approach methods thesis

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Approach methods thesis

United Kingdom. Methods and the Methodology. Do not confuse the terms "methods" and "methodology. Descriptions of methods usually include defining and stating why you have chosen specific techniques to investigate a research problem, followed by an outline of the procedures you used to systematically select, gather, and process the data [remember to always save the interpretation of data for the discussion section of your paper].

The methodology refers to a discussion of the underlying reasoning why particular methods were used. This discussion includes describing the theoretical concepts that inform the choice of methods to be applied, placing the choice of methods within the more general nature of academic work, and reviewing its relevance to examining the research problem. The methodology section also includes a thorough review of the methods other scholars have used to study the topic.

Bryman, Alan. Chinese Department, University of Leiden, Netherlands. The Methodology. Search this Guide Search. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences.

The Abstract Executive Summary 4. The Introduction The C. The Discussion Limitations of the Study 9. The Conclusion Appendices Importance of a Good Methodology Section You must explain how you obtained and analyzed your results for the following reasons: Readers need to know how the data was obtained because the method you chose affects the results and, by extension, how you interpreted their significance in the discussion section of your paper. Methodology is crucial for any branch of scholarship because an unreliable method produces unreliable results and, as a consequence, undermines the value of your analysis of the findings.

In most cases, there are a variety of different methods you can choose to investigate a research problem. The methodology section of your paper should clearly articulate the reasons why you have chosen a particular procedure or technique. The reader wants to know that the data was collected or generated in a way that is consistent with accepted practice in the field of study.

For example, if you are using a multiple choice questionnaire, readers need to know that it offered your respondents a reasonable range of answers to choose from. The method must be appropriate to fulfilling the overall aims of the study. For example, you need to ensure that you have a large enough sample size to be able to generalize and make recommendations based upon the findings.

The methodology should discuss the problems that were anticipated and the steps you took to prevent them from occurring. For any problems that do arise, you must describe the ways in which they were minimized or why these problems do not impact in any meaningful way your interpretation of the findings.

In the social and behavioral sciences, it is important to always provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to adopt or replicate your methodology. This information is particularly important when a new method has been developed or an innovative use of an existing method is utilized.

Structure and Writing Style I. Groups of Research Methods There are two main groups of research methods in the social sciences: The e mpirical-analytical group approaches the study of social sciences in a similar manner that researchers study the natural sciences. This type of research focuses on objective knowledge, research questions that can be answered yes or no, and operational definitions of variables to be measured.

The empirical-analytical group employs deductive reasoning that uses existing theory as a foundation for formulating hypotheses that need to be tested. This approach is focused on explanation. The i nterpretative group of methods is focused on understanding phenomenon in a comprehensive, holistic way. Interpretive methods focus on analytically disclosing the meaning-making practices of human subjects [the why, how, or by what means people do what they do], while showing how those practices arrange so that it can be used to generate observable outcomes.

Interpretive methods allow you to recognize your connection to the phenomena under investigation. However, the interpretative group requires careful examination of variables because it focuses more on subjective knowledge. Content The introduction to your methodology section should begin by restating the research problem and underlying assumptions underpinning your study. The remainder of your methodology section should describe the following: Decisions made in selecting the data you have analyzed or, in the case of qualitative research, the subjects and research setting you have examined, Tools and methods used to identify and collect information, and how you identified relevant variables, The ways in which you processed the data and the procedures you used to analyze that data, and The specific research tools or strategies that you utilized to study the underlying hypothesis and research questions.

In addition, an effectively written methodology section should: Introduce the overall methodological approach for investigating your research problem. Is your study qualitative or quantitative or a combination of both mixed method? Are you going to take a special approach, such as action research, or a more neutral stance? Indicate how the approach fits the overall research design. Your methods for gathering data should have a clear connection to your research problem.

In other words, make sure that your methods will actually address the problem. One of the most common deficiencies found in research papers is that the proposed methodology is not suitable to achieving the stated objective of your paper. Describe the specific methods of data collection you are going to use , such as, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, observation, archival research.

If you are analyzing existing data, such as a data set or archival documents, describe how it was originally created or gathered and by whom. Also be sure to explain how older data is still relevant to investigating the current research problem. Explain how you intend to analyze your results.

Will you use statistical analysis? Will you use specific theoretical perspectives to help you analyze a text or explain observed behaviors? Describe how you plan to obtain an accurate assessment of relationships, patterns, trends, distributions, and possible contradictions found in the data. Provide background and a rationale for methodologies that are unfamiliar for your readers. Be clear and concise in your explanation.

