How to Make A Methodology For A Research Paper

The methodology is the heart and soul of any research paper. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most challenging sections to write. Many college students are not trained how to make a methodology properly because their professors assume that it has been taught to them when they were in high school. As a result, a lot of students simply look up the Internet for a methodology sample that they can pattern their own methodology into. Luckily, the Internet provides a lot of resources for learning.

This article tries to explain to college students in the simplest words possible how to make a methodology.

How to Make a Methodology

The Purposes of a Methodology Paper

As the most important element of the research paper, the methodology performs a number of invaluable functions. The first is to demonstrate to the readers how the data was obtained and analyzed. This includes a thorough explanation of the data collection methods because the instrumentations used for the study largely affect the results generated by the study.

The second function is to explain to the readers the reasons for choosing a certain kind of data-gathering instrument. In many cases, there are several different kinds of methods for extracting data. However, there are always one or two methods that best fit the purposes of the study. The methodology should be able to show readers why a certain method was preferred over other possible methods.

Two Types of Methodology

To learn how to make a methodology, you must be aware of the two types of methodologies that you can use for your research. These are: quantitative methodology and qualitative methodology.

  1. Quantitative methodologies are used in gathering data about people’s thoughts, feelings and actions using in a systematic, scientific and structured manner. One-on-one interviews, surveys and questionnaires are commonly used for quantitative research in the natural sciences as well as social sciences.
  2. Qualitative methodologies include case studies, participant observation and direct observation. This kind of research aims to delve into a deeper understanding of how a social phenomena works and is particularly useful in studying cultures, value systems and the motivations underlying specific attitudes and behaviors.

Writing a Methodology

In writing a methodology, you should focus on providing as much information as needed for other researchers to be able to replicate the results of your study. There is no need to be clever or interesting in this chapter of the research paper. You only need to be straightforward and informative.

  1. Provide a brief introduction. A methodology sample usually has not more than three paragraphs in the introduction. This contains a restatement of the problem and the objectives of the study as well as an overview of what to expect in the methodology chapter. It may contain all the components of the methodology, without the smaller details, for readers who decide not to venture in the next paragraphs.
  2. Explain why you have chosen a specific research design. The objective is to convince the reader that your data collection and analysis methods are not only appropriate for the study, but that they are the best methods for your research. Any deviations from the conventional methods should also be justified to prevent your readers from concluding that you methodology is flawed.
  3. Identify the research instruments that you plan to use for your study. There is no need to provide the minute details of conventional research methods since readers in the same field are already expected to have knowledge of these methods. However, new and unused procedures must be thoroughly explained and must be proven valid and reliable. In many cases, a pilot test is necessary to establish the validity and reliability of such new methods.
  4. Describe the method of choosing a sample. Random sampling is still the most recommended way to do this and can be done in two ways: simple random sampling and stratified random sampling. However, constraints in time or resources may compel you to use convenience sampling. However you may choose, the sampling method should be clearly described. If convenience sampling is used, you must be able to provide a rationale and identify the limitations of using such a method.
  5. Outline the techniques to be used for analyzing data and extracting meaning out of them. Techniques that can be used may be HLM, ANOVA, MANCOVA, ethnography, case studies, etc. Whichever technique you use must be explained in this section and must be justified as to why it is the most appropriate for your study. Any computer technologies, such as SPSS, SYSTAT or AQUAD should also be mentioned and described.

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