How to Write Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners Research Methodology
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If you’re new to research, writing a research methodology can be overwhelming. Identifying the right methods or rules to apply to research can also become staggering. But you need not worry! 

In this article, we’ve covered what research methodology is, the methods used in research, and explained how to write a research methodology. So, dive in to learn. 

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Research Methodology?

A research methodology is the section of a research paper that explains the tools, techniques, and procedures employed during the study to gather and analyze data. This section allows readers to determine the reliability and validity of the study. 

A research methodology should answer the following questions: 

  • What research method is chosen and why?
  • What are the methods of data collection used?
  • What are the methods of data analysis used?
  • What tools and techniques were used to carry out the research?
  • What are the limitations of the study?

Additional read: Types of sampling methods.

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What are the methods used in research?

Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners Research Methodology

The most common methods used in research methodology are

  1. Quantitative research method
  2. Qualitative research method
  3. Mixed research method

Quantitative research method

The quantitative method of research includes collecting and analyzing numerical data. It is most helpful in studying a large sample of the population, identifying trends and patterns in their behavior, and making predictions. Surveys, opinion polls, and questionnaires are the most common tools of quantitative research. 

Related: 5 Types of Quantitative Research 

Qualitative research method

Unlike the quantitative method of research, the qualitative research method gives a detailed description of the observation. It is helpful in contextualization and interpretation of the data gathered. This research method is subjective and requires a smaller number of carefully chosen respondents.

Also read: Quantitative Research vs. Qualitative Research

Mixed research method

In the mixed research method, researchers fuse together the data derived from qualitative and quantitative methods of research. The mixed method of research provides opportunities to gather different avenues of exploration that enrich the evidence and enable questions to be answered more deeply.

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Steps to write a research methodology

Here are all the steps one needs to write a research methodology:

Step 1: Restate your Research Problem

You should begin your research methodology by restating your research problem. In this section, you should also include any underlying assumptions and mention relevant variables (variables being tested in the study). 

Step 2: Explain the Chosen Research Method

Once you’ve restated your research problem, you can begin to explain the research approach chosen. Some commonly used research methods are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. You must also explain why you chose that specific research method and justify why it was best suited to answer your research problem. 

Step 3: Provide Explanations for Unusual Approaches

Through your research, if you’ve employed procedures or practices that are uncommon in the field of the study, you should explain and justify these choices. By providing evidence that your findings are valid, you are able to oppose any potential criticism against your chosen methods, be they unusual. 

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Step 4: Outline and Explain the Data Collection Methods

Depending on the type of research being conducted, you will require either quantitative or qualitative data. In this section, you should define the type of data used in your research while also explaining the experiments conducted. You must outline the variables in the experiment, the way in which the experiment was designed, and the tools that were needed to conduct the experiment. 

Step 5: Outline and Explain the Data Analysis Methods

Once you’ve gone over your methods of data collection, you can begin explaining your methods of data analysis. In this part, you explain the ways in which your data was processed and analyzed. It is important to note that this section does not have to discuss your conclusions or results. 

Step 6: Evaluate and Justify your Choices

Explain the reasons and criteria using which your research approach and methods were chosen. You should even address any potential limitations or weaknesses in your methodology, as this reflects that the pros and cons of each method were weighed objectively. This section of your research methodology is simply an evaluation of the methods and approaches chosen. 

Step 7: Address any Challenges or Obstacles 

Discuss any challenges or obstacles that were faced while conducting research, along with the measures taken to overcome them. This section reflects your problem-solving abilities and also strengthens the validity of your research. 

Step 8: Cite your Sources

In this final part of your research methodology, you should cite all the sources that you used while determining your methodology. By providing evidence for your choices, you reinforce the validity of your research. 

Begin your descriptive research with a free step-by-step guide to descriptive research

FAQs on Research Methodology

A research methodology is an outline of the tools, procedures, and techniques employed in a research study to gather and analyze information.

Research methods are the procedures and techniques used in a research study. Research methodology, on the other hand, refers to the overall strategy used to conduct the research.

The research methodology gives readers an opportunity to evaluate the reliability and validity of a research study.

In a research paper, the research methodology follows the introduction section of the paper and comes before the results and conclusions.

Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure while validity refers to the accuracy of a measure. 

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