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How to Craft a Comprehensive Research Methodology in Four Steps

How to Craft a Comprehensive Research Methodology
Table of Contents

Understanding the methodology section is pivotal to any dissertation. It not only showcases the authenticity of your research but also assesses its credibility. In this article, you will be guided through crafting a robust methodology in four comprehensive steps. Presented to you by Dr. Friederike Jurth, dedicated to supporting your academic pursuits.

The Four Pillars of Comprehensive Research Methodology

Step 1: Define Your Methodological Approach

Begin by addressing your research problem. What kind of data was imperative to resolve it? Was your aim to illustrate something’s features, dive deeper into a subject, or ascertain a cause-effect relationship? Subsequently, decide on the nature of the data you procured. Was it quantitative, characterized by numbers, or qualitative, depicted in words? Determine if you gathered primary data independently, relied on secondary data accumulated by others, conducted experimental data by influencing and gauging variables in a controlled setting, or garnered descriptive data through mere observation without any interference.

Step 2: Elucidate Your Data Collection Methods

After outlining your overarching strategy, delve into the specifics of the research methods employed. Here are some general pointers to consider:

  • The criteria or sampling method deployed to choose participants or sources.
  • The instruments, procedures, and resources harnessed to amass data.
  • How you quantified your variables.
  • Provide ample specifics for future researchers to recreate your study, especially for quantitative and experimental studies.

For instance, if the study concerned a company’s customer viewpoints gathered via surveys, your methodology section might detail the nature of the questions, the survey’s execution logistics, the sampling technique employed, and data about sample size and response rate. Remember to use the past tense as the study has already been concluded.

Step 3: Describe Your Analysis Methods

Here, shed light on your data processing and analysis techniques without delving deep into the results. For quantitative methods, this involves detailing:

  • Pre-analysis data preparations.
  • Software applications utilized for data analysis.
  • Specific statistical approaches were implemented.

For instance, you might detail the screening for anomalies and missing data, mention employing SPSS for data scrutiny, and specify using a paired t-test for analysis. In contrast, qualitative methods primarily focus on words. Here, the emphasis is on categorizing responses to unearth recurrent patterns and themes.

Step 4: Evaluate and Justify Your Method Choices

Your methodology should advocate for your selected methods, particularly if they diverge from the conventional approaches. Elucidate why alternate methods weren’t aligned with your goals and elucidate how your strategy brings forth novel insights. Acknowledge any potential limitations but emphasize the overriding strengths of your chosen methodology. Enhance your methodology’s depth by:

  • Zeroing in on your goals and research queries.
  • Substantiating why your methods align perfectly with your goals and assuring readers of your method’s aptness in addressing your research problem.
  • Reinforcing your methodology with references to research employing akin methods or by citing relevant methodological literature.
  • Detailing challenges encountered during data procurement or analysis and the measures taken to mitigate their impact.

Now you possess all the tools needed to craft a compelling research methodology! Dive into our article for a broader range of examples and methodologies. We’re eager to assist you further on this academic journey!

About the author:

Picture of Dr. Friederike Jurth
Dr. Friederike Jurth

Possibly you already heard of me through different media channels. My name is Dr. Friederike Jurth, and I hold a certificate from Harvard in Higher Education Teaching. Since 2010, I have given lectures on Methodology, Empirical Research, Anthropology, and Transcultural (Music) Studies in collaboration with universities in the United States, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. In 2010, I began a 7-year-long fieldwork project in Rio de Janeiro and have since presented my research at conferences worldwide, including in Japan, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Switzerland, and many other countries. Additionally, I have worked as a lecturer and researcher with Germany’s renowned UNESCO Chair.

After completing my doctoral dissertation with summa cum laude, I aimed to unite, condense, and share the steps, ways, and details of my unique methodological and structural approach that I developed during my Ph.D. and that ultimately helped me achieve this result. By concentrating and putting them together into an elaborate academic conception, MyThesis Academy was born. Motivated by the sole aim and objective to help my students through all steps and stages of their thesis journey, MyThesis Academy enables them to achieve their best possible results in the shortest time, independent of their specific area of research.

In addition to my extensive teaching and research experience, I am part of the authors of the Cambridge Companion to Music in Brazil 2024, published by Cambridge University Press & Assessment, where I contribute as a Cambridge Author. This work is a co-operative project conducted remotely from Cambridge, England, United Kingdom.

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