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What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips

Published on 25 February 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022.

Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research.

It should include:

  • The type of research you conducted
  • How you collected and analysed your data
  • Any tools or materials you used in the research
  • Why you chose these methods
  • Your methodology section should generally be written in the past tense .
  • Academic style guides in your field may provide detailed guidelines on what to include for different types of studies.
  • Your citation style might provide guidelines for your methodology section (e.g., an APA Style methods section ).

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Table of contents

How to write a research methodology, why is a methods section important, step 1: explain your methodological approach, step 2: describe your data collection methods, step 3: describe your analysis method, step 4: evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made, tips for writing a strong methodology chapter, frequently asked questions about methodology.

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Your methods section is your opportunity to share how you conducted your research and why you chose the methods you chose. It’s also the place to show that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated .

It gives your research legitimacy and situates it within your field, and also gives your readers a place to refer to if they have any questions or critiques in other sections.

You can start by introducing your overall approach to your research. You have two options here.

Option 1: Start with your “what”

What research problem or question did you investigate?

  • Aim to describe the characteristics of something?
  • Explore an under-researched topic?
  • Establish a causal relationship?

And what type of data did you need to achieve this aim?

  • Quantitative data , qualitative data , or a mix of both?
  • Primary data collected yourself, or secondary data collected by someone else?
  • Experimental data gathered by controlling and manipulating variables, or descriptive data gathered via observations?

Option 2: Start with your “why”

Depending on your discipline, you can also start with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology. In other words, why did you choose these methods for your study?

  • Why is this the best way to answer your research question?
  • Is this a standard methodology in your field, or does it require justification?
  • Were there any ethical considerations involved in your choices?
  • What are the criteria for validity and reliability in this type of research ?

Once you have introduced your reader to your methodological approach, you should share full details about your data collection methods .

Quantitative methods

In order to be considered generalisable, you should describe quantitative research methods in enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.

Here, explain how you operationalised your concepts and measured your variables. Discuss your sampling method or inclusion/exclusion criteria, as well as any tools, procedures, and materials you used to gather your data.

Surveys Describe where, when, and how the survey was conducted.

  • How did you design the questionnaire?
  • What form did your questions take (e.g., multiple choice, Likert scale )?
  • Were your surveys conducted in-person or virtually?
  • What sampling method did you use to select participants?
  • What was your sample size and response rate?

Experiments Share full details of the tools, techniques, and procedures you used to conduct your experiment.

  • How did you design the experiment ?
  • How did you recruit participants?
  • How did you manipulate and measure the variables ?
  • What tools did you use?

Existing data Explain how you gathered and selected the material (such as datasets or archival data) that you used in your analysis.

  • Where did you source the material?
  • How was the data originally produced?
  • What criteria did you use to select material (e.g., date range)?

The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions measured on a 7-point Likert scale.

The goal was to collect survey responses from 350 customers visiting the fitness apparel company’s brick-and-mortar location in Boston on 4–8 July 2022, between 11:00 and 15:00.

Here, a customer was defined as a person who had purchased a product from the company on the day they took the survey. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously. In total, 408 customers responded, but not all surveys were fully completed. Due to this, 371 survey results were included in the analysis.

Qualitative methods

In qualitative research , methods are often more flexible and subjective. For this reason, it’s crucial to robustly explain the methodology choices you made.

Be sure to discuss the criteria you used to select your data, the context in which your research was conducted, and the role you played in collecting your data (e.g., were you an active participant, or a passive observer?)

Interviews or focus groups Describe where, when, and how the interviews were conducted.

  • How did you find and select participants?
  • How many participants took part?
  • What form did the interviews take ( structured , semi-structured , or unstructured )?
  • How long were the interviews?
  • How were they recorded?

Participant observation Describe where, when, and how you conducted the observation or ethnography .

  • What group or community did you observe? How long did you spend there?
  • How did you gain access to this group? What role did you play in the community?
  • How long did you spend conducting the research? Where was it located?
  • How did you record your data (e.g., audiovisual recordings, note-taking)?

Existing data Explain how you selected case study materials for your analysis.

  • What type of materials did you analyse?
  • How did you select them?

In order to gain better insight into possibilities for future improvement of the fitness shop’s product range, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 returning customers.

Here, a returning customer was defined as someone who usually bought products at least twice a week from the store.

Surveys were used to select participants. Interviews were conducted in a small office next to the cash register and lasted approximately 20 minutes each. Answers were recorded by note-taking, and seven interviews were also filmed with consent. One interviewee preferred not to be filmed.

Mixed methods

Mixed methods research combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. If a standalone quantitative or qualitative study is insufficient to answer your research question, mixed methods may be a good fit for you.

Mixed methods are less common than standalone analyses, largely because they require a great deal of effort to pull off successfully. If you choose to pursue mixed methods, it’s especially important to robustly justify your methods here.

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Next, you should indicate how you processed and analysed your data. Avoid going into too much detail: you should not start introducing or discussing any of your results at this stage.

In quantitative research , your analysis will be based on numbers. In your methods section, you can include:

  • How you prepared the data before analysing it (e.g., checking for missing data , removing outliers , transforming variables)
  • Which software you used (e.g., SPSS, Stata or R)
  • Which statistical tests you used (e.g., two-tailed t test , simple linear regression )

In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images, and observations (often involving some form of textual analysis ).

