A Comprehensive Guide to Research Methodology - Research Prospect

Research Methodology

The research methodology is a part of your research paper that describes your research process in detail. It would help if you always tried to make the section of the research methodology enjoyable.

As you describe the procedure that has already been completed, you need to write it in the past tense.

Your research methodology should explain:

What was the purpose of your research?

What type of research method is used?

What were the data collecting methods?

How did you analyze the data?

What kind of resources has been used in your research?

Why did you choose these methods?

How to Write a Research Methodology?

Start writing your research methodology with the research problem giving a clear picture of your study’s purpose. It’ll help your readers focus on the research objectives and understand the remaining procedure of your research.

You should explain:

What type of research have you conducted?

The types of research can be categorized from the following perspectives;

Application of the study

Aim of the research

Mode of inquiry

Research approach

While talking about the research methods, you should highlight the key points, such as:

  • The objective of choosing a specific research method.
  • Is the purpose of the study fulfilled?
  • The criteria of validity and reliability
  • Did you meet the ethical considerations?

What kind of data gathering methods you’ve used in your research?

There are three types of data collecting methods such as:

Qualitative Method

Qualitative research is based on quality, and it looks in-depth at non-numerical data. It enables us to understand the comprehensive details of the problem. The researcher prepares open-ended questions to gather as much information as possible.

Quantitative Method

The quantitative research is associated with the aspects of measurement, quantity, and extent. It follows the statistical, mathematical, and computational techniques in numerical data such as percentages and statistics. The research is conducted on a large group of population.

Mixed Methods

When you combine quantitative and qualitative methods of research, the resulting approach becomes mixed methods of research.

Example: In quantitative correlation research, you aim to identify the cause-and-effect relationship between two or more variables. It would help if you also focused on explaining the difference between correlation and causation.

Example: In a qualitative research case study, your research’s focus is to find answers to how and why questions. You need to collect data collection from multiple sources over time. You need to analyse real-world problems in-depth, then you can use the method of the case study.

Describe the Research Methods

After explaining the research method you have used, you should describe the data collection methods you used. Mention the procedure and materials you used in your research.

Qualitative Methods

Interview/Focus Group Discussion

Describe the details and criteria of the interviews and. You should include the following points:

The type of questionnaire you have used in your interview.

The procedure for selecting participants.

The size of your sample (number of participation)

The duration and location of interviews.

Observation

Describe the procedure of your observation and include the following points:

Who were the participants of your observation?

How did you get access to that specific group?

How did you record the data? (written form, audio or video recording)

Archival Data

Here you have to describe the existing data you’ve’ used. You should explain:

What type of resources have you used? (texts, images, audio, videos)

How did you get access to them?

To seek in-depth information about the stress level among men and women, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten men and ten women of company X. The participants were aged between 20-40. The interviews were held in the canteen to create a stress-free environment that lasted 15 minutes each. The responses were written and filmed.

Quantitative Methods

Surveys

Describe the entire procedure of your survey. Include the following points:

What type of survey have you conducted? (Questionnaire/interview/ rating scale/ Online Survey)

Who were the participants of your survey? How did you select them?

What was the sample size?

What type of questions you’ve used in your survey? (open-ended/closed-ended)

How many questions have you used?

What was the response rate of the participants?

Experiments

Explain the detailed procedure you have followed in your experiment. Try to provide as much information you can provide. Include the following points:

The type of your experimental design.

Sampling method you’ve used to select subjects.

Tools and techniques used in the experiment.

The way you identified a cause-and-effect relationship between the variables.

Archival Data

Describe the existing data you’ve used in your research. Include the following points:

  • What type of resources have you used? (journals, newspapers, books, online content)
  • How did you get access to them?
  • Who is the author of the source?
  • Who published it? When?

The survey included ten multiple-choice questions and ten open-ended questions. The survey’s objective is to determine the stress level of working women who have to deal with household responsibilities. From 17-20 Jan 2018, between 11:00 to 13:00, the survey questionnaire was distributed among the women at the working counters. The participants were given 10 minutes to fill the questionnaire. Out of 500 participants, 450 responded, and 350 were included in the analysis.

Describe Methods of Data Analysis

In this section, you should briefly describe the methods you’ve used to analyse the data you’ve collected.

Qualitative Methods

The qualitative method includes analysing language, images, audio, videos, or any textual data (textual analysis). The following types of methods are used in textual analysis.

Discourse analysis: Discourse analysis is an essential aspect of studying a language and its uses in day-to-day life.

Content analysis: It is a method of studying and retrieving meaningful information from documents

Thematic analysis: It’s a method of identifying patterns of themes in the collected information, such as face-to-face interviews, texts, and transcripts.

Example: After collecting the data, it was checked thoroughly to find the missing information. The interviews were transcribed, and textual analysis was conducted. The repetitions of the text, types of colours displayed, the tone of the speakers was measured.

Quantitative Methods

Quantitative data analysis is used for analysing numerical data. Include the following points:

The methods of preparing data before analysing it.

Which statistical test you have used? (one-ended test, two-ended test)

The type of software you’ve used.

After collecting the data, it was checked thoroughly to find out the missing information. The coding system was used to interpret the data.

Provide Background and Justification

Many research methods are available, from standard to an averaged approach based on the requirements and abilities. In the research methodology section, it’s essential to mention the reasons behind selecting a specific research method.

You should also explain why you did not choose any other standard approach to your topic when it fits your requirements. Talk about your research objectives and highlight the points that could affect your research procedure if you select another research method.

You can discuss the limitations of other research methods compared to your research requirements and the method you’ve used.

Ethnographic research requires a lot of time, and one has to struggle a lot to gain access to the community. A researcher has to spend time with the target group in their natural environment. Sometimes, it’s difficult for a researcher to introduce himself as a researcher/participant with the community.

The online survey does not provide reliable responses. The only benefit of conducting an online survey would be its quick response rate and cost-effectiveness.

Points to Remember while Writing Methodology

While writing your methodology, you need to keep in mind that you don’t need to make it complicated with unnecessary details.

The aim of your writing a research methodology is not merely discussing the methods and techniques you’ve used.

You have to provide a detailed account of the procedure you’ve followed, the obstacles you faced, and the way you overcome them.

Your research question and objectives of the research are the base of your research. You should discuss the objectives and explain how this specific method helped you answer your research question. You can use goals and outcomes as evidence to support your discussion.

If you’ve used any standard method in your research, you don’t need to provide many details about it as it would be common in your field. However, if you’ve used any specific approach rarely used in your field, you should explain it in detail. Your explanation and information can help other researchers in their research.

Your methodology should be well-structured and easy to understand, with all the necessary information, evidence to support your argument.

After gathering the data, it’s essential to credit the sources you have used in your research. Mention the resources you’ve used, the way you got access to those resources. Use any suitable referencing style to cite sources such as APA, MLA, and Chicago, etc.

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