What exactly does the Methodology Chapter comprise?

Firstly, do we mean the same thing by Methods and Methodology? A lot of researchers may call them as synonyms and use them interchangeably. However there is some distinction that is there, between both the terms and that is very important for researchers to know.

Methodology, to understand better is primarily the theory of the document. It is the theory of the research methods that would be used in research. This theory brings forth various crucial and significant decisions that the researcher has taken regarding the research. These decisions could pertain to what is the area of study, who are the subject of the study, where is the study to be done, what to include or exclude in the study, and to not forget the relational and ethical concerns that are associated with the study.

When we talk of research in the field of social sciences and arts, they have to incorporate somewhere in the beginning of the research itself, the way in which the research is planned and will be carried out. This design for their research elucidates on what the research is all about, why it is the way it is and how it is planned to be taken forward?

When talking about methodology, there isn’t a need to go in complete detail about the discussion chapter, just to focus on the fact that the research has been undertake with a critical perspective is enough, where by some basic principles about the research are highlighted together.

When you write your research methodology, you got to primarily focus upon fitting the discussion in the discipline of the topic. It is basically, that you got to be writing about what is of prime importance to the reader to understand the research thoroughly and be able to comprehend the research in the best possible way that is to be read in the remaining part of the document.

This, I hope makes it very clear what methodology is all about. So, now what is methods?

Methods, are just one part of the methodology chapter. Though the most important and critical part which gives the different tools that have been used in research. Both the methodology and the methods collectively make the research design of the study and it is actually the unique way in which, among all the possible subjectivity, the researcher has assembled and sequenced the tools and their application in synchronisation with the principles that have been elaborated through the methodological choices.

The Methodology Chapter Never Gets Accepted in the First Time. Why?

The methods chapter is one chapter that is examined very carefully by the examiners. The doctorate degree is predominantly a degree that is seen as research training and that’s why it is considered very important by the examiner to ensure that the researcher is thorough with handling the technical stuff with aplomb. As an examiner, he would look for certain things, particularly in the methodology chapter and would reject the methodology chapter or ask for a redo because of some specific points. They are:

  1. Does the researcher clearly know the difference between methodology and methods chapter?

  2. He has not given clear meaning of the technical terminology used and their association with the current theme of the topic

  3. There is lack of coherence between the methodology and the theoretical framework and the research tradition that has been presented in the study

  4. The researcher has not brought up the debates in the research tradition upon which the entire study is based.

  5. It is important that the methodology has to fit the research question presented. It has to be justified in the chapter very clearly. If there is lack of explanation for choosing a specific methodology is alignment with the research question then the examiner cannot find the fit and he may reject the chapter

  6. The research design has to fit up with the methodological approach

  7. The presented Literature review in the proposal/thesis has to be the foundation for the creation of the methodology chapter and it is important that it is positively justified through the references to the relevant literatures

  8. Each research is a master piece in itself and no tow researches can be identical as always the element of subjectivity would get inserted by the researcher. It is important that at the time of creating the methodology chapter, the researcher has to consider his own positioning and how it would add subjectivity and influence the results of the study. What would be the pros and cons of the contribution of the researcher?

  9. The methodology chapter has to clearly explain that the data that will be produced, how it would answer the research question and whether and how it is sufficient to answer them. If it doesn’t have convincing explanation then the methodology chapter can fall flat on its face.

The methodology chapter should be treated as the most crucial chapter in the entire dissertation document and should be handled in a much focused manner.

Data Analysis and Cross Tabulation of Results

Once the data has been collected, the next step is to analyse it. One of the steps in analysing it is to make sure that the data is authentic and accurate and will produce the kind of results that the researcher is aiming for. There are many steps to ensure this accuracy and one of them is a method called cross tabulation.

When the survey is being planned, researchers should look carefully at the sub-groups they are going to be investigating. They should make plans for the target base that they are going to be comparing and what standards are going to be used for this comparison. This analysis helps them substantially in the long run when during the time of analysis it pays off when the accuracy of the data has to be checked.

Let us take an example of the answers given by teachers, administrators and students regarding a question. Now to verify the authenticity of their answers, it is a good idea to compare what they said and understand if it makes sense or not.

The teachers and the students give a certain answer, and the administrators give a different answer. The researchers could dismiss the data as outright inaccurate or they could look deeper and try and understand the reasons for this difference in data. This exercise would serve two purposes. They would be able to arrive at the conclusion that the data is incorrect, or they could stumble upon some great discovery that would take their research work to new heights.

Cross tabulation of data also helps the researcher discover facts about different sample groups, the relationships that they share, and what they feel about each other. When the time comes for them to put the data in a table, they will also be able to create a format that is innovative and insightful.

Sampling distribution

In sampling analysis, the researcher is often concerned with sampling distribution. If a few numbers of samples are taken and for all samples of different statistical measures are computed like mean, standard deviation, we observe that each sample gives its own value for the statistic under consideration.

These values of a specific statistic like mean, with their relative frequencies would constitute the sampling distribution of the specific statistic like mean.

Similarly, the researcher can have sampling distribution of mean, sampling distribution of any statistical measure or the sampling distribution of standard deviation.

In a sampling distribution, each item to be noted here is a particular statistic of a sample. The sampling distribution gets close to the normal distribution provided the sample size is large. The importance of sampling distribution comes from the fact that the mean of a sampling distribution is similar to the mean of the entire universe. Thus, the mean of the sampling distribution could be taken as the mean of the universe.