Specific methods might include:

  • Content analysis : Categorising and discussing the meaning of words, phrases and sentences
  • Thematic analysis : Coding and closely examining the data to identify broad themes and patterns
  • Discourse analysis : Studying communication and meaning in relation to their social context

Mixed methods combine the above two research methods, integrating both qualitative and quantitative approaches into one coherent analytical process.

Above all, your methodology section should clearly make the case for why you chose the methods you did. This is especially true if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. In this case, discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.

In any case, it should be overwhelmingly clear to your reader that you set yourself up for success in terms of your methodology’s design. Show how your methods should lead to results that are valid and reliable, while leaving the analysis of the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results for your discussion section .

  • Quantitative: Lab-based experiments cannot always accurately simulate real-life situations and behaviours, but they are effective for testing causal relationships between variables .
  • Qualitative: Unstructured interviews usually produce results that cannot be generalised beyond the sample group , but they provide a more in-depth understanding of participants’ perceptions, motivations, and emotions.
  • Mixed methods: Despite issues systematically comparing differing types of data, a solely quantitative study would not sufficiently incorporate the lived experience of each participant, while a solely qualitative study would be insufficiently generalisable.

Remember that your aim is not just to describe your methods, but to show how and why you applied them. Again, it’s critical to demonstrate that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated.

1. Focus on your objectives and research questions

The methodology section should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives  and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions .

2. Cite relevant sources

Your methodology can be strengthened by referencing existing research in your field. This can help you to:

  • Show that you followed established practice for your type of research
  • Discuss how you decided on your approach by evaluating existing research
  • Present a novel methodological approach to address a gap in the literature

3. Write for your audience

Consider how much information you need to give, and avoid getting too lengthy. If you are using methods that are standard for your discipline, you probably don’t need to give a lot of background or justification.

Regardless, your methodology should be a clear, well-structured text that makes an argument for your approach, not just a list of technical details and procedures.

Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research. Developing your methodology involves studying the research methods used in your field and the theories or principles that underpin them, in order to choose the approach that best matches your objectives.

Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyse data (e.g. interviews, experiments , surveys , statistical tests ).

In a dissertation or scientific paper, the methodology chapter or methods section comes after the introduction and before the results , discussion and conclusion .

Depending on the length and type of document, you might also include a literature review or theoretical framework before the methodology.

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to test a hypothesis by systematically collecting and analysing data, while qualitative methods allow you to explore ideas and experiences in depth.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population. Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research.

For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.

Statistical sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population. There are various sampling methods you can use to ensure that your sample is representative of the population as a whole.

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Writing the Research Methodology Section of Your Thesis

thesis methodology for design

This article explains the meaning of research methodology and the purpose and importance of writing a research methodology section or chapter for your thesis paper. It discusses what to include and not include in a research methodology section, the different approaches to research methodology that can be used, and the steps involved in writing a robust research methodology section.

What is a thesis research methodology?

A thesis research methodology explains the type of research performed, justifies the methods that you chose   by linking back to the literature review , and describes the data collection and analysis procedures. It is included in your thesis after the Introduction section . Most importantly, this is the section where the readers of your study evaluate its validity and reliability.

What should the research methodology section in your thesis include?

  • The aim of your thesis
  • An outline of the research methods chosen (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods)
  • Background and rationale for the methods chosen, explaining why one method was chosen over another
  • Methods used for data collection and data analysis
  • Materials and equipment used—keep this brief
  • Difficulties encountered during data collection and analysis. It is expected that problems will occur during your research process. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving abilities by explaining how you overcame all obstacles. This builds your readers’ confidence in your study findings.
  • A brief evaluation of your research explaining whether your results were conclusive and whether your choice of methodology was effective in practice

What should not be included in the research methodology section of your thesis?

  • Irrelevant details, for example, an extensive review of methodologies (this belongs in the literature review section) or information that does not contribute to the readers’ understanding of your chosen methods
  • A description of basic procedures
  • Excessive details about materials and equipment used. If an extremely long and detailed list is necessary, add it as an appendix

Types of methodological approaches

The choice of which methodological approach to use depends on your field of research and your thesis question. Your methodology should establish a clear relationship with your thesis question and must also be supported by your  literature review . Types of methodological approaches include quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. 

Quantitative studies generate data in the form of numbers   to count, classify, measure, or identify relationships or patterns. Information may be collected by performing experiments and tests, conducting surveys, or using existing data. The data are analyzed using  statistical tests and presented as charts or graphs. Quantitative data are typically used in the Sciences domain.

For example, analyzing the effect of a change, such as alterations in electricity consumption by municipalities after installing LED streetlights.

The raw data will need to be prepared for statistical analysis by identifying variables and checking for missing data and outliers. Details of the statistical software program used (name of the package, version number, and supplier name and location) must also be mentioned.

Qualitative studies gather non-numerical data using, for example, observations, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.   Open-ended questions are often posed. This yields rich, detailed, and descriptive results. Qualitative studies are usually   subjective and are helpful for investigating social and cultural phenomena, which are difficult to quantify. Qualitative studies are typically used in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) domain.

For example, determining customer perceptions on the extension of a range of baking utensils to include silicone muffin trays.

The raw data will need to be prepared for analysis by coding and categorizing ideas and themes to interpret the meaning behind the responses given.

Mixed methods use a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to present multiple findings about a single phenomenon. T his enables triangulation: verification of the data from two or more sources.

Data collection

Explain the rationale behind the sampling procedure you have chosen. This could involve probability sampling (a random sample from the study population) or non-probability sampling (does not use a random sample).

For quantitative studies, describe the sampling procedure and whether statistical tests were used to determine the  sample size .

