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Methodology

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❶Remember that all tables must be carefully titled and labelled and that sources of your data must be acknowledged. Often in early supervision meetings they ask students to justify their reasons for choosing a library-based or an empirical study.

What is Research Methodology?

What are Research Methods?
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A Place where you learn how to complete Your Dissertation.

The researcher participates directly in the setting and collects data in a systematic manner. The researcher will observe behaviour, listen to conversations, and ask questions. Spend some time looking at general books about research - they will give you an overview of the data collection methods available and help you to make the best choice for your project.

Bryman would be a useful starting point. For any piece of research you conduct, be it empirically based quantitative or qualitative or library based, its methods must be justified. You need to show in the final dissertation how you have given consideration to different methods, and why you have chosen and eliminated these. Often in early supervision meetings they ask students to justify their reasons for choosing a library-based or an empirical study.

Todd, Smith and Bannister , p This was particularly useful for one of our respondents:. With other essays you can rush them if you have to Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , p …. My reasons for data collection is literature based as my research question involved sensitive subjects which would have been unsuitable for primary data collection. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University I chose primary data because it would enable me to build skills that would be useful for postgraduate study.

Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University It will involve primary data, secondary data, quantitative and qualitative research methods, lit reviews, theory and policy studies and an exploration of alternatives. My dissertation is to be based around the experience of 'poverty', as poverty is the experience. Theories and policies are not. However, to do justice to the subject, theories and policies will be included so Iam able to demonstrate where failures in the system may exist.

Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University. Research must be conducted in a sensible and ethical manner; data must be analysed and presented in a rational manner. It is important that students do not expose themselves or others to dangers or risks when conducting research. Students need the approval of their dissertation supervisor before embarking on any type of fieldwork see the section on Research Ethics for more information. In general, deductive research is theory-testing and inductive research is theory-generating.

Often people link deductive research with quantitative experiments or surveys, and inductive research with qualitative interviews or ethnographic work. These links are not hard and fast — for instance, experimental research, designed to test a particular theory through developing a hypothesis and creating an experimental design, may use quantitative or qualitative data or a combination. If your research starts with a theory and is driven by hypotheses that you are testing e.

However much research combines deductive and inductive elements. Research design is vital to conducting a good piece of work. At the start of your research you need to set down clearly:. You and your supervisor will discuss your design and decide whether the research is 'do-able'.

Your university may require you to produce a report e. Other people may have to look at the design to ascertain whether there are ethical issues that affect your research. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Researching society and culture. London, Sage Here are some references for specific methods: Interviewing for social scientists: Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement.

Identifying a research topic: A template for structured observation: Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site What is a Dissertation?

How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies. Introduction What approach should I take - qualitative or quantitative? Can my dissertation be entirely literature-based? What is case study research? What's an empirical study? What is secondary analysis? Where do I find existing research data? Collecting you own data - primary research Will my research be inductive or deductive?

What about research design? Resources Further reading Research papers. Methodologies 1 Introduction The way you approach your question will have a profound effect upon the way you construct your dissertation, so this section discusses the types of research you might undertake for your dissertation.

This video clip contains comments from the following academics: What if I want to find out about social trends, or the measurable effects of particular policies? What if I want to record people's views on an issue, and give them a 'voice'? Whether you choose qualitative or quantitative analysis will depend on several things: Your preferred philosophical approach realist, phenomenologist or constructionist.

Your skills and abilities with methods of data collection if needed and analysis. The topic or issue you are interested in. How you frame your research question. Can I combine qualitative and quantitative methods? You may be interested in doing an analysis that is primarily quantitative, looking at social trends, or policy implications. However you also want to introduce a 'human touch' by conducting one or several interviews asking what these trends mean to people or how particular individuals experience events.

After doing your quantitative analysis, you should include a chapter or section on the qualitative data you have collected. In your discussion of findings you can use the qualitative data to help you understand the patterns in the quantitative analysis. You may be interested in doing an evaluative case study of a process or policy. You will have a particular focus — a 'case' that you are looking at. You will triangulate methods — i. You will analyse each type of data and describe this, and then write a discussion that shows how each piece of analysis contributes to the overall picture of what is going on.

Download Case Study 6 Media research If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. This has the following advantages: They allow you to discuss trends and social changes. The data are often collected through a random sample, which allows you to generalise to the population under consideration. They may also allow you to make comparisons over time, as some datasets are products of longitudinal studies.

Smaller, more targeted datasets may also be available. Secondary analysis has disadvantages also: You have to find out something about that purpose, as well as the methods of collection, in order to justify your use of a secondary dataset.

