Writing Better Research Methodology: Difference between research method and research methodology in your research project
- 1 Writing Better Research Methodology: Difference between research method and research methodology in your research project
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Difference between research method and research methodology
- 1.3 Strategies for Writing a Strong Chapter three-research Methodology in Your Project
- 1.3.1 1. Clearly define your research questions and objectives
- 1.3.2 2. Chose an appropriate research design
- 1.3.3 3. Determine your sampling technique
- 1.3.4 4. Determine and describe your data collection technique
- 1.3.5 5. Design Your Instrument for Data Collection
- 1.3.6 6. Describe your techniques of data analysis
- 1.3.7 8. Acknowledge potential limitations or biases
Generically, chapter three (3) of a research project is often dedicated to explaining the methodological choices adopted by a researcher in addressing the research questions and objectives. The chapter is often titled “Research Methodology”. In this chapter, the researcher is expected to not just select out of the numerous research methods a method and approaches within the selected method that will be effective in answering the research questions, but to justify the choice of every selected method.
This chapter on research projects is critical because a well-developed methodology guarantees that the study’s findings are valid, reliable, and replicable. Consequently, this write-up will provide comprehensive strategies for writing a strong research methodology for your research project. However, before providing you with the necessary strategies for writing a good research methodology, we must draw a difference between research methods and research methodology.
Difference between research method and research methodology
Research methodology and research method are two terms that are mostly used synonymously. Nevertheless, they differ in meaning and refer to different dimensions of a research process. Research methodology is referred to as the overall strategy or framework that guides the overall process of the research. It includes your research methods’ underlying presuppositions, concepts, and theoretical underpinning.
On the other hand, the research method is the procedures or techniques adopted by a researcher in collecting and analyzing data to address the research questions and objectives. Thus, with this clarification, you can see why chapter three of your project is titled Research Methodology and know what is expected of you. However, let’s dive into the strategies you can adopt in writing a good chapter three- research methodology is your project.
Strategies for Writing a Strong Chapter three-research Methodology in Your Project
1. Clearly define your research questions and objectives
The first and perhaps the most important thing for you to do before diving into the methodology chapter of your research project is to specify your research questions and objectives. This is because clearly defined research questions and objectives will determine your choice of methods.
By your research objectives being clearly defined, we mean it should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific (SMART). Thus, having well-defined research questions and objectives ensures that your methodological choices match the proposed outcomes of your study.
2. Chose an appropriate research design
The nature of the research problem, research question and objectives torchlights the type of data you need, guiding your choice of research designs. Some common examples of a research design include but are not limited to descriptive design, ex-post facto design, exploratory design, and correlational design.
Each of these research designs has its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Thus, selecting the most appropriate design that will effectively address your research objectives is critical. As a rule, you might want to review other studies with similar problems, research questions, and objectives so you can be well-guided about the type of research design you will adopt for your study.
Furthermore, you must read about the various research designs, their applicability, strengths, and weaknesses. Knowledge of these research designs can go a long way in assisting you in choosing the right research design for your study.
3. Determine your sampling technique
By definition, sampling has to do with the selection of individuals or subjects from a population of interest. Your sampling technique will go a long way in telling your audience if your data was collected from the right population and if your sample size was sufficient. Hence, you need to ensure that your sample is drawn from the population peculiar to your research problem and will be capable of providing you with the right information for further analysis.
4. Determine and describe your data collection technique
You cannot claim to have written a strong methodology in your research project without ascertaining and describing the methods you adopted to collect your study data. Your research questions and objectives should have already given you insight into the data type you need to collect.
However, you still need to specify in Chapter Three the type of data you will collect and how you about collect them. As a rule, if you use primary data, you will be adopting primary data collection methods, such as surveys or interviews.
On the other hand, if you are collecting secondary data, you will be using secondary data collection methods. Furthermore, quantitative or qualitative data’s nature will go a long way in guiding your data collection method. For instance, if you are using qualitative primary data, you can use an interview or focus group interview or survey.
Furthermore, you must clearly state how you will administer your study data collection instrument. If you are using an interview, for instance, you have to state how the interview will be conducted clearly; will you be using an online media like Zoom, phone calls, etc., or it will be a face-to-face interview? Thus, you must carefully explain the method(s) you used to collect your study data to have a strong chapter three.
5. Design Your Instrument for Data Collection
Describing how your instrument for data collection is designed or developed is only necessary if you adopt a primary data collection method. For instance, if you are using a questionnaire, you must state how the questionnaire will be structured and what each section will cover. It is advisable to look out for ready-made instruments or scales developed by well-known scholars. Such tools are often considered more valid and reliable because experts are developing them.
6. Describe your techniques of data analysis
Having judiciously finished prior steps, you must also describe how you will analyse your study data. This section is very necessary because if you select the wrong method, you will have arrived at wrong findings and make invalid conclusions. Thus, you must clearly state how your study data will be analyzed. As a rule, your choice of data analysis will be determined by the nature of your research questions and objectives as well as the nature of your study data.
Hence, these two aspects need to be in sync before you can state your choice of analytical technique. For instance, if you aim to determine the effect of one variable on another variable, you can use regression analysis. To find a relationship between variables, you can use correlation analysis. Furthermore, you must justify your analytical techniques and describe how they align with your research questions and objectives.
7. Address ethical concerns
You must address ethical issues directly linked to your research project, especially if it involves human participants or sensitive issues. This is a very critical section in the chapter of your research project. Your ethical concerns should include how or if you collected informed consent from prospective participants and how you ensured the participants’ anonymity, confidentiality, and safety.
8. Acknowledge potential limitations or biases
You must acknowledge and explain any potential biases or limitations that can affect the findings of your research project. This encompasses addressing external validity problems, confusing variables, measurement inconsistencies or errors, selection bias, and sample limitations. However, it is also critical for you to state how you overcame the identified limitations. By recognizing these limitations beforehand, you are showing transparency and providing a more precise interpretation of the outcomes of your research.
Conclusively, writing a strong research methodology-chapter three consist of you following the aforementioned steps. By adhering to these strategies you can be rest assured that your methodological chapter is robust and add substantially to the overall quality of your research project.