Research and analysis is certainly an important thing to consider when it comes to dissertation writing. The way you would plan to handle the question or the topic will determine the manner you will implement while constructing the dissertation. So, it goes without saying that a proper research method is essential to be implemented before commencing with the task of dissertation writing. This blog deals with some of the most helpful dissertation research methodologies that can be put to use in order to secure effective dissertation papers in the long run.
There are two vital approaches of dissertation research that students should consider:
- Quantitative Approach
- Qualitative Approach.
Which Research Approach one should follow – Quantitative or Qualitative?
It needs to be noted here that the research designs, question, and the approach are all inter-related. A dissertation can depend on data accumulated via Qualitative or Quantitative approach. It can at times be a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches as well.
- Quantitative data comes into play when an individual is supposed to figure out an estimate of the given question based on statistics.
- On the other hand, qualitative research comes into play when the potential student wishes to find out reasons behind a particular occurrence and activity by diving deep into the problem area, based on analysis and accumulation of relevant details.
If you are comfortable with either of the two methods of research, then following the same would prove helpful for you. It is also to be noted that combining both methods can also come into play if the dissertation topic fits in the approaches being made. The most vital thing to be kept in mind is that the student needs to justify his/her thought with proper explanation and logical reasoning included in the paper.
For instance, if your academic head has assigned you a dissertation on quantifiable effects on certain policies and data-based analysis on social trends then what will you do? Under such circumstances, coming up with a Quantitative Approach is something that will help you have the desired result in this matter. It is to be remembered that quantitative researchers are supposed to have figures and tables where all the vital findings are to be added. So, you need to be pretty careful in the matter of adding valuable findings and including every other necessary detail in the paper. It is also to be remembered that the tables should be properly titled, labeled and sources acknowledged properly. Without ensuring these vital aspects of quantitative research-based dissertation writing, coming up with a properly structured and flawless dissertation might seem to be impossible.
When can a Qualitative Approach come into play?
In case your dissertation topic asks you to include people’s view, along with a realist and constructive approach, then you’re probably in need of qualitative approach. This will help you dig deep into the topic and come up with ideas, data and other relevant information accumulated on the basis of analysis and in-depth studies. It is to be noted that a qualitative dissertation should have texts extracted from documents, recorded instances, and the likes. Now in order to add these contents in detail, a constructive research is certainly required. In case of such dissertations, you can include approaches such as short qualitative interviews, ethnographic studies on small scale, content analysis and other likewise approaches.
Factors determining the use of Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
There are several factors and conditions that come under consideration while a student decides to come up with quantitative or a qualitative approach. The best agenda that you make for yourself is to follow an approach or a research that suits your requirement the best. Well, it goes without saying that the method should be helpful enough to solve the actual purpose of dissertation writing. Here are certain points that can be taken into consideration while making a qualitative or quantitative approach.
- Make an approach on the basis of your preferred philosophy. It can be a constructive approach, realist approach or a phenomenologist approach
- The approach or the analysis will also depend on the topic you have an interest in
- The way you choose to structure your research question
- The methodologies and skills associated with the process of data analysis and accumulation.
Can the quantitative and qualitative methods be combined?
As mentioned earlier, one can also choose to combine the quantitative and qualitative methods during dissertation writing. There are several ways in which these two approaches can be combined. Take a look below to have a more clarified understanding.
- If you have the topic that primarily deals with the quantitative aspect, then the first thing you would like to do is quantitative research on the assigned topic. Now in case, the dissertation requires you to include other specifications such as in-depth study, documentation based on interview and real-life instances and the likes, then combining qualitative research with the already implemented quantitative method might just be the right thing to opt for. It is to be noted that once you are done with the quantitative approach and including relevant data, you can create a separate section in your dissertation paper, where the qualitative data can be added.
- In case you wish to come up with a further explanative analysis of a particular topic, then only considering a quantitative approach won’t really help. You have to combine a qualitative approach as well. This will help you add the other required details based on the accumulated knowledge and analysis made on the topic being dealt with.
It is suggested that a student who is associating with research method mentors and academic experts should consider working with them after clarifying every important detail determining their ability to work on the topics and helping you come up with insightful contents, based on genuine analysis and extraction of data.
Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection Method
Structured Interviewing is one of the most effective methods of quantitative data collection. In this approach, a set of questions is read out to the people being interviewed, with fixed options or choice of answers available for the potential respondents.
The act of observing people and keeping a record of their behavior in a systematic manner is known as the structured observation. Observation schedule will be presented before one begins with the activity. This will consist of every vital detail that the potential student should try and figure out, and shall also consist of information on how the process will be executed.
A self-complete questionnaire is yet another method that can be put into use during quantitative research. If the topic isn’t a complex one, then this particular method can prove to be effective for students and potential researchers dealing with various subjects.
Natural observation or participant observation is a technique that is used in case of qualitative research. This refers to the process of studying people and observing their behavior that occurs naturally. The data is then collected accordingly in a systematic way.
Focus groups is a process of an interview where there are multiple participants and the emphasis is made on a particular topic. The discussion takes place based on the topic and relevant data is collected from the event accordingly.
In-depth interviewing is a method where the person being interviewed is given enough space to control the interview in a free-flowing manner. It is a partially structured interview process which basically aims to observe the interviewee’s mindset and what he/she thinks about the topic or the issue being talked about.
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