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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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 analyse 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?

Within this article, we break down the six key steps one must follow to write a strong research methodology.

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

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

Write a comprehensive research methodology using eight simple steps: 

  • 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. 

  • 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 analysed. 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. 

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FAQs on Research Methodology

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