Following our example of analyzing the changes in electricity consumption by municipalities after installing LED streetlights, you will need to determine which municipal areas will be sampled and how the information will be gathered (e.g., a physical survey of the streetlights or reviewing purchase orders).

For qualitative research, describe how the participants were chosen and how the data is going to be collected.

Following our example about determining customer perceptions on the extension of a range of baking utensils to include silicone muffin trays, you will need to decide the criteria for inclusion as a study participant (e.g., women aged 20–70 years, bakeries, and bakery supply shops) and how the information will be collected (e.g., interviews, focus groups, online or in-person questionnaires, or video recordings) .

Data analysis

For quantitative research, describe what tests you plan to perform and why you have chosen them. Popular data analysis methods in quantitative research include:

  • Descriptive statistics (e.g., means, medians, modes)
  • Inferential statistics (e.g., correlation, regression, structural equation modeling)

For qualitative research, describe how the data is going to be analyzed and justify your choice. Popular data analysis methods in qualitative research include:

  • Qualitative content analysis
  • Thematic analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Narrative analysis
  • Grounded theory
  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)

Evaluate and justify your methodological choices

You need to convince the reader that you have made the correct methodological choices. Once again, this ties back to your thesis question and  literature review . Write using a persuasive tone, and use  rhetoric to convince the reader of the quality, reliability, and validity of your research.

Ethical considerations

  • The young researcher should maintain objectivity at all times
  • All participants have the right to privacy and anonymity
  • Research participation must be voluntary
  • All subjects have the right to withdraw from the research at any time
  • Consent must be obtained from all participants before starting the research
  • Confidentiality of data provided by individuals must be maintained
  • Consider how the interpretation and reporting of the data will affect the participants

Tips for writing a robust thesis research methodology

  • Determine what kind of knowledge you are trying to uncover. For example, subjective or objective, experimental or interpretive.
  • A thorough literature review is the best starting point for choosing your methods.
  • Ensure that there is continuity throughout the research process. The authenticity of your research depends upon the validity of the research data, the reliability of your data measurements, and the time taken to conduct the analysis.
  • Choose a research method that is achievable. Consider the time and funds available, feasibility, ethics, and access and availability of equipment to measure the phenomenon or answer your thesis question correctly.
  • If you are struggling with a concept, ask for help from your supervisor, academic staff members, or fellow students.

A thesis methodology justifies why you have chosen a specific approach to address your thesis question. It explains how you will collect the data and analyze it. Above all, it allows the readers of your study to evaluate its validity and reliability.

A thesis is the most crucial document that you will write during your academic studies. For professional thesis editing and thesis proofreading services, visit  Enago Thesis Editing for more information.

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Introduce your methodological approach , for example, quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods.

Explain why your chosen approach is relevant to the overall research design and how it links with your  thesis question.

Justify your chosen method and why it is more appropriate than others.

Provide background information on methods that may be unfamiliar to readers of your thesis.

Introduce the tools that you will use for data collection , and explain how you plan to use them (e.g., surveys, interviews, experiments, or existing data).

Explain how you will analyze your results. The type of analysis used depends on the methods you chose. For example, exploring theoretical perspectives to support your explanation of observed behaviors in a qualitative study or using statistical analyses in a quantitative study.

Mention any research limitations. All studies are expected to have limitations, such as the sample size, data collection method, or equipment. Discussing the limitations justifies your choice of methodology despite the risks. It also explains under which conditions the results should be interpreted and shows that you have taken a holistic approach to your study.

What is the difference between methodology and methods? +

Methodology  refers to the overall rationale and strategy of your thesis project. It involves studying the theories or principles behind the methods used in your field so that you can explain why you chose a particular method for your research approach.  Methods , on the other hand, refer to how the data were collected and analyzed (e.g., experiments, surveys, observations, interviews, and statistical tests).

What is the difference between reliability and validity? +

Reliability refers to whether a measurement is consistent (i.e., the results can be reproduced under the same conditions).  Validity refers to whether a measurement is accurate (i.e., the results represent what was supposed to be measured). For example, when investigating linguistic and cultural guidelines for administration of the Preschool Language Scales, Fifth Edition (PLS5) in Arab-American preschool children, the normative sample curves should show the same distribution as a monolingual population, which would indicate that the test is valid. The test would be considered reliable if the results obtained were consistent across different sampling sites.

What tense is used to write the methods section? +

The methods section is written in the past tense because it describes what was done.

What software programs are recommended for statistical analysis? +

Recommended programs include Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) ,  Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) ,  JMP ,  R software,  MATLAB , Microsoft Excel,  GraphPad Prism , and  Minitab .

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Guide for Thesis Research

  • Introduction to the Thesis Process
  • Project Planning
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Basics of Methodology

Research is a process of inquiry that is carried out in a pondered, organized, and strategic manner. In order to obtain high quality results, it is important to understand methodology.

Research methodology refers to how your project will be designed, what you will observe or measure, and how you will collect and analyze data. The methods you choose must be appropriate for your field and for the specific research questions you are setting out to answer.

A strong understanding of methodology will help you:

  • apply appropriate research techniques
  • design effective data collection instruments
  • analyze and interpret your data
  • develop well-founded conclusions

Below, you will find resources that mostly cover general aspects of research methodology. In the left column, you will find resources that specifically cover qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research.

