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Citation Master Pages: Methodology

Research Method

CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHOD (or METHODOLOGY) (Qualitative)

  • Introduction
  • Research Design
  • Research Questions
  • Setting
  • Participants
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Conclusion

The research design is described in sufficient detail in Chapter 3 that readers come away with a clear understanding of how the study will be conducted, and future researchers would know precisely what procedures to follow should they want to replicate this study.

Research Questions. The research questions presented in Chapter 1 should be replicated exactly near the beginning of Chapter 3. A brief introduction may precede these questions.

Study Design. The methods used in the study will be determined to a considerable extent by what is to be studied. A number of research design options usually are available to the investigator. The design ultimately selected will be described in this section. Each step in the execution of the research study should be described in detail. Appropriate citations making the case for the use of the chosen study design and procedures should be included.

Study Context and Intervention (if applicable). If the study will examine the effects of a particular intervention or treatment, this should be described in detail.

Participants. The participants in the study should be specified, indicating any relevant demographic information, as well as how participants were selected. The plan for recruitment of participants, as well as for resending invitations multiple times, or any incentives offered should be described.

Data Sources. The tools used for measuring the variables in the study should be described. Interview or focus group protocols should be described and the full set of directions and questions should be included in an appendix. Survey tools should provide information as to how the survey was developed and by whom, the number of items, subscales if applicable, the response set, sample items, and validity and reliability information. The full measure should be included in an appendix if feasible.

Data Collection. This section should describe in detail the means used to gather data.

Data Analysis. In this section, readers learn what techniques and tools the research plans to use to analyze and summarize the data. In the case of a quantitative or mixed-method study, assumptions made about the nature of the data should be stated. Commonly accepted statistical devices should be noted, and unusual devices described. Depending upon the study design, the inclusion of a table that lists the research questions, along with the data sources and data analyses that will be used to answer each research question is often helpful.

Ethical Considerations. All students must obtain approval of the School of Education Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects before collecting or analyzing data. Additional ethical considerations relevant to the study design should also be described in this section.

Assumptions, Delimitations, and Limitations. Assumptions, delimitations, and limitations, unique to the study should be clarified. In focusing the study, the researcher places certain limits on what is to be studied, setting restrictions on such considerations as the population to be studied, the range of variables included, or the treatments selected. It may prove helpful to list these specific delimitations in the proposal. In addition, listing limitations of the study outside the control of the researcher, as well as assumptions held by the researcher are generally expected aspects of scholarly research.

Timeline. At the proposal stage, it may be useful to construct a timeline detailing important anticipated checkpoints. This timeline can be eliminated in the final dissertation. At the proposal stage, the methods will be described in the future tense, while in the dissertation they will be presented in the past tense and report on the actual rather than the anticipated study elements, such as the participants, data collection methods, and analyses.

CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHOD (or METHODOLOGY) (Quantitative)

  • Introduction
  • Research Design
  • Research Questions and Hypotheses
  • Population and Sample
  • Instrumentation
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Conclusion

 

CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHOD (or METHODOLOGY) (Mixed)

  • Introduction
  • Research Design
  • Research Questions and Hypotheses
  • Setting and Sample
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Conclusion