General Tips On How To Write A Methodology For A Master's Dissertation
If you are not yet familiar with writing a methodology then it will soon become a very familiar part of your academic life as it is a key component of any dissertation. Try and think of it as just another box that you have to check. Another thing on a very long list of things that you need to work through in order to complete your dissertation. If you can get into this mindset then it will be a lot less challenging or intimidating than if you start viewing it as the bogey man.
So, just how do you go about beginning to write a methodology for a Master’s dissertation? Here’re my general tips:
A Methodology in a few words: An explanation of the principles on which your dissertation is formed. It is the “How” and the “Why” on which the whole paper is based.
It should also:
- State whether you are using quantitative or qualitative methods or a mixture.
- Give the reasons why you have chosen to adopt particular methods.
- The reasoning must be solid.
- Your writing style needs to be descriptive. This is not the place for a narrative style of writing.
- If you are planning on using extensive individual research as opposed to briefer secondary research to form your master’s dissertation then you will clearly need to cover a lot more ground in the methodology. If you are an ANY doubt at all as to what you should do then I would urge you to speak to your lecturer as a matter of urgency. If you cannot get hold of them, then try and hunt out another member of staff from the faculty and ask for assistance.
A lot of students mistakenly include things such as:
- Interview transcripts
I am not sure why they would think that the methodology would be the appropriate place to include these. However, to avoid any further doubt or confusion then these need to go into the appendices section of your dissertation.
Let’s put the above into context:
A lot of students ask me why they even need to write a methodology in the first place. Well, the answer is that it gives the reader a good insight into your reasoning and thinking. It is a means of them validating the argument that you are presenting.