General Works on Methodology

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Qualitative Research

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Quantitative Research

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Mixed Methods Research

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  • Last Updated: Jan 23, 2024 4:31 PM
  • URL: https://library.guilford.edu/thesis-guide

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Research Methodology Example

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Methodology Chapter Template

If you’re working on a dissertation or thesis and are looking for an example of a research methodology chapter , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through a research methodology from a dissertation that earned full distinction , step by step. We start off by discussing the core components of a research methodology by unpacking our free methodology chapter template . We then progress to the sample research methodology to show how these concepts are applied in an actual dissertation, thesis or research project.

If you’re currently working on your research methodology chapter, you may also find the following resources useful:

  • Research methodology 101 : an introductory video discussing what a methodology is and the role it plays within a dissertation
  • Research design 101 : an overview of the most common research designs for both qualitative and quantitative studies
  • Variables 101 : an introductory video covering the different types of variables that exist within research.
  • Sampling 101 : an overview of the main sampling methods
  • Methodology tips : a video discussion covering various tips to help you write a high-quality methodology chapter
  • Private coaching : Get hands-on help with your research methodology

Free Webinar: Research Methodology 101

FAQ: Research Methodology Example

Research methodology example: frequently asked questions, is the sample research methodology real.

Yes. The chapter example is an extract from a Master’s-level dissertation for an MBA program. A few minor edits have been made to protect the privacy of the sponsoring organisation, but these have no material impact on the research methodology.

Can I replicate this methodology for my dissertation?

As we discuss in the video, every research methodology will be different, depending on the research aims, objectives and research questions. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your literature review to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research methodology chapter here .

Where can I find more examples of research methodologies?

The best place to find more examples of methodology chapters would be within dissertation/thesis databases. These databases include dissertations, theses and research projects that have successfully passed the assessment criteria for the respective university, meaning that you have at least some sort of quality assurance.

The Open Access Thesis Database (OATD) is a good starting point.

How do I get the research methodology chapter template?

You can access our free methodology chapter template here .

Is the methodology template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the template and you are free to use it as you wish.

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Example of two research proposals (Masters and PhD-level)

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Research Method

Home » Research Design – Types, Methods and Examples

Research Design – Types, Methods and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Design

Research Design

Definition:

Research design refers to the overall strategy or plan for conducting a research study. It outlines the methods and procedures that will be used to collect and analyze data, as well as the goals and objectives of the study. Research design is important because it guides the entire research process and ensures that the study is conducted in a systematic and rigorous manner.

Types of Research Design

Types of Research Design are as follows:

Descriptive Research Design

This type of research design is used to describe a phenomenon or situation. It involves collecting data through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations. The aim of descriptive research is to provide an accurate and detailed portrayal of a particular group, event, or situation. It can be useful in identifying patterns, trends, and relationships in the data.

Correlational Research Design

Correlational research design is used to determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables. This type of research design involves collecting data from participants and analyzing the relationship between the variables using statistical methods. The aim of correlational research is to identify the strength and direction of the relationship between the variables.

Experimental Research Design

Experimental research design is used to investigate cause-and-effect relationships between variables. This type of research design involves manipulating one variable and measuring the effect on another variable. It usually involves randomly assigning participants to groups and manipulating an independent variable to determine its effect on a dependent variable. The aim of experimental research is to establish causality.

Quasi-experimental Research Design

Quasi-experimental research design is similar to experimental research design, but it lacks one or more of the features of a true experiment. For example, there may not be random assignment to groups or a control group. This type of research design is used when it is not feasible or ethical to conduct a true experiment.

Case Study Research Design

Case study research design is used to investigate a single case or a small number of cases in depth. It involves collecting data through various methods, such as interviews, observations, and document analysis. The aim of case study research is to provide an in-depth understanding of a particular case or situation.

Longitudinal Research Design

Longitudinal research design is used to study changes in a particular phenomenon over time. It involves collecting data at multiple time points and analyzing the changes that occur. The aim of longitudinal research is to provide insights into the development, growth, or decline of a particular phenomenon over time.

Structure of Research Design

The format of a research design typically includes the following sections:

  • Introduction : This section provides an overview of the research problem, the research questions, and the importance of the study. It also includes a brief literature review that summarizes previous research on the topic and identifies gaps in the existing knowledge.
  • Research Questions or Hypotheses: This section identifies the specific research questions or hypotheses that the study will address. These questions should be clear, specific, and testable.
  • Research Methods : This section describes the methods that will be used to collect and analyze data. It includes details about the study design, the sampling strategy, the data collection instruments, and the data analysis techniques.
  • Data Collection: This section describes how the data will be collected, including the sample size, data collection procedures, and any ethical considerations.
  • Data Analysis: This section describes how the data will be analyzed, including the statistical techniques that will be used to test the research questions or hypotheses.
  • Results : This section presents the findings of the study, including descriptive statistics and statistical tests.
  • Discussion and Conclusion : This section summarizes the key findings of the study, interprets the results, and discusses the implications of the findings. It also includes recommendations for future research.
  • References : This section lists the sources cited in the research design.

Example of Research Design

An Example of Research Design could be:

Research question: Does the use of social media affect the academic performance of high school students?

