Writing A Thesis Methodology Chapter In A Proper Way: Basic Tips
A methodology chapter is one of the key components of your thesis project. Methodology is not the same with the “methods” paragraph; you should know the difference between these parts. Methodology describes reasons why you have chosen these or those methods for your research. It’s very important if you confirm your choice of methods with good strong arguments, not simply your preference.
What should be included?
In case you submit your thesis paper in sections, it makes sense to locate the methodology chapter before you get down to researching, to inform your readers on what you are going to do and what they are going to read about. If your thesis goes as a single solid piece, locate the chapter closer to the end, with the explanation of all the methods you have used and the reasons why you have chosen them.
Which methods are normally used?
In social sciences, the methods that are naturally used for researching involve:
- Interviews as a source of information from the first person,
- Observations that are used when it’s necessary to receive information about actions under certain conditions, development of phenomena, etc.,
- Questionnaires that are the fastest and most effective way to find out the public opinion,
- Documental analysis that is quite effective when it’s necessary to receive information that cannot be given or confirmed by living witnesses, etc.
How to structure your methodology?
You need to explain strong and weak points of the methods you have chosen, as well as the advantages each method has for your particular research. You need to notice, which methods have helped you make the data received by the research more trustworthy, and which methods don’t work in the frame of your research. Besides that, you can speak about the methods that have forced you to keep on working upon the subject, having revealed underexplored areas of the researched matter.
What’s the importance of this chapter?
You need to remember that methods and methodology that you have used in your work are utterly important for your success. Improperly chosen methods or lack of philosophical underpinning of your choice can lead you to reduced points. This chapter requires a lot of work and time, so be sure to approach it with all responsibility, discussing the choice of methods with your supervisor and using all available theoretical resource that you can find in libraries and on the Web. No matter how you want, always avoid methods that have significant drawbacks and can influence your project in a negative way.