Choosing a research method for dissertation is one of the toughest challenges you as a student face when working on your research. The methodology that you choose has a huge impact on your dissertation. It helps you conduct your research in the right direction and also makes sure that the study you’re conducting answers your research question.
There are various methods through which research is conducted. Depending on your research title, question, aims and objectives you should select a research method. If your research is aimed at a particular organization, primary data collection would be appropriate. If you’ve chosen a sensitive topic or issue, data should be collected through secondary method.
If you choose an inappropriate research method, your dissertation will be meaningless. In order to make sure that your research is authentic and reliable, choose a research method that best suits your study. There are a lot of dissertation research methods through which you can conduct your research; however, some of them are more common and popular as compared to others.
Most commonly employed research methods in a dissertation help conduct research in an appropriate manner. Here are some of them that you too can choose for your dissertation:
Primary Research Method
Primary research refers to the data that is collected specifically for the purpose of the current research. No previous or past data is utilized, studied and/or analyzed. All information is gathered solely for the purpose of the dissertation.
There are a lot of ways through which primary research is carried out (Bolton.ac.uk, 2017). Different research instruments are utilized for conducting primary research. Depending on the topic, research question, aims and objectives the research instrument is chosen.
For instance, if you’ve chosen a specific company for your research, you can conduct interviews with the staff officials. You can even request the top management to let you schedule an appointment with them to conduct interview for your research. However, for instances, you might have to convince them as to why they should spare for your research. Make sure that you explain them properly as to why you’re conducting your research, how it will help the company to improve and what impact will it have. If the management is impressed and they like the idea, there will be no reason for them to refuse to give an interview.
In addition to this, you can conduct surveys and can get your questionnaires filled from your respondents. However, first and foremost, you will have to choose your audience as to who will fill the survey. Next, you need to get a consent form filled and signed from the respondents, and that they are filling the survey out of their own willingness and there is no pressure from the researcher or any other person to participate in the research. Make sure that all their personal information is kept confidential and only their responses are utilized. This means that you will have to fulfil research ethics and work accordingly. Sampling is another important issue that you need to take care of when conducting surveys/questionnaires (Libguides.usc.edu, 2017). You should decide as to how you’ll choose population for your research i.e. which sampling method should be utilized.
Another primary dissertation research methods example is observation. The chosen population is observed by the researcher for the purpose of his/her research. This method is usually chosen for studies relating to psychology and other human behavior related subjects. Few observations are carried out with the consent of the participant; however, few other researches do not obtain consent from the participant and observation is carried out.
Of the different primary research instruments, interviews and surveys are the most commonly employed research methods in a dissertation.
Secondary Research Method
This is the second most common research method for dissertation. Secondary research includes data collection from secondary sources. These sources include past researches and studies, official and governmental sources, websites, news articles, scholarly journals and articles, etc. All these sources are credible, and contain authentic data. However, one aspect that you should take care of is to make sure that the news articles that you choose and the websites that you visit consist of data that is recent and credible.
When utilizing secondary research method in a dissertation, you should take care of a few things. First and foremost, you should make sure that the data that you’re referring to and including in your study is not very old. As a standard research studies about ten years old can be used for references for discussion and analysis purposes, but including data that is too old is not recommended at all. When talking about the data or information that you’ve gathered online through websites, make sure they are accurate.
Additionally, you can also create an inclusion and exclusion list for articles, websites and past researches. For researches you could base the inclusion and exclusion on certain years and specific keywords, and for websites and web articles, you could choose specific renowned websites of which you’re sure that they publish original and recent news only. This list will help you as you will be sure that the data collected is authentic and that there is no chance of any information to be fake or cooked up (Capella.edu, 2017).
This dissertation method cannot be utilized for studies that focus on a particular company only. It can be used for general topics such as employee motivation, job performance etc. and for sensitive issues such as domestic violence, sexual abuse etc.
When deciding on which research methodology to choose, you can even seek help from research methodology samples that are available online. Also, your friends and peers could help you with dissertation methodology examples that they had prepared for their own dissertation. Their supervisor’s feedback will certainly be of help to you as you’d be aware of the dos and don’ts of choosing and implementing a methodology (Bolton.ac.uk, 2017). Furthermore, if your institution has provided any methodology dissertation examples, make sure to follow them as it is the required format according to which you should prepare your research.
Primary and secondary research methodologies are the most commonly employed research methods in a dissertation, thus depending on your research and your title, you can choose that best matches your research question, aims and objectives. If you’re a bit unsure as to which methodology should you select for your dissertation, get in touch with us. At Research Prospect offer help and assistance for all dissertation related services. Our qualified team of writers will help you pick the most appropriate methodology through which you’ll be able to conduct flawless research. You can even provide us with methodology examples for dissertation so that we get an idea as to what your tutor or supervisor is actually looking for, and guide you accordingly.
- Bolton.ac.uk. (2017). Research Methods | University of Bolton. [online] Available at: http://www.bolton.ac.uk/leaponline/Writing-a-Dissertation/Methodology/Research-Methods.aspx [Accessed 31 Oct. 2017].
- Capella.edu. (2017). What Are Acceptable Dissertation Research Methods? – Capella University Blog. [online] Available at: https://www.capella.edu/blogs/cublog/acceptable-dissertation-research-methods/ [Accessed 31 Oct. 2017].
- Libguides.usc.edu. (2017). Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 6. The Methodology. [online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/methodology [Accessed 31 Oct. 2017].
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