Collecting you own data - primary research Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e. Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative data collection methods and their definitions: Self-completion questionnaires A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own.

Structured interviews Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee. Structured observation Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation: In-depth interviews A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview.

Focus groups A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning. Participant observation This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. This was particularly useful for one of our respondents: Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University Note: Will my research be inductive or deductive?

What's all this about research design? At the start of your research you need to set down clearly: Your research focus and research question. How you propose to examine the topic: How you will access these sources of information be they people, existing datasets, biographical accounts, media articles or websites, official records.

The proposed outcome of this research in your case, a dissertation and the form it will take. A time-frame for all this. Summary Quantitative or qualitative?

A quantitative approach will mean you will need substantial datasets, as well as the inclusion of tables and statistics in your final submission. This information could come from a variety of sources - remember to acknowledge them! A qualitative approach will probably mean conducting interviews or focus groups or observing behaviour.

Ask yourself if you are prepared to do this, and think about the best way of getting the answers you want from people. Will you stop people in the street? Will you conduct telephone interviews? Will you send out survey forms and hope that people return them? Will you be a participant or non participant observer? Deductive research is theory-testing, which is often linked to datasets, surveys or quantitative analysis. Inductive research is theory-generating, and is often linked to qualitative interviews.

An empirical study could involve close analysis of statistics or some form of qualitative research. However, a theoretical study brings its own challenges, and you may be called upon to compare theories in terms of their applicability.

Once you have decided upon your approach, you can write out a research design, i. Now look a little at the research methods that you have studied. There are so many factors to take into account and evaluate. The research question , ethics , budget and time are all major considerations in any design. This is before looking at the statistics required, and studying the preferred methods for the individual scientific discipline.

Every experimental design must make compromises and generalizations , so the researcher must try to minimize these, whilst remaining realistic. For biology, psychology and social sciences, there can be a huge variety of methods to choose from, and a researcher will have to justify their choice. The first method is the straightforward experiment, involving the standard practice of manipulating quantitative, independent variables to generate statistically analyzable data.

Generally, the system of scientific measurements is interval or ratio based. The researcher is accepting or refuting the null hypothesis. The results generated are analyzable and are used to test hypotheses , with statistics giving a clear and unambiguous picture. This research method is one of the most difficult, requiring rigorous design and a great deal of expense, especially for larger experiments.

The other problem, where real life organisms are used, is that taking something out of its natural environment can seriously affect its behavior. It is also the biggest drain on time and resources, and is often impossible to perform for some fields, because of ethical considerations.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a prime example of experimental research that was fixated on results, and failed to take into account moral considerations. In other fields of study, which do not always have the luxury of definable and quantifiable variables - you need to use different research methods.

These should attempt to fit all of the definitions of repeatability or falsifiability , although this is not always feasible. Opinion based research methods generally involve designing an experiment and collecting quantitative data. For this type of research, the measurements are usually arbitrary, following the ordinal or interval type. Questionnaires are an effective way of quantifying data from a sample group, and testing emotions or preferences. This method is very cheap and easy, where budget is a problem, and gives an element of scale to opinion and emotion.

These figures are arbitrary, but at least give a directional method of measuring intensity. By definition, this experiment method must be used where emotions or behaviors are measured, as there is no other way of defining the variables. Whilst not as robust as experimental research , the methods can be replicated and the results falsified.

Observational research is a group of different research methods where researchers try to observe a phenomenon without interfering too much. Observational research methods, such as the case study , are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement. Observational research often has no clearly defined research problem , and questions may arise during the course of the study.

Observation is heavily used in social sciences, behavioral studies and anthropology, as a way of studying a group without affecting their behavior. Whilst the experiment cannot be replicated or falsified , it still offers unique insights, and will advance human knowledge.

Case studies are often used as a pre-cursor to more rigorous methods, and avoid the problem of the experiment environment affecting the behavior of an organism. Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem.

Experimental Research Methods

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The research methodology enabled the team to organize their efforts into one cohesive and conceptual product idea generation task for us. 20 people found this helpful You need to have a good research methodology in place .

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The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically.

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The methodology is the general research strategy that outlines the way in which research is to be undertaken and, among other things, identifies the methods to be used in it. These methods, described in the methodology, . A research method is a systematic plan for doing research. In this lesson, we'll look at the definition for a research method and examine the four.

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In simple terms, methodology can be defined as, giving a clear cut idea on what methods or process the researcher is going to use in his or her research to achieve research objectives. In order to plan for the whole research process at a right point of time and to advance the research work in [ ]. Research Methodology in all disciplines of various universities. It is hoped that the book shall provide guidelines to all interested in research studies of one sort or the other.