn’t take a standard approach in the analysis of the data you collected.
You can also state to the reader the limitations of the methods you used in your thesis but don’t forget to justify why these were outweighed by the strengths of your methods.
Pro Tips for Writing a Thesis Methodology
- To write a thesis methodology, choose a research method that is easy to achieve. As a researcher, you only have limited resources in terms of time and money. You don’t want to use a method that is too demanding of the limited resources. If you will need access to certain equipment for measuring data, consider their access and availability.
- If there are relevant sources you can cite, cite them. Show the reader that the methodology you picked followed established practices for that type of research. You can further expound on how you evaluated different methodologies and settled on the specific one you used for the research.
- When writing a thesis methodology, write for the audience. Your methodology has to be clear, tell your reader why you chose a certain method especially if it is an uncommon method in your field of study. If you are using established methods then you won’t have to justify a lot why you preferred them.
- If there are obstacles you encountered during the analysis of data, state how you handled them and minimized their impact on the findings. This is to prevent major criticisms of your approach to data collection and analysis and prove that you did a thorough job in your thesis methodology.