AMOS Modeling For Accurate Data Analysis

AMOS Modeling is a basic level programming language, which helps you to read, create and present the pieces of data more accurately. It is far better than all the earlier versions of data analysis software applications. Specially designed to study the Structural Equation Models (SEM), the AMOS enhances the communication of multiple regressions in statistics.

AMOS modeling, also known as the Analysis of Moment Structures, is being used by a number of statistics researchers. It smoothes the calculation process, and helps students/scholars complete their assignments on time.

AMOS helps students calculating the standard estimates – The AMOS modeling software interface shows the evaluations of accurate covariance, instead of establishing relationships between factors, let’s call it statistics or data.

Built-in Editor – The AMOS modeling program comes with an inbuilt editor that allows researchers to write and edit, because of which, one can outperform the correct data analysis.

Hypotheses – The Analysis of Moment Structure modeling program also allows mathematics and statistics researchers to test simple hypotheses about various data and factors.

Labeling of Output – The AMOS software also enables users to label the output with one of its useful tools. Prior to this, it was quite difficult for students to label their work sections.

There are lot more benefits and functions of the AMOS modeling application that you would learn while working through the program.

 

Tips to get funding in research work

Having a good innovative idea is just one aspect of marketing it. Getting funds to ensure that the idea can really materialize is the next big thing. You need to go about it in an organized fashion and try your luck at the same time. There are three things to implement to get the idea going. The first one is to identify likely sources of funding, preparation of the research proposal and finally having the process document laid out which gives the action points.

Possible sources of funding could be the Government, private industries, professional organizations and Foundations. The requirements and specifications for funding with each Institution may vary and you need to study it in detail before approaching them. To standout and be recognized you could follow these tips.

  • Demonstrate and display some core competency you possess. Your publications should display your ideas and skill sets.
  • Write a good eye catching research proposal. Opportunistic writing brings about a lot of benefits and convincing becomes easier.
  • Get to know the funding party well and their specific requirements much ahead. For this enough background work needs to be done and the background of the key people involved should be known. To catch the eye of Institutions or Foundations, ensure that you make some key presentations to that community.
  • For the first time tag along with your seniors who have got grants earlier. Learn from experience.
  • After presenting your research proposal ask for feedback and resubmit after making necessary changes within set deadlines.
  • Once given a grant, work on the idea and deliver it.

The Use of Quantitative Research

One of the important ways of conducting a scholarly investigation for a dissertation is quantitative research. This refers to the empirical examination of a problem through statistical, mathematical and computational methods. This method of investigation can be found quite a lot in the social sciences. When researchers are using this method of research, it is very essential for them to state the methodology behind their data collection at the beginning of the project itself. This way the reader would know how exactly the data was gathered and what mathematical and statistical formulas were used to arrive at the conclusions. The researcher needs to pay careful attention to the process of measurement that he used for his work, and it is essential that he chooses the right method at the beginning of the project itself so that he may avoid arriving at incorrect conclusions. In this method of research, it is not just important to collect data correctly, but also derive the right conclusions from it. Analysis of data is as big a part of quantitative research as the acquisition of data.

Researchers who use these types of method for their work are normally well versed in various statistical and mathematical models. One can find various types of graphs, tables and formulas in the report that they submit. Marketing projects make extensive use of such models to understand what their customers are thinking and what kind of products they are demanding. Sociology makes extensive use of quantitative research to find out demographics in a society, the various groups and divisions in a heterogeneous population and for compiling surveys in a particular society.

One of the areas where quantitative research has played an important role is in the stock market trading. Many of the trading algorithms that have been used by hedge funds and investment banks owe their origins to the numbers that have been derived by quantitative techniques. Every day when the newspaper publishes extensive reports on how each stock performed or how indices fared, the source of that information can be traced to a financial analyst who pored over various numbers collected from the stock market.

While publishing graphs and tables in an academic report or a general publication, it is essential for the researcher to state clearly what the graph and the tables mean. They need to have small notes deciphering the various symbols in a formula. Only then will the reader find the quantitative analysis meaningful.

All you wanted to know about Dissertation Data Analysis

After having collected a huge pile of data related to the research topic, it is quite essential for you to ensure the selection of the right kind of data analysis process and strategy. If you have collected words, much reading, sorting and cross-referencing lies ahead. If you have collected numbers, lots of figures need calculating, cross-tabulating and testing. Both; words and numbers must be analysed carefully. Statistics do not guarantee the rigour of your research, nor does naturalistic inquiry guarantee its meaning. The distinction between qualitative and quantitative data is ultimately a false one. Even if we plan a research project that completely avoids numbers, we still have to understand basic measurement principles. Dissertation writers across the globe ensure that the data collected by them is being analysed in the best and the most professional manner.

In research, measure has a particular meaning derived from measurement scales, which are technically defined methods for classifying or categorising. All information is data (whether represented by words or numbers) that can be categorised as qualities and, therefore, measured as quantities. Chanakya Research has emerged as one of the most successful firms indulged in offering professional assistance to the research students who are unable to cope up with the issues that arise during the data analysis process undertaken for the huge chunk of data collected as per the chosen research theme. In research, measurement scales order data: a) informally to explore patterns arising from the data as we analyse it; and b) formally to test hypothesised relationships between variables. We cannot prove that the hypothesised relationship exists, so operationally we test for its non-existence using the null hypothesis, which is a prediction that no difference will be found. Rejection of the null hypothesis gives a difference predicted by the research hypothesis and the theory from which it derives, which are supported (technically, the research failed to reject them). If the null hypothesis is supported, the difference predicted by the research hypothesis did not occur. In this case, the research hypothesis and maybe the theory are rejected as false.