Bachelor thesis research methods

If you are submitting your dissertation in sections, with the methodology submitted before you actually undertake the research, you should use this section to set.
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If you are working independently, you are also free to modify it as you go along. How do you know that you have drafted a research question? Most importantly, a research question is something that can be answered. If not, you have probably come up with a theme or field, not a question. The outline gives an overview of the main points of your thesis.

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It clarifies the structure of your thesis and helps you find the correct focus for your work. The outline can also be used in supervision sessions, especially in the beginning. You might find that you need to restructure your thesis. Working on your outline can then be a good way of making sense of the necessary changes. A good outline shows how the different parts relate to each other, and is a useful guide for the reader. It often makes sense to put the outline at the end of the introduction, but this rule is not set in stone. Use discretion: What is most helpful for the reader?

The information should come at the right point — not too early and not too late. The theory used in an empirical study is meant to shed light on the data in a scholarly or scientific manner. It should give insights not achievable by ordinary, everyday reflections. The main purpose of using theory is to analyse and interpret your data.


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Therefore, you should not present theoretical perspectives that are not being put to use. Doing so will create false expectations, and suggests that your work is incomplete.

Step 1: Explain your methodological approach

Not all theses have a separate theory section. In the IMRaD format the theory section is included in the introduction, and the second chapter covers the methods used. What kind of theory should you choose? Since the theory is the foundation for your data analysis it can be useful to select a theory that lets you distinguish between, and categorise different phenomena.

Other theories let you develop the various nuances of a phenomenon. In other words, you have a choice of either reducing the complexity of your data or expanding upon something that initially looks simple. How much time and space should you devote to the theory chapter? This is a difficult question. Some theses dwell too long on theory and never get to the main point: the analysis and discussion. But it is also important to have read enough theory to know what to look for when collecting data. The nature of your research should decide: Some studies do not require much theory, but put more emphasis on the method, while other studies need a rich theory section to enable an interesting discussion.

In a scholarly research article, the section dealing with method is very important. The same applies to an empirical thesis. For students, this can be a difficult section to write, especially since its purpose may not always be clear. For example, if you have carried out interviews, you do not need to list all the different types of research interview. You also do not need to describe the differences between quantitative and qualitative methods, or list all different kinds of validity and reliability.

What you must do is to show how your choice of design and research method is suited to answering your research question s.


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  8. Demonstrate that you have given due consideration to the validity and reliability of your chosen method. This way, the method section is not only able to tie the different parts of your thesis together, it also becomes interesting to read! Your analysis, along with your discussion, will form the high light of your thesis.

    This is where you report your findings and present them in a systematic manner. The expectations of the reader have been built up through the other chapters, make sure you fulfill these expectations. To analyse means to distinguish between different types of phenomena — similar from different. Importantly, by distinguishing between different phenomena, your theory is put to work. Precisely how your analysis should appear, however, is a methodological question.

    Finding out how best to organise and present your findings may take some time. In this case it will be important to choose analytical categories that correlate to your chosen theory. Engaging emotions is not the main point, but a way to elucidate the phenomenon so that the reader understands it in a new and better way. In many thesis the discussion is the most important section.

    Example Dissertation Methodologies

    Make sure that you allocate enough time and space for a good discussion. This is your opportunity to show that you have understood the significance of your findings and that you are capable of applying theory in an independent manner. The discussion will consist of argumentation. In other words, you investigate a phenomenon from several different perspectives.

    To discuss means to question your findings, and to consider different interpretations. Here are a few examples of formulations that signal argumentation:. The final section of your thesis may take one of several different forms. Some theses need a conclusion, while for others a summing up will be appropriate. Open research questions cannot always be answered, but if a definite answer is possible, you must provide a conclusion. The conclusion should answer your research question s.

    Remember that a negative conclusion is also valid. A summing up should repeat the most important issues raised in your thesis particularly in the discussion , although preferably stated in a slightly different way. Absrtracts generally do not have citations.


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    Information in title should not be repeated. Be explicit.

    Overview of Quantitative Research Methods

    Use numbers where appropriate. Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer? How did you do it? State methods. What did you learn?

    Writing your thesis’ method section - Topscriptie English

    State major results. Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication. Table of Contents list all headings and subheadings with page numbers indent subheadings it will look something like this:. How do you do this?

    Studies preparing students for the thesis process

    Physical separation into different sections or paragraphs. Don't overlay interpretation on top of data in figures. Careful use of phrases such as "We infer that ". Don't worry if "results" seem short. Easier for your reader to absorb, frequent shifts of mental mode not required. Ensures that your work will endure in spite of shifting paradigms. Discussion Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. Refer to spatial and temporal variations.