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One of the greatest perils of life in graduate school is writing out your dissertation methodology – namely because it has to be so detailed and so incredibly concise. Some people like to say that this is the easiest part of writing your dissertation. Well, that may be a little hyperbolic but for the optimistic, conscientious, and well organized student, it can be much simpler than most of us make out it to be when we start thinking about the process.

One thing you have to realize, right from the get go, is that your methodology chapter has to revolve around the research and the questions presented in your dissertation. The biggest mistake most students make when writing up their methodology is thinking that they can be a little lax, because the people who will be reading their paper are knowledgeable in the subject. This could not be farther from the truth. The premise may be true, however you cannot leave all the work up to your readers. When writing your dissertation methodology, you need to do it as if you plan to have it read by people who are brand new to your chosen topic and/or field of study.

There is a fairly simple guide to follow that can help you learn how to write methodology. It will also help you to gauge whether or not you have enough information. You have to ask yourself several questions in regards to what you have written, such as: What did you do in your research? How did you go about finding your research and your results? What did you decide on the methods that you chose? Did anyone help you conduct your research? If so, who? And who might your research ultimately help?

Pared down to its essentials, dissertation writing is all about details and precision. The same is true of dissertation methodology. The more you rely on such things as experiments, interviews, surveys, your own observations, and an analysis of all these things, the better. Not only will they provide a wealth of information vital to your dissertation, but they will also make it much easier to correctly answer the aforementioned questions.

Note 1

The committee who ultimately reads your paper is going to be very interested in your research, how you conducted it, and your results. As such, your paper’s methodology needs to address all of those points in a concise and in depth manner, otherwise your readers are going to be left with questions that have no answer, and that can drastically alter the overall effect of your paper.

Note 2

Lastly, never be afraid to seek dissertation help when writing your paper. Advisors, professors, and other experts in your field will be happy to provide aid, especially when it comes to writing your dissertation methodology – and you can use those details in your paper too! Writing a dissertation is a lengthy, intensive process, and you need to use all the resources at your disposal in order to produce the best possible paper.

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Anna Everson
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