Research design:

  • Research approach : The research approach will be quantitative as it involves collecting numerical data to test the hypothesis.
  • Research design : The research design will be a quasi-experimental design, with a pretest-posttest control group design.
  • Sample : The sample will be 200 high school students from two schools, with 100 students in the experimental group and 100 students in the control group.
  • Data collection : The data will be collected through surveys administered to the students at the beginning and end of the academic year. The surveys will include questions about their social media usage and academic performance.
  • Data analysis : The data collected will be analyzed using statistical software. The mean scores of the experimental and control groups will be compared to determine whether there is a significant difference in academic performance between the two groups.
  • Limitations : The limitations of the study will be acknowledged, including the fact that social media usage can vary greatly among individuals, and the study only focuses on two schools, which may not be representative of the entire population.
  • Ethical considerations: Ethical considerations will be taken into account, such as obtaining informed consent from the participants and ensuring their anonymity and confidentiality.

How to Write Research Design

Writing a research design involves planning and outlining the methodology and approach that will be used to answer a research question or hypothesis. Here are some steps to help you write a research design:

  • Define the research question or hypothesis : Before beginning your research design, you should clearly define your research question or hypothesis. This will guide your research design and help you select appropriate methods.
  • Select a research design: There are many different research designs to choose from, including experimental, survey, case study, and qualitative designs. Choose a design that best fits your research question and objectives.
  • Develop a sampling plan : If your research involves collecting data from a sample, you will need to develop a sampling plan. This should outline how you will select participants and how many participants you will include.
  • Define variables: Clearly define the variables you will be measuring or manipulating in your study. This will help ensure that your results are meaningful and relevant to your research question.
  • Choose data collection methods : Decide on the data collection methods you will use to gather information. This may include surveys, interviews, observations, experiments, or secondary data sources.
  • Create a data analysis plan: Develop a plan for analyzing your data, including the statistical or qualitative techniques you will use.
  • Consider ethical concerns : Finally, be sure to consider any ethical concerns related to your research, such as participant confidentiality or potential harm.

When to Write Research Design

Research design should be written before conducting any research study. It is an important planning phase that outlines the research methodology, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques that will be used to investigate a research question or problem. The research design helps to ensure that the research is conducted in a systematic and logical manner, and that the data collected is relevant and reliable.

Ideally, the research design should be developed as early as possible in the research process, before any data is collected. This allows the researcher to carefully consider the research question, identify the most appropriate research methodology, and plan the data collection and analysis procedures in advance. By doing so, the research can be conducted in a more efficient and effective manner, and the results are more likely to be valid and reliable.

Purpose of Research Design

The purpose of research design is to plan and structure a research study in a way that enables the researcher to achieve the desired research goals with accuracy, validity, and reliability. Research design is the blueprint or the framework for conducting a study that outlines the methods, procedures, techniques, and tools for data collection and analysis.

Some of the key purposes of research design include:

  • Providing a clear and concise plan of action for the research study.
  • Ensuring that the research is conducted ethically and with rigor.
  • Maximizing the accuracy and reliability of the research findings.
  • Minimizing the possibility of errors, biases, or confounding variables.
  • Ensuring that the research is feasible, practical, and cost-effective.
  • Determining the appropriate research methodology to answer the research question(s).
  • Identifying the sample size, sampling method, and data collection techniques.
  • Determining the data analysis method and statistical tests to be used.
  • Facilitating the replication of the study by other researchers.
  • Enhancing the validity and generalizability of the research findings.

Applications of Research Design

There are numerous applications of research design in various fields, some of which are:

  • Social sciences: In fields such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology, research design is used to investigate human behavior and social phenomena. Researchers use various research designs, such as experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs, to study different aspects of social behavior.
  • Education : Research design is essential in the field of education to investigate the effectiveness of different teaching methods and learning strategies. Researchers use various designs such as experimental, quasi-experimental, and case study designs to understand how students learn and how to improve teaching practices.
  • Health sciences : In the health sciences, research design is used to investigate the causes, prevention, and treatment of diseases. Researchers use various designs, such as randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies, to study different aspects of health and healthcare.
  • Business : Research design is used in the field of business to investigate consumer behavior, marketing strategies, and the impact of different business practices. Researchers use various designs, such as survey research, experimental research, and case studies, to study different aspects of the business world.
  • Engineering : In the field of engineering, research design is used to investigate the development and implementation of new technologies. Researchers use various designs, such as experimental research and case studies, to study the effectiveness of new technologies and to identify areas for improvement.

Advantages of Research Design

Here are some advantages of research design:

  • Systematic and organized approach : A well-designed research plan ensures that the research is conducted in a systematic and organized manner, which makes it easier to manage and analyze the data.
  • Clear objectives: The research design helps to clarify the objectives of the study, which makes it easier to identify the variables that need to be measured, and the methods that need to be used to collect and analyze data.
  • Minimizes bias: A well-designed research plan minimizes the chances of bias, by ensuring that the data is collected and analyzed objectively, and that the results are not influenced by the researcher’s personal biases or preferences.
  • Efficient use of resources: A well-designed research plan helps to ensure that the resources (time, money, and personnel) are used efficiently and effectively, by focusing on the most important variables and methods.
  • Replicability: A well-designed research plan makes it easier for other researchers to replicate the study, which enhances the credibility and reliability of the findings.
  • Validity: A well-designed research plan helps to ensure that the findings are valid, by ensuring that the methods used to collect and analyze data are appropriate for the research question.
  • Generalizability : A well-designed research plan helps to ensure that the findings can be generalized to other populations, settings, or situations, which increases the external validity of the study.

Research Design Vs Research Methodology

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From an architecture master’s thesis to professional workflows with SketchUp

Halmstad, Sweden

For his master’s thesis, Mathias Kidron used SketchUp to design an innovative timber-constructed space inspired by antique architecture in the hopes of creating a more connected future. Today, he builds on his skills as a professional architect.

