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This could be planning how you'll gather data, or what models you'll use to process it, or what philosophical positions most inform your work.Following this, your dissertation methodology provides a detailed account of both Your methodology needs to establish a clear relationship between your research question, the existing scholarship in your field that you have surveyed as part of your literature review, and the means by which you'll come to your conclusions.
However, the complexity of working with human subjects means there are a number of additional questions to consider.
First of all, you'll want to answer certain broad questions about the kind of analysis you're undertaking: is it qualitative or quantitative, or a mixed approach that uses qualitative data to provide context and background to quantitative data (or vice versa)?
In addition to answering all these questions, you must satisfy your reader that you have considered all the ethical questions associated with your research.
Part of this, of course, entails obtaining sign-off for your design from the appropriate ethics bodies, but even then there might be aspects of your study – inviting subjects to relive episodes of grief and trauma, for instance, or broaching culturally sensitive matters within a particular target group – that some readers could consider contentious or problematic.
Will you be conducting recorded interviews with your subjects, asking them to complete a written questionnaire, or observing them undertaking some activity or other?
Or will you avoid doing your own research with human subjects at all, and base your research on documentary evidence or a pre-existing data set? Is there reason to believe it can be generalised to other contexts, or is it highly specific to the particular location or cultural context in which you conducted your research?Remember that a scholar might use any single part of your methodology as a departure point for their own work; they might follow your experiment design but choose a different model for analysing the results, or vice versa!A study in the social or behavioural sciences As with a scientific study, a social or behavioural sciences methodology needs to demonstrate both rigour and reproducibility, allowing another researcher to reproduce your study in whole or in part for their own ends.Therefore, no matter what subject area you're working in, your methodology section will include the following: While the outline of your methodology section will look much the same regardless of your discipline, the details are liable to be quite different depending on the subject area in which you're studying.Let's take a look at some of the most common types of dissertation, and the information required in a methodology section for each of them.But you should resist the temptation to include the following in your dissertation methodology, even if they seem to belong there quite naturally: When you start your dissertation project, you may already have some broad ideas about the methodology you want to use.You'll refine these ideas in conversation with your supervisor and develop them further as you read about the previous work that has been done in your field, and other scholars' approach to your subject area.Regardless of your level, your dissertation methodology will develop as you review the literature in your field and refine your initial research questions.Your literature review and methodology will therefore develop in tandem with each other.Make sure you address such concerns head-on, and if necessary justify your methods by emphasising the potential value of your conclusions.A critical dissertation in the arts or humanities Methodological rigour is just as valuable in the arts and humanities as in the sciences and social sciences.