5 Simple Steps to Write an Effective Research Methodology
Each research paper or dissertation should have a methodology section. For many students research methodology is a source of headache and stress just like heavy metal to a classical music aficionado.
However, if you know exactly what steps you need to take to write a winning research methodology, it will be much easier to cope with this tedious assignment.
Alternatively, you can do what most smart students do. You can opt for a professional academic writing service, CustomWritings, for example, to order a research paper online. It's going to save you tons of time and effort in putting together a solid methodology section.
However, if you choose the DIY approach, feel free to check these tips to make your path easier and less stressful.
What Should You Expose in the Research Methodology Section?
Let's start with the main idea of the research methodology. If to put it simply and shortly, you need to justify the value of your research and show what contribution it is going to make to the chosen field of study.
If you want to end up with a winning research methodology section, you should do the following:
- mention the research problem
- highlight the methodological approach you used in your paper
- explain what methods you used to collect data
- define the methods you used to analyze data
- cite all the sources that had an impact on crafting your research methodology
Now, let dive deep into each of these crucial steps.
Mention the Research Problem
First of all, at the beginning of your research methodology, you should mention the research problem. You need to explain in a clear and concise way the reason for the research, your assumptions, hypotheses, variables, and the goal of your research.
This section helps you make a foundation for justifying research methods you used. It adds consistency to your piece of writing.
Highlight the Methodological Approach You Used in Your Paper
Depending on the research problem that you mentioned at the beginning, you should specify the methodological approach you used for your research. Here you can have 3 possible choices:
- qualitative methodological approach,
- quantitative methodological approach,
- the mix of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.
Moreover, you need to justify your choice. The methodological approach you choose determines what research methods you use to test your hypotheses and assumptions.
Explain What Methods You Used to Collect Data
In this section, you need to highlight the methods you used to conduct research and collect the data. Explain how you chose sources and participants for your research.
Briefly answer the following questions:
- What methods did you choose to collect data?
- What was the process?
- Why did you choose those particular sources and participants?
Let's mention here some of the most popular research methods.
There are 4 most common qualitative methods:
- focus groups
- existing data
On top of that, there are 3 most common quantitative methods:
- existing data
If you are doing this kind of research for the first time, you may feel a lot of frustration. Don't stress too much about it. Keep in mind that you may always ask your peers for help or search for assistance online.
Define the Methods You Used to Analyze Data
At this stage, you need to connect the research methods you used with the goal of your research. For this, you need to analyze all the data that you collected at the previous stage.
That's where you need to focus on the methods for analyzing the data. There are 2 most common methods that you can use for analyzing your data:
- statistical analysis
- theoretical analysis
Statistical analysis is most suitable for a quantitative methodological approach. Theoretical analysis is great for a qualitative methodological approach.
Here's one important thing to keep in mind. With data at hand, you should show your methodology approach gives answers to your initial hypotheses and assumptions.
If it doesn't provide any vivid answers you should either reframe your initial assumptions and hypotheses or adjust the methodology.
After that, you need to assess your findings and interpret them.
Cite All the Sources that Had an Impact on Your Research Methodology
Making proper citations is very important. As it can increase the value of your research significantly.
- References can support your research.
- They can help you justify why you choose a particular methodological approach.
- Citations can help you demonstrate innovation in your research (if there is any, of course).
Most students have issues with formatting while citing the sources. Be very attentive to it. To avoid this, make sure you tailor your citations correctly to the requested formatting style.
In most cases, writing an effective research methodology is a very challenging and tiresome process.
In this blog post, we've outlined the 5 most important steps that you need to take to compose a good research methodology section.
However, even having these steps at hand, you can still face a lot of challenges on your road to success.