Rendering of the agora exterior in the evening

Jump to: A thesis to connect historical concepts with future hope Designing spaces for connection Inspiration from classical architecture The modern age of timber construction Building a toolset for an ambitious thesis project Building skills as a professional architect Tips for early career architects

Mathias started studying architecture at the Chalmers University of Technology in 2015 after years of architectural aspiration and a love for drawing. It was at university that Mathias started using digital tools, including SketchUp, to design 3D spaces.

My professors recommended several programs; depending on which year you studied, it was a bit different. But for the most part, you only really need SketchUp. —Mathias Kidron

When it came time for his thesis, Mathias used SketchUp to design an ambitious project — a culmination of everything he’d learned at school, and groundwork for what he hoped for his future architectural career. His goal was to make an innovative, sustainable timber structure that would help create cohesion in his community by providing a welcoming meeting space.

Portrait of Mathias Kidron, architect.

Portrait of Mathias Kidron, architect.

A thesis to connect historical concepts with future hope

Mathias was given free rein to create his thesis. He could situate his structures in imaginary worlds and test experimental designs. However, Mathias decided to pursue a more grounded project: a public space situated in an open space in the heart of Gothenburg. He wanted to create a public building that provided space for debate and discussions.

Cover sheet for Mathias’ thesis.

Cover sheet for Mathias’ thesis.

Designing spaces for connection

Mathias looked to the past for ways of coming together for discussion, inspired by the past to alleviate the disconnect he sees in modern communication and debate. He believes that when people have disagreements on the internet, the anonymity can lead to dehumanization on both sides. When people discuss contentious topics in person, they tend to give their discussion partner the benefit of the doubt because it’s much easier to communicate the unspoken — like body language and intentions — in person. It’s easier to see a real person with feelings that can get hurt when you’re standing in front of them versus when you’re interacting with an avatar or screen name online.

Mathias believes that architecture has a unique role to play in creating better connections between people. Creating a welcoming physical space for people to come together encourages more civil discussions and a more cohesive community.

Rendering of the entrance of Mathias’ agora.

Rendering of the entrance of Mathias’ agora.

Inspiration from classical architecture

Mathias took both conceptual and aesthetic cues from the Roman Forum and the tradition of Greek agoras. In antiquity, these spaces were designed for people to come together for all aspects of civic life — commerce, art, justice, politics, spirituality, and public debate. In modern society, most of these aspects of civic life have found new architectural homes — commerce happens in malls, spiritual practice in temples, et cetera. Debate and discussion lack the same institutional support, so the internet has taken up the mantle virtually.

While Mathias’ project did not aim to be the all-encompassing center of civic life that the Forum and Greek agoras were, he believed that creating a space dedicated to community discussion would help usher in a new era of productive civil discourse.

Mathias studied both architecture and the societal effects the architecture had in ancient Rome and Greece and attempted to recreate an environment that would encourage the principles of free speech and expression through open spaces and permeable boundaries between structures. The soaring roofs promote a feeling of open space and possibilities.

Rendering of an atrium in Mathias’ agora.

Rendering of an atrium in Mathias’ agora. Scroll to see renderings of an auditorium.

The modern age of timber construction

Wood was a natural choice of material for Mathias; it’s very common in Sweden. Also, like many young architects, he sees the importance of pursuing sustainable design in architecture . Timber has become an increasingly popular material choice for sustainable construction, especially as the technologies around leveraging timber have improved.

Large-scale mass timber buildings present a unique challenge for architects and builders. Replacing steel and concrete with timber requires careful consideration. For his project, Mathias connected with a timber researcher at his university to determine how a large building could work with all-timber framing. Inspired by ancient architects and modern Japanese architect Kengo Kuma , Mathias opted to keep much of the timber construction visible in his project.

The agora’s timber construction

A series of images showing the agora’s timber construction. Scroll to see how the design builds on the timber frame.

Building a toolset for an ambitious thesis project

Mathias conducts in-depth research before beginning any project. While researching and reading, he would start with some hand sketching to give form to the ideas he was gathering. Very soon after his initial sketching phase, he moved into SketchUp to try different proportions and designs.

“As an architect, SketchUp is an incredibly valuable tool for fast and efficient modeling during the early stages of a project. The program's sketching capabilities are highly effective and allow for easy visualization of design concepts.” —Mathias Kidron

Mathias leveraged SketchUp’s geolocation capabilities to help place his project in the correct context: an open space in a park in central Gothenburg near a theater and commercial district, creating a place for discussion and debate near other civic activities.

Site map showing Mathias’ project in context.

Site map showing Mathias’ project in context; scroll to see a rendering of the site map. 

After a lifetime of hand-drawing before architecture school — Mathias loves how easy it is to draw in SketchUp. 

“Its intuitive interface and similarity to using a pen make it a favorite. I really appreciate the push-pull feature for its simplicity and effectiveness for quickly turning a sketch into a 3D design.” —Mathias Kidron

When his design was further along, Mathias used Twinmotion and V-Ray to create stunning visualizations that clearly communicated his design ideas.

Renderings of the exterior of the agora.

Renderings of the exterior of the agora, located in a municipal park in Gothenburg’s city center. Scroll to see more.

Building skills as a professional architect

After graduation, Mathias began his career at a firm in Gothenburg. There, he worked on competition deliverables . With early phase design work and sketches being a big part of his workflow there, his professional work grew naturally out of his work as a student. After two years working in Gothenburg, he moved to Halmstad, Sweden, to begin working at Fredblad Arkitekter . There, he still works on competition deliverables and the early stages of projects, but also on projects that have been won and are further along in the design process.

