Writing Your Dissertation Methodology

04/05/2018 | George Orwell | 1882

In the dissertation, the methodology has to be included for reliability and validity. In this article, we will discuss its meaning and how you can include the methodology in your dissertation or research paper.

What does methodology mean?

The methodology means a philosophical approach to the research methods used in the research process of the dissertation. It plays a vital role, some of them are as follows.

  • It describes the type of research conducted
  • it describes the data collection process
  • It describes the data analysis process
  • tools used in the research
  • your reason to choose these methods

Note: the methodology section is written in the past tense.

How to Write a Dissertation Methodology

To write a dissertation methodology section we have simplified these 4 easy steps which are as follows

Step 1: Explain the approach

The methodology approaches to check whether the aim of the research was to systematically describe the characteristics or to establish a cause and effect relationship? and type of data one needs to achieve the aim

  • did you need quantitative or qualitative data?
  • did you need to collect primary data or the secondary data?
  • did you need to introduce a variable?

Depending upon the field and approach of the research, you can also start the discussion with the reasons and assumptions that support your methodology.

  • why you have chosen this approach to answer your research question?
  • Is this the standard methodology used in this field, if not, why you have chosen this?

Step 2: Explain the method of data collection

The methods of data collection have to be discussed in this step.

Quantitative method:

 Explain how the operation of concept and data collection was done, was there any procedure, any inclusion/exclusion, or any tools used in the collection of data.


  • Describe how the survey was conducted on
  • what question you have prepared
  • how participants were selected.

You can also include the questionnaire in the appendix for the reader to have an idea of how data was collected.


  • How the experiment was designed?
  • how the participants were recruited?
  • how the variable was calculated?

In experimental researches, it is required to give enough details so that the other researchers can replicate the experiment.

Existing data

  • How was the data collected?
  • criteria you have chosen?

Qualitative method

The qualitative method is subjective so explanation and approach need to be discussed. Describe the criteria needed to select the participants, your role in the collection of the data.


  • Describe how the interviews were taken
  • how many participants were interviewed
  • How they were interviewed and data was collected.

Observation participant 

  • Describe how the participants were observed
  • How did you get access?
  • how the data is collected (audio, video, etc)

Step 3: Discuss methods of analysis

The process and analysis of the data have to be discussed in this. you don’t have to present any results here so avoid getting too much into the details.

Quantitative methods

Quantitative method analysis is based on the numbers and figures. so discuss

  • Preparation of data before analyzing
  • software used
  • Statistical tests used.

Qualitative methods

Qualitative method analysis is based on language, image, and observation. so discuss

Step 4: Justify selected methodology

In this step you have to explain and why you have chosen this methodology for your dissertation or research. you will also be explaining why you have chosen this and not the other available methodology. If you are choosing a not usually chosen approach you’ll need to explain that also.

There are limitations and strengths of every approach. Explain the same about your approach also.

Tips for writing an effective dissertation methodology 

The aim here is not just to write about your methods but to show how your research was done in an extremely thorough and careful way.

  • Keep the focus on the central object or the research question
  • Proper Citation of sources
  • Write well-structured text
  • Discuss problems you faced


Q1. What is the difference between method and methodology?

A methodology is an approach that involves various research methods to analyze in the research paper or a research paper and a method is the tools and procedure used to collect and analyze data.

Q2. Where to put the methodology section in a masters dissertation?

A methodology section appears after the introduction section and before the discussion, result, and conclusion section. depending upon the length of the dissertation the Literature review or theoretical framework can also come before the methodology section.

Q3. is there any difference between validity and reliability in methodology?

Reliability relates to the consistency of a measure whereas validity is defined as the extent to which the concept is accurately measured.

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