The PhD research methodology chapter of your dissertation is important since it explains the methods of data collection and analysis, which helps to establish the validity and reliability of your research findings. So, the methodology for dissertation should be in-depth to enable replication of your study in the event that a researcher wants to assess the accuracy of your findings.
Despite the fact that the methods section’s only purpose is to emphasize the steps you took while conducting your research, many students find it difficult to write this chapter. This may be because they lack the writing skills necessary to do so or they believe the paper is intended for professionals in the subject and thus present a shallow account of the research design.
In this post, we will examine the most typical errors made by students while writing the methods section of a dissertation, to assist you in overcoming these stumbling blocks and preparing an amazing paper.
Common mistakes when writing a methodology in dissertation
- Shallow explanation of the research methods
When conducting your research, we highly advise you to discard the notion that your reader is familiar with your research objectives. As a result, emphasize all the pertinent details of the data collection and analysis processes to enable the replication of your research.
Be sure to mention all the factors that were investigated as well as any assumptions that were made during the research. Also, it’s critical to highlight any other approaches that were used in your research and to provide an explanation for choosing to use a qualitative, quantitative, or hybrid strategy in your study.
By doing this, you can convince the reader to back your research strategy and dismiss any doubts they may have about it. When adopting a qualitative method, it’s crucial to explain your selection criteria for the data source and provide specifics on the initial data collection process.
Moreover, explain why you selected data from a specific source over data from other sources that also touched on the subject. By providing the reader with this knowledge, you demonstrate to them your familiarity with the field of study, which can lessen any potential criticism of your research strategy.
- Wrong choice of tenses
Another widespread mistake in dissertation research methods is the choice of tenses. Using different tenses can make it unclear to your reader when your research was conducted.
The methods section should ideally be written in the simple past tense since it emphasizes actions that have already been taken. Yet, since the study proposal outlines the measures you want to take to evaluate specific objectives, it should be written in the future tense.
- Failure to provide background information
The methodology chapter of your research paper should, like the previous chapters, relate to the main idea of your study. Hence, describe the world view you used in your research (such as positivism, pragmatism, critical realism, interpretivism, and postmodernism).
To help your reader understand the criteria you utilized to arrive at your conclusions, you should also talk about the importance of your approaches to filling in the research gaps. Be careful not to include any extraneous information and include ancillary materials like surveys from your study in the appendices section.
- Using active voice
The methods section deviates from the general recommendation made by several universities that academic papers be written in the active voice. The thesis methodology section should be written in the passive voice, emphasizing the action more than the doer.
To cut any unnecessary words from your techniques, be thorough in your editing as the passive voice has a tendency to be wordier than the active voice. Make sure your approaches chapter doesn’t account for more than 15% of the total word count.
- Failure to acknowledge limitations
Students frequently refrain from expressing any difficulties they had while conducting their research out of concern that admitting the limitations of their study could lead to criticism of their papers.
Albeit, addressing the difficulties you ran into in your research and the methods you used to solve them provides credibility to your conclusions. Giving a detailed account of your study’s flaws will also help other researchers build on your work by modifying their research plans to take these issues into account.
The sample size and any inherent flaws in the approach you chose are some of the constraints your research may encounter.
- Poor structure and flow between sections
We strongly advise using an outline when working on PhD research methodologies to make sure you give all the important information in the correct sequence. Writing with an outline, as opposed to freewriting, helps you group ideas into pertinent subsections, producing a logical flow and preventing reader confusion.
Moreover, be careful to include transitional phrases in the techniques section to provide the reader a fluid summary of the actions conducted during the research.
We hope that these pointers have helped you enhance your writing skills in the methodology part. To become more familiar with the stages involved in creating a dissertation methods section, make sure to look at a thorough example of methodology in dissertation.