As Mathias’ professional career has grown, so has his SketchUp skillset. He advocates for the importance of grouping work frequently, using components intelligently, and exploring all available functions to avoid unnecessary work. He’s also become more adept at integrating plugins and extensions as part of his workflow. His favorites include Joint Push/Pull , Curviloft , and Eneroth extensions . Watch the video below for tips on how to find the right extensions for your workflow. 

Check out this video for advice on finding your next favorite extension.

Mathias stays at the forefront of design technology and experiments with AI. He’s been experimenting with SketchUp’s AI technology, Diffusion , which creates images that are rendered in seconds. With SketchUp, he’s able to communicate visual ideas with clients in a variety of ways, from static presentations to real-time 3D model tours. 

Tips for early-career architects

Throughout his journey from student to professional architect, Mathias has made the most of the tools and information available to him. We asked him to pass on some wisdom for a new generation of architects navigating their early careers.

Explore as much as you can. Absorb all the information and knowledge you can get. Iterate often. Be prepared to rework your design. Be decisive. Make decisions quickly and move on with your design. Listen to your critiques. Reflect and use them to develop. Read a lot of history. There is so much to be learned from the past that can be translated into modern architecture and urban design.   Do your own thing. —Mathias Kidron

Feeling inspired to create a stunning design of your own? Start with a free trial of SketchUp , or check out our subscription options if you’re ready to start building a professional portfolio.

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flyer with text: The Elephants are giving their BFA Thesis Talks

2024 BFA in Studio Art Thesis Presentations

Join us for the Class of 2024 BFA in Studio Art thesis presentations. The public is welcome to join for any and all of the presentations. Please enter or exit between groups.

Morning Session

  • 8:45-9:00 a.m. Entry
  • 9:00-9:15 a.m. Maddy Kish
  • 9:15-9:30 a.m. Dvora Redlich
  • 9:30-9:45 a.m. Charlie Shaw
  • 9:45-10:00 a.m. Mary Kate Charles
  • 10:00-10:10 a.m. Break (Enter or Exit)
  • 10:15-10:30 a.m. Becky Moon
  • 10:30-10:45 a.m. Shiyeon Monk
  • 10:45-11:00 a.m. Meg Lafollette
  • 11:00-11:15 a.m. Serena Li

Lunch 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Join Methods for a catered joint celebration at Steinberg Gallery during the break

Afternoon Session

  • 12:30-12:35 p.m. Entry
  • 12:35-12:50 p.m. Haley Levin
  • 12:50-1:05 p.m. Regan Pendergast.
  • 1:05-1:20 p.m. Rachael Park

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thesis methodology for design

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Making a Choice: Design-Bid-Build or Construction Management at Risk

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This training will assist jurisdictions decide which delivery method might work best for their project. Topics include an overview of each project delivery method, the major procurement requirements of each, differences in oversight requirements, and suitability of projects to each delivery method.

This training aims to help public officials and others compare traditional construction bidding methods to the construction management at risk option for delivering public building projects in Massachusetts.  

  • Prerequisite:   None
  • Class Level: Basic
  • Instructional Method:  Online - OIG Academy Online Class Technical Specifications
  • Advanced Prep: None 
  • Credits: 3
  • Registration closes two weeks before the class start date.
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Class date and time:  June 11, 2024, 8:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

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IMAGES

  1. 2: Steps of methodology of the thesis

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  2. Mapping of thesis methodology on Design Science Framework

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  3. Design research methodology framing of the thesis

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  4. Design Thesis Process Diagram

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  5. Architectural Thesis Methodology Example

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  6. Bestof You: Best Architectural Thesis Methodology Example In The World

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VIDEO

  1. Module 08 Writing Thesis Methodology

  2. 1.Introduction of Research & Research Philosophy in Education

  3. ஆய்வறிக்கை எழுதுதல் & கட்டுரை எழுதுதல்&QA/jesueasy

  4. Design Science Methodology for Information Systems and Software Engineering

  5. How to write Thesis (THESIS PARTS in Conventional Format )

  6. L-23/4 Chapter 03 of Thesis

COMMENTS

  1. What Is a Research Design

    A research design is a strategy for answering your research question using empirical data. Creating a research design means making decisions about: Your overall research objectives and approach. Whether you'll rely on primary research or secondary research. Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects. Your data collection methods.

  2. What Is a Research Methodology?

    Step 1: Explain your methodological approach. Step 2: Describe your data collection methods. Step 3: Describe your analysis method. Step 4: Evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made. Tips for writing a strong methodology chapter. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about methodology.

  3. Free Thesis Methodology Template (+ Examples)

    What's Included: Methodology Template. This template covers all the core components required in the research methodology chapter or section of a typical dissertation or thesis, including: The opening section. The research design, including: Research philosophy. Research type. Research strategy. Time horizon. Sampling strategy.

  4. How To Write The Methodology Chapter

    Do yourself a favour and start with the end in mind. Section 1 - Introduction. As with all chapters in your dissertation or thesis, the methodology chapter should have a brief introduction. In this section, you should remind your readers what the focus of your study is, especially the research aims. As we've discussed many times on the blog ...

  5. Research Design

    Step 1: Consider your aims and approach. Step 2: Choose a type of research design. Step 3: Identify your population and sampling method. Step 4: Choose your data collection methods. Step 5: Plan your data collection procedures. Step 6: Decide on your data analysis strategies. Frequently asked questions.

