The research methodology section gives you the chance to convince your readers that your research is useful and will contribute to your field of study.An effective research methodology is based on your overall approach and describes the methods you used.Explain how those methods will answer your research questions.
Step 1: Write down your research problem.
The problems or questions you intend to study should be listed in your research methodology section.If applicable, include what you are setting out to prove in your research.In your restatement, make sure to include any assumptions that you’re making.The research methods you’ve chosen will be informed by these assumptions.The variables you’ll test and the other conditions you assume are the same.
Step 2: Determine your overall methodological approach.
Your approach will be either qualitative or quantitative.You may use both approaches occasionally.Tell us why you chose your approach.If you want to research and document measurable social trends, or evaluate the impact of a particular policy on various variables, use a quantitative approach focused on data collection and statistical analysis.If you want to understand people’s views on a particular issue, choose a more qualitative approach.You can combine them.You can look at a measurable social trend, but also interview people and get their opinions on how that trend is affecting their lives.
Step 3: How did you collect the data?
When and where you conducted your research, and what basic parameters were put into place to ensure the relative objectivity of your results are included in this portion of the methodology section.If you were to conduct a survey, you would describe the questions, where the survey was conducted, how many surveys were distributed, and how long your respondents had to complete it.Even if you don’t get the same results as you did, your study can be replicated by other people in your field.
Step 4: Background for uncommon methods.
Particularly in the social sciences, you may be using methods that aren’t typically used.Additional explanation may be required for these methods.More detailed explanation is required for qualitative research methods.Basic investigative procedures do not need to be explained in detail.You can assume that your readers have a general understanding of the research methods used by social scientists.
Step 5: References to sources that contributed to your choice of methodology.
Discuss those works and how they contributed to your own work, or how your work is building on theirs, if you used anyone else’s work to help you craft or apply your methodology.You might use a couple of other research papers to help construct the questions on your survey.You would mention those as sources of information.
Step 6: Explain your criteria for collecting data.
Eligibility parameters are likely to be set if you’re collecting primary data.Let your readers know why you set those parameters and how important they are to your research.List any inclusion or exclusion criteria you used when forming your group of study participants.Explain how the size of your sample affects your study’s ability to be generalized to larger populations.If you conducted a survey of 30 percent of the student population of a university, you could apply the results to the entire student body, but not the students at other universities.
Step 7: Don’t use any weaknesses in your methods.
There are strengths and weaknesses in every research method.Discuss the weaknesses or criticisms of the methods you’ve chosen, then explain how those are irrelevant or inapplicable to your particular research.A good way to identify potential problems is to read other research papers.Did you encounter any of the common problems during your research?
Step 8: How did you overcome obstacles?
One of the most important parts of your research is overcoming obstacles.Readers’ confidence in the results of your study can be enhanced by your problem-solving abilities.Explain the steps you took to minimize the effect that problem would have on your results if you encountered any problems as you collected data.
Step 9: You could have used other methods.
If you’re using a method that isn’t usually used for your type of research, you should include a discussion of other methods.Why didn’t you use them?In some cases, this may be as simple as saying that there weren’t any studies using your method, which caused a gap in understanding of the issue.Multiple papers may provide quantitative analysis of a particular social trend.None of the papers looked at how this trend was affecting people.
Step 10: How did you analyze your results?
If your approach is qualitative, quantitative, or a mixture of the two, your analysis will be different.You might be using statistical analysis if you’re using a quantitative approach.Explain what theoretical perspective or philosophy you’re using with a qualitative approach.You could potentially use both approaches, but depending on your research questions, you may be mixing quantitative and qualitative analysis.You could do a statistical analysis and then look at the statistics in a different way.
Step 11: Explain how your analysis works.
Your overall methodology should be able to answer your research questions.You need to either change your methodology or rephrase your research question if it isn’t well-suited.Suppose you’re researching the effect of college education on family farms.It would not give you a picture of the effect if you did interviews of people who grew up on a family farm.A bigger picture is given by a quantitative approach and statistical analysis.
Step 12: Do you know how your analysis answers your questions?
Relate your methodology to your original research questions and present a proposed outcome based on your analysis.What will your findings reveal about your research questions?If you answered your research questions, your findings have raised other questions that may need further research.You can also include any questions that weren’t answered through your research.
Step 13: Do you think your findings can be transferred or generalized?
You may be able to generalize your findings.If you used a qualitative approach, transferability can be difficult.Quantitative research uses generalization more often.You can apply your results to a larger population if you have a well-designed sample.