Provide a justification for subject selection and sampling procedure. For instance, if you propose to conduct interviews, how do you intend to select the sample population? If you are analyzing texts, which texts have you chosen, and why? If you are using statistics, why is this set of data being used? If other data sources exist, explain why the data you chose is most appropriate to addressing the research problem. Provide a justification for case study selection. A common method of analyzing research problems in the social sciences is to analyze specific cases.

These can be a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis that are either examined as a singular topic of in-depth investigation or multiple topics of investigation studied for the purpose of comparing or contrasting findings. In either method, you should explain why a case or cases were chosen and how they specifically relate to the research problem.

Describe potential limitations. Are there any practical limitations that could affect your data collection? How will you attempt to control for potential confounding variables and errors? If your methodology may lead to problems you can anticipate, state this openly and show why pursuing this methodology outweighs the risk of these problems cropping up. Problems to Avoid Irrelevant Detail The methodology section of your paper should be thorough but concise.

Writing Tip Statistical Designs and Tests? Write about your choice first, then justify it with reference to literature on research methods if appropriate. There is no single correct way to structure the methodology section. The structure of your work will depend on the discipline you are working within, as well as the structure of your overall research project. If your work is built around a single study or experiment, you might have a single chapter where you discuss your research methods, whereas if you have several different experiments or studies, you might report each in its own chapter, with a section about the methodology in each.

If your study is based on literary texts, works of art, documentary sources or creative practice, it will probably include a discussion of methodology in the introductory chapter. Completed theses in your discipline can provide a guide. Look at some theses from your discipline. The Theses Library guide can help you locate theses from Monash and other universities.

Skip to content Skip to navigation. Tip Write about your choice first, then justify it with reference to literature on research methods if appropriate. Scientific and technical disciplines Key features of method descriptions in scientific and technical disciplines include: Demonstration of fit between methods chosen and research question s. Rationale for choosing materials, methods and procedures.

Details of materials, equipment and procedures that will allow others to: Replicate experiments. Understand and implement technical solutions.

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Structuring Your Research Thesis. Methods Section. Writing Center. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, , pp. Purdue University; Methods and Materials. Department of Biology. Bates College. Statistical Designs and Tests? Do Not Fear Them! Don't avoid using a quantitative approach to analyzing your research problem just because you fear the idea of applying statistical designs and tests.

A qualitative approach, such as conducting interviews or content analysis of archival texts, can yield exciting new insights about a research problem, but it should not be undertaken simply because you have a disdain for running a simple regression.

A well designed quantitative research study can often be accomplished in very clear and direct ways, whereas, a similar study of a qualitative nature usually requires considerable time to analyze large volumes of data and a tremendous burden to create new paths for analysis where previously no path associated with your research problem had existed.

Knowing the Relationship Between Theories and Methods. There can be multiple meaning associated with the term "theories" and the term "methods" in social sciences research. A helpful way to delineate between them is to understand "theories" as representing different ways of characterizing the social world when you research it and "methods" as representing different ways of generating and analyzing data about that social world. Framed in this way, all empirical social sciences research involves theories and methods, whether they are stated explicitly or not.

However, while theories and methods are often related, it is important that, as a researcher, you deliberately separate them in order to avoid your theories playing a disproportionate role in shaping what outcomes your chosen methods produce. Introspectively engage in an ongoing dialectic between the application of theories and methods to help enable you to use the outcomes from your methods to interrogate and develop new theories, or ways of framing conceptually the research problem.

This is how scholarship grows and branches out into new intellectual territory. Reynolds, R. Ways of Knowing. Alternative Microeconomics. Part 1, Chapter 3. S-Cool Revision. United Kingdom. Methods and the Methodology. Do not confuse the terms "methods" and "methodology.

Descriptions of methods usually include defining and stating why you have chosen specific techniques to investigate a research problem, followed by an outline of the procedures you used to systematically select, gather, and process the data [remember to always save the interpretation of data for the discussion section of your paper]. The methodology refers to a discussion of the underlying reasoning why particular methods were used.

This discussion includes describing the theoretical concepts that inform the choice of methods to be applied, placing the choice of methods within the more general nature of academic work, and reviewing its relevance to examining the research problem. The methodology section also includes a thorough review of the methods other scholars have used to study the topic. Bryman, Alan. Chinese Department, University of Leiden, Netherlands.

The Methodology. Search this Guide Search. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Abstract Executive Summary 4. The Introduction The C. The Discussion Limitations of the Study 9. The Conclusion Appendices Importance of a Good Methodology Section You must explain how you obtained and analyzed your results for the following reasons: Readers need to know how the data was obtained because the method you chose affects the results and, by extension, how you interpreted their significance in the discussion section of your paper.