  6. PDF Presenting Methodology and Research Approach

    Presenting Methodology and Research Approach OVERVIEW Chapter 3 of the dissertation presents the research design and the specific procedures used in conducting your study. A research design includes various interrelated elements that reflect its sequential nature. This chapter is intended to show the reader that you have an understanding of the ...

  7. What Is a Research Methodology?

    Revised on 10 October 2022. Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research.

  8. Writing the Research Methodology Section of Your Thesis

    A thesis research methodology explains the type of research performed, justifies the methods that you chose by linking back to the literature review, and describes the data collection and analysis procedures.It is included in your thesis after the Introduction section.Most importantly, this is the section where the readers of your study evaluate its validity and reliability.

  9. Research Methodology Chapter: 5 Tips & Tricks

    The methodology chapter is a crucial part of your dissertation or thesis - it's where you provide context and justification for your study's design. This in turn demonstrates your understanding of research theory, which is what earns you marks.. Over the years, we've helped thousands of students navigate this tricky section of the research process.

  10. LibGuides: Guide for Thesis Research: Research Methodology

    The methods you choose must be appropriate for your field and for the specific research questions you are setting out to answer. A strong understanding of methodology will help you: apply appropriate research techniques; design effective data collection instruments; analyze and interpret your data; develop well-founded conclusions

  11. PDF 3 Methodology

    The Methodology chapter is perhaps the part of a qualitative thesis that is most unlike its equivalent in a quantitative study. Students doing quantitative research have an established conventional 'model' to work to, which comprises these possible elements: Overview of the Experiment/Design Population/Sample Location

  12. PDF Chapter 8. Design Thesis

    Finally, The discussion regarding design theory and methodology, the (dis)similarity of design and research, the assumptions 'Research by Design' and the 'Research as a form of Design' etc. are delicate as well ramified subjects (Chapter 5). CRITERION 1: SCIENTIFICALLY VALID. Accomplishing a thesis in a scientifically valid

  13. Dissertation Methodology

    The study aimed to explore the relationship between stress and productivity in the workplace. A mixed-methods research design was used to collect and analyze data. ... The dissertation methodology section plays an important role in a dissertation for several reasons. Here are some of the advantages of having a well-crafted methodology section ...

  14. Thesis

    Develop a Research Methodology: Once you have refined your research question, you need to develop a research methodology that includes the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis procedures. Collect and Analyze Data: After developing your research methodology, you need to collect and analyze data. This may involve conducting ...

  15. Planning Qualitative Research: Design and Decision Making for New

    While many books and articles guide various qualitative research methods and analyses, there is currently no concise resource that explains and differentiates among the most common qualitative approaches. We believe novice qualitative researchers, students planning the design of a qualitative study or taking an introductory qualitative research course, and faculty teaching such courses can ...

  16. Research Methodology

    The research methodology is an important section of any research paper or thesis, as it describes the methods and procedures that will be used to conduct the research. It should include details about the research design, data collection methods, data analysis techniques, and any ethical considerations.

  17. Research Methodology Example (PDF + Template)

    Research Methodology Example. Detailed Walkthrough + Free Methodology Chapter Template. If you're working on a dissertation or thesis and are looking for an example of a research methodology chapter, you've come to the right place. In this video, we walk you through a research methodology from a dissertation that earned full distinction ...

  18. How to Write an APA Methods Section

    The main heading of "Methods" should be centered, boldfaced, and capitalized. Subheadings within this section are left-aligned, boldfaced, and in title case. You can also add lower level headings within these subsections, as long as they follow APA heading styles. To structure your methods section, you can use the subheadings of ...

  19. (PDF) Research Design and Methodology

    The first part gives a highlight about the dissertation design. The second part discusses about qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The last part illustrates the general research ...

  20. Research Design

    It outlines the methods and procedures that will be used to collect and analyze data, as well as the goals and objectives of the study. Research design is important because it guides the entire research process and ensures that the study is conducted in a systematic and rigorous manner. Types of Research Design. Types of Research Design are as ...

  21. From an architecture master's thesis to professional workflows with

    Be prepared to rework your design. Be decisive. Make decisions quickly and move on with your design. Listen to your critiques. Reflect and use them to develop. Read a lot of history. There is so much to be learned from the past that can be translated into modern architecture and urban design. Do your own thing. —Mathias Kidron

  22. 2024 BFA in Studio Art Thesis Presentations

    Join us for the Class of 2024 BFA in Studio Art thesis presentations. The public is welcome to join for any and all of the presentations. ... 12:30 p.m. Join Methods for a catered joint celebration at Steinberg Gallery during the break Afternoon Session 12:30-12:35 p.m. Entry 12:35-12:50 p.m. Haley Levin 12:50-1:05 p.m. Regan Pendergast. 1:05-1 ...

  23. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Example 1: Passive construction. The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise. Example: Passive construction.

  24. Making a Choice: Design-Bid-Build or Construction Management at Risk

    This training aims to help public officials and others compare traditional construction bidding methods to the construction management at risk option for delivering public building projects in Massachusetts. Prerequisite: None; Class Level: Basic; Instructional Method: Online - OIG Academy Online Class Technical Specifications; Advanced Prep: None

  25. Mixed Methods Research

    Revised on June 22, 2023. Mixed methods research combines elements of quantitative research and qualitative research in order to answer your research question. Mixed methods can help you gain a more complete picture than a standalone quantitative or qualitative study, as it integrates benefits of both methods.