Writing Your Methodology Chapter in Your Dissertation

In most academic papers, such as theses and dissertations, the methodology chapter is a vital but often underestimated factor. The strength or weakness of your methodology can make all the difference in how the paper goes over with your readers.

In general, there are four basic components you need to remember when learning how to write methodology, beginning with the inclusion of a review of the issues, problems, arguments, etcetera, you are bringing up in the paper itself. To put it more simply, you need to outline and make obvious the questions you are putting forth in your dissertation, as well as any trouble you think you may have in discovering the answers to those questions. But if you have problems with this or you feel that you do not have enough time to write your scientific work, there is dissertation writing help, such an opportunity will save you a lot of nerves and strength.

The second part of your methodology chapter is a broad definition or overview of how you intend to answer the questions posed in your MA dissertation. That is, how do you intend to conduct your research? Let the readers know the step by step process, and do not be afraid to be as meticulous and detailed as you possibly can in the process. Everything you intend to do needs to be written down and included. You need to keep the readers with you every step of the way.

That being said, however – and this does indeed seem contradictory – there still needs to be some things left for the readers to decide themselves. So, while you should include details, do not inundate your thesis with them. Let the readers stay with you during the process, but do not make things so easy that they do not have to do any thinking themselves. You simply need to let it be known that your research was precise, as were the steps you took to conduct it. Clearly, writing your methodology chapter involves a very delicate balance.

Like the act of dissertation writing itself, your methodology also needs to contain some specific factors. It needs to begin with an introduction, even if it is only a paragraph long. The following paragraphs needs to be full of explanations for the methods you utilized, rather than a reiteration of the problem.

You will also need to justify your decisions and your methods. Likewise, if you choose not to take a certain approach, you will need to justify that as well. Say, for example, that you choose to write a sociology paper on social prejudices which focuses on how people view others who are from the South. You will need to explain why you did not include other groups in addition to why you decided to focus on that specific social group.

No matter what kind of academic paper you are writing, your methodology chapter needs to include such things as variables. This may make it sound more like you are writing a mathematical paper, but trust, every research project has to have a variable, just like it has to have a constant. In the aforementioned hypothetical, for example, the constant is Southern Americans, while the variable is the opinions of other people. There has to be an explanation for everything – you have to make allowances for anomalies. For instance, if your thesis states that you believe most people will think that Southern Americans are primarily uneducated, are lower class, or even spend all day on porches drinking mint juleps, you have to make allowances for those who do not think these things and explain why you think they do not.