How to chose the right method

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How to chose the right method

Answering this question is by no means straight-forward. These are not problems that cause frustration only at the undergraduate level, but that accompany many scholars their entire careers.

In fact, at a meeting I attended a few weeks ago on how to apply for research funding from the European Research Councilone of the concerns that the Council regularly had with applications was that scholars did not provided a good methodology section. So if you are a student, and you are confused, remember that you share that confusion with many of the professionals.

What makes questions of method and methodology so thorny is that the answers depend on the respective discipline and on the particular research project. In this post, I will try to highlight different perspectives on this topic, as well as options for coming to grips with methods and methodologies.

This usually includes defining the scope of the research project, coming up with a research question or hypothesis, selecting and collecting data, processing that data with certain tools to enable analysis, and then going through the data systematically to answer the central question.

In other words, methods are the tools you use to do your research. So what is a methodology?

The difference between method, methodology, and theory and how to get the balance right. It’s the time of year when students are gearing up to write their thesis, and whether it’s at the undergraduate or graduate level, for many this means coming to grips with a tricky question: how do I best explain what it is I’m doing in my paper, and how do I make sure my explanations are up to. Oh the French leslutinsduphoenix.com world’s most finicky cookie! Let’s face it, these cookies are hard! They can seriously drive you crazy! I too have had my battles. Each method category appeals to a different mindset. For example, code and fix methods are attractive to maverick developers, often referred to as cowboys, that prefer to work alone with little guidance.

In essence, methodology is the discussion of methods. A methodology section in a research paper needs to achieve three things, though not necessarily in this order: Firstly, it should consider what the nature of academic work is more generally, and what this might mean for anyone who explores the topic at hand.

Secondly, it needs to provide a literature review, discussing what methods researchers have traditionally used to How to chose the right method the kind of topic that the project focuses on. Thirdly, it should explain what methods this particular project uses and why.

The first issue is a question of epistemologythe philosophy of knowledge. Crucial epistemological questions include: What have different intellectual schools said on these issues, and what do our own answers to these questions say about the value of our research project?

What do they say about the value of academic work in general? These are debates that have occupied thinkers for millennia, and no-one would expect you to answer them in a term paper or thesis.

Nevertheless, the practical methods you use to study your subject come with certain assumptions, so it would be a good idea to demonstrate that you are aware of what these are. These are by no means trivial questions, and even though they are theoretical, they have very real implications for how you conduct your own research.

Next, you might want to review what experts in the field have said about the value and drawbacks of using surveys, about the relation between information and human behaviour, and about the problems of establishing causalities between different variables.

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A note on positivism as a research tradition would also probably be wise. Finally, you should explain where you got your data and what exactly it is you plan to do with it. Similarly, if you are studying policy documents to find out what the agenda of a specific government is, you would be well advised to think about epistemological questions like the value that such documents might have as an indication of political preferences, about the nature of political decision-making, or about the various philosophical traditions that have debated whether the language in such sources reflects certain beliefs or conjures them into being or maybe both?

How you then go on to select and study the actual documents will likely follow from your answers to these questions. How methodology connects to theory As these examples already show, methodological discussions are both theoretical and practical in nature.

This is also what makes writing a methodology section for an article or a thesis so hard. It can be difficult to draw a line between a typical theory chapter and the epistemological discussion of the methods you used.

Do you now need to include a second theoretical chapter that discusses how we can know about the system of states? The answer is not straight forward, and will strongly depend on what you are trying to achieve. Overall, it can help to see this overlap between theory and methodology not as a problem but as an opportunity.

From there, it is only a small step to outlining what data your research project uses, and what work-steps you took. In this case, the methodology is the puzzle piece that sits between broader theoretical debates and actual hands-on research work.

Nevertheless, it is quite common to get the balance wrong between the theoretical and the practical aspects of a methodology.

Imagine a term paper that sets out to study a particular case of how people use digital media in everyday life. The case study will consist of observing and interviewing teenagers in a particular high school in Seoul to see how they use mobile phones during school hours.

The paper could discuss at great length the nature of human knowledge without ever mentioning why this particular high school was chosen, how the researcher conducted the interviews, how the participants were observed, or how the interviews and research notes were later analysed to arrive at a conclusion.Page 46 The Right Tool for the Right Job We are seeing the construction industry become more and more sophisticated with new construction techniques.

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In English and commonwealth law, all personal things fall into one of two. Oh the French leslutinsduphoenix.com world’s most finicky cookie!

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How to Choose the Right Methodology for your Research - Reading Craze

I too have had my battles. Ethics What is Ethics? Ethics is the branch of study dealing with what is the proper course of action for man. It answers the question, "What do I do?".

Each method category appeals to a different mindset. For example, code and fix methods are attractive to maverick developers, often referred to as cowboys, that prefer to work alone with little guidance.

How to chose the right method

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