Methodology is crucial for any branch of scholarship because an unreliable method produces unreliable results and, as a consequence, undermines the value of your analysis of the findings. In most cases, there are a variety of different methods you can choose to investigate a research problem. The methodology section of your paper should clearly articulate the reasons why you have chosen a particular procedure or technique.

The reader wants to know that the data was collected or generated in a way that is consistent with accepted practice in the field of study. For example, if you are using a multiple choice questionnaire, readers need to know that it offered your respondents a reasonable range of answers to choose from.

The method must be appropriate to fulfilling the overall aims of the study. For example, you need to ensure that you have a large enough sample size to be able to generalize and make recommendations based upon the findings. The methodology should discuss the problems that were anticipated and the steps you took to prevent them from occurring. For any problems that do arise, you must describe the ways in which they were minimized or why these problems do not impact in any meaningful way your interpretation of the findings.

In the social and behavioral sciences, it is important to always provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to adopt or replicate your methodology. This information is particularly important when a new method has been developed or an innovative use of an existing method is utilized. Structure and Writing Style I. Groups of Research Methods There are two main groups of research methods in the social sciences: The e mpirical-analytical group approaches the study of social sciences in a similar manner that researchers study the natural sciences.

This type of research focuses on objective knowledge, research questions that can be answered yes or no, and operational definitions of variables to be measured. The empirical-analytical group employs deductive reasoning that uses existing theory as a foundation for formulating hypotheses that need to be tested.

This approach is focused on explanation. The i nterpretative group of methods is focused on understanding phenomenon in a comprehensive, holistic way. Interpretive methods focus on analytically disclosing the meaning-making practices of human subjects [the why, how, or by what means people do what they do], while showing how those practices arrange so that it can be used to generate observable outcomes.

Interpretive methods allow you to recognize your connection to the phenomena under investigation. However, the interpretative group requires careful examination of variables because it focuses more on subjective knowledge. Content The introduction to your methodology section should begin by restating the research problem and underlying assumptions underpinning your study.

The remainder of your methodology section should describe the following: Decisions made in selecting the data you have analyzed or, in the case of qualitative research, the subjects and research setting you have examined, Tools and methods used to identify and collect information, and how you identified relevant variables, The ways in which you processed the data and the procedures you used to analyze that data, and The specific research tools or strategies that you utilized to study the underlying hypothesis and research questions.

In addition, an effectively written methodology section should: Introduce the overall methodological approach for investigating your research problem. Is your study qualitative or quantitative or a combination of both mixed method? Are you going to take a special approach, such as action research, or a more neutral stance? Indicate how the approach fits the overall research design. Your methods for gathering data should have a clear connection to your research problem.

In other words, make sure that your methods will actually address the problem. One of the most common deficiencies found in research papers is that the proposed methodology is not suitable to achieving the stated objective of your paper. The study may deal with the development of a specific technique for the discipline or may take a technique developed by another discipline and attempt to apply it to a Planning context.

Possible examples of this approach are innumerable; for example, the application of new forecasting techniques developed in Management Science to a planning problem, or an attempt to develop methods for breaking down cross census information into smaller temporal or areal units. If it is designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of historical processes and is not merely an attempt to fill gaps in our factual knowledge, the historical approach can be very useful.

Studies detailing the transference of the modern town Planning movement from Europe to North America or the evolution of company towns in Ontario would be appropriate uses of the historical approach. The following is a suggested outline for the essay.

The structure may well vary, depending on the topic, the treatment given, and the advice of an advisor as how to most effectively present the material and research findings. Return to special courses Program manual index. Provide website feedback. The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office. Skip to main Skip to footer. School of Planning. The descriptive study This approach attempts to identify the characteristics of a problem through description.

The explanatory study This approach attempts to find the answer to an enigmatic question. The remedial study The remedial study seeks to formulate plans to correct or improve undesirable social, economic, political, and environmental conditions. The methodological study The methodological study attempts to devise, test or improve new research methods in Planning.

The historical study If it is designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of historical processes and is not merely an attempt to fill gaps in our factual knowledge, the historical approach can be very useful. A suggested essay format The following is a suggested outline for the essay. Abstract mandatory Introduction statement of problem significance of problem purpose of study assumptions and limitations Review of preceding research and literature Survey of pertinent information methodology and techniques employed sources of information, data Analysis Summary and conclusions recommendations for further research References Appendices, if needed.

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