Developing and Refining Your Dissertation Methodology Chapter
Your methodology chapter is that section of your work that describes the methods by which you conducted your study. Depending upon the subject field, you will use a variety of instruments. Generally, in the sciences, you will be documenting experimentation results over a period of time, and will have specific instruments for doing so. In social sciences, fine arts, and other liberal arts arenas, you instrument may include observational charts, surveys, along with hard data.
Designing the instruments to be used can be difficult. You want to be certain that you are only gathering data the specifically relates to your research question; you need to be certain that, as a whole, the instruments will actually provide the data you need to address your question.
Key components of your methodology section will be the following:
- You will need to describe, in your introduction, the data you intend to collect and the instruments you will use to collect this data.
- You will need to identify clearly the sample(s) you are using and the criteria for the use of the sample(s) you selected. Did you have a single sample study or did you use control/experimental groups?
- You will need to describe your implementation of the methodology, commenting on any unusual circumstances or nuisance factors that you have not already identified.
- Every step in your methodology must be justifiable, and every instrument’s relevance to your study fully explained.
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