Dissertation Methodology How to Write a Dissertation Tips - Master's Thesis Topic Format Tips - PhD Dissertations Samples for Master's Graduates
Dissertation Methodology:
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Dissertation Methodology

The dissertation methodology is a section within the doctoral dissertation that describes the original research the candidate has conducted in preparation for earning his or her PhD. Following are some tips in writing successful dissertation methodologies.

The key to an effective dissertation methodology is defining a relevant research study. Depending on the subject matter, a dissertation methodology may be either qualitative or quantitative. Wherever possible, quantitative research, such as subjecting a random sample of research subjects to statistical analysis, should be strongly considered. In the physical sciences and many of the social sciences, quantitative research is expected in dissertation methodologies. In the liberal arts, however, qualitative research is often the only correct option.

In defining a methodology, the candidate should consider the literature in his or her field. His or her goal should be a dissertation methodology that builds on prior research, but doesn't duplicate the work of research reported in prior dissertations.

Dissertation methodologies are frequently arranged in four subsections: participants, instruments, procedure, and data analysis. The participants include those conducting the study as well as any research subjects involved. The instruments section describes any instruments or methods used to gather the data. The procedure section describes the way in which the data was gathered. The data analysis describes the way in which the gathered data was analyzed, such as whether it was subjected to statistical modeling.

When crafting dissertation methodologies, it is crucial to make no assumptions that cannot be backed up with research or evidence of extensive study. When writing the dissertation methodology, one must ask oneself if each statement made or procedural element described is grounded within the overall methodology of the research study. When the time comes to orally defend the dissertation methodology, the doctoral candidate must be certain each component of the research and the written dissertation document itself is carefully crafted to avoid lapses in critical thinking or of careful planning.

As the core subject matter of any doctoral work, the dissertation methodology will be carefully scrutinized by the candidate's board of advisors. Careful thought must be given to its design and implementation, and the relevance of its placement within the context of the doctoral candidate's field of study.