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Methodology of your thesis

Date published by Date updated: January 11, 2017

The methodology of your thesis describes how you will carry out your investigation. For example, are you going to use a survey or will you stick to a literature review?

Your goal is to answer the question: “How can the research best be done?”

The main research question and sub-questions of your thesis and requirements of your institution or supervisor together determine what research types and methods you choose.

How should I decide on my research methodology?

There are two fundamental decisions you have to make when creating your methodology: the kind of research you will undertake and the methods you will use. Your main research question and the category of research question will help guide your decisions.

1. What kind of research will I undertake?

Numerous types of research exist, and many of them are similar. Writing a thesis usually involves using more than one.

Two well-known research categories are quantitative research (which focuses on numbers) and qualitative research (which often addresses “why” and “how” questions).

2. What research methods will I use?

The research method you employ will be closely related to the type of research you choose to undertake. For example, case studies often entail interviews whereas experimental research (as the name implies) generally involves conducting experiments.

Common research methods include the following:

Example of a simple research methodology

Example of a main research question
What factors cause visitors to the Cool Blue online shop to ultimately make their purchase in a traditional store?
  1. Descriptive research is needed to explore the underlying factors relating to the situation. Here a literature review would be an appropriate research method.
  2. Quantitative research is required to better understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. To this end, a survey with closed answers may be the best research method.
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Article by Bas Swaen

Bas is co-founder of Scribbr. Bas loves to teach and is an experienced thesis writer. He tries to help students with writing clear and easy to comprehend articles about difficult topics.

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