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Methodology in Research: Make It Perfect from the First Try

Every student comes to the moment of writing a research paper. It is an academic work that discusses a certain problem or phenomenon. The research methodology stands as a part of a research paper. This part contains valuable information about the methods you used in your investigation and the data you have collected. Also, with the help of research methodology, your work is evaluated by validity, authenticity, and replicability.

As you see, research methodology is an integral and quite important part of every research paper. For readers, your methodology in research is a chance to see what you have done, why you decided to do so, and the basis of your investigations. Thus, you should try your best when writing research methodology.

Check out our article, where you will find valuable input on writing a research methodology.

What Is a Methodology in Research and Why Is It Important?

Research methodology is a key part of every research paper. It explains the type of research you did, methods you have used to get the desired results, data analysis and collection, materials and tools you used to conduct the research, and reasons for such methods choice. Here is why you should pay special attention when writing research methodology.

Methods Will Influence Results

Depending on the problem you are solving or a subject you are investigating, your final purpose is to get results. However, to get the desired ones, you should choose the appropriate methods for your research and explain their relevance to the research methodology. 

The Choice of Methods Should Be Independent

Every student has personal preferences towards the methods. Some might be easy to use, while others are quite difficult to cope with. However, these are not the criteria you should focus on when choosing methods for research methodology. Your choice should not be biased. It should be clearly explained in the research methodology section.

The Data Should Be Reliable

Since research methodology also covers data collection, in this part, you have to provide the significance of your work. Moreover, since its results can be taken for future investigations, the resources you base your research on should be verified and valid.

Your Information Should Be Sufficient

Since your research is part of the future resource studies you will use, the information you provide in your research methodology should be sufficient. It is even more essential to discover something new in your research paper.

Gain Inspiration from an Example of Methodology in Research Paper

Even though research methodology is just a part of a research paper, it is not easy to recognize how to write it perfectly. But there is always great help from looking at the examples of research methodology sections.

By analyzing the research methodology part examples, you can get such benefits:

  •     You will see what a research methodology section should look like.
  •     You will find the right structure for your work and can use it as an example to follow.
  •     You will analyze what information to include in your research methodology.
  •     You will see the flaws of the example research methodology section and will make sure not to make the same mistakes in your work.

How to Write a Research Methodology: Best Tips and Advice

Now, you know that the research methodology is the part where you write about the methods you plan to use to achieve certain results. It is also a place to review the data and information you build your research paper on.

Before you start writing a research methodology, remember that:

  •     It would help if you wrote this section in the past tense since you disclose the actions that have already been done
  •     You should pay attention to the academic guidelines for your specific study field since the requirements of what to include in the research methodology will be different
  •     It would help if you wrote your research methodology section according to a certain style (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc.)

And here we go: the step-by-step writing is explained below!

Write About Your Methodological Approach

A methodological approach is a way of analyzing the problem which operates on a set of methods used to resolve the problem and get the results. In that research methodology section, you can go through different approaches.

Explaining “What”

The first one is explaining what you investigated. After that, it can refer to describing the topic, writing about the type of data you used, etc.

Explaining “Why”

The second way is to explain why you chose this approach, why it is the most suitable one for your topic, and what is the type of reliability and validity of your research.

Analyze the Data Collection

Since research methodology can not exist without describing the data you used in your investigation, this is the next step in the writing process. Depending on the type of research you are writing, the data collection methods will be the following.

Data Collection Methods for Quantitative Research Methodology

In quantitative research, generalization is the main feature. For the research to be replicable, it is important to describe the data collection in enough detail.

For example, if you conducted surveys, share the information on how you designed them, which type of questions you included, whether they were conducted offline or online, and your sample methods. If you experiment, you should write about its participants, the variables, the tools, and the experimental procedure. When writing about the existing data you used, tell readers how you found it, the criteria you based your choice on, and the origin of the data.

Data Collection for Qualitative Research Methodology

Qualitative research doesn’t require following rigorous standards when writing about data collection. Since this kind of research is more flexible, it is essential to provide strong arguments on the data collection methods choice.

For example, if you conducted interviews, write about the participants’ characteristics, the number of participants, and the environment in which the interview was conducted. Suppose your data collection method relates to observation. In that case, it is important to write in detail what group and ethnicity you were observing, where the observation took place, and how you recorded the results.

Explain the Analysis Method

As you gathered data for your paper and described it in your research methodology, your next task is to analyze it. For quantitative research, numbers prevail over general statements. That is why it is crucial to write how you processed these numbers: whether you found something missing or changed the variables.

The software you used would also be important. In qualitative research, data analysis will contain your observations and visual aids. As for the information you provide can be categorized, some special terms discussed, and the semantics of the words revealed.

Structure Your Research Methodology

The structure of your research methodology will depend on the research type you are conducting. However, there are basic parts that should include every methodology in research consisting of:

  •     An introduction with the methodological approach explanation: reasons for selecting this particular approach should be explained as well.
  •     A set of solid statements will show that the chosen method is relevant and actual in modern research. The methods should be linked to the problem of the work and how it can be tackled.
  •     An explanation for a chosen approach to analyze the data.
  •     Displaying some new perspectives through the initial resources.
  •     An explanation for the investigated selected group and the environment the participants were put into.
  •     Description of possible limitations that might have influenced the research.

All the parts mentioned above should contain information concisely and logically. In addition, the structure should be clear and coherent.

Example of Methods in Research Paper

The selection of methods for research methodology should be based on the methodological approach and connected with the results received. You can choose among the following methods in research methodology:

  •     Survey
  •     Questionnaire
  •     Experiment
  •     Observation
  •     Focus group
  •     Case study
  •     Literature review
  •     Analysis: statistical, thematic, content, and meta

You can always use multiple methods in your research methodology relevant to the issue or the occurrence you investigate.


How to write a research methodology?

To write your research methodology, you must prepare information about the methodological approach you have chosen, the reasons for your choice, its relevance to the results, the data you have collected, and data analysis. The structure should be easy to follow and concise.

What are the 4 types of research methodology?

There are such 4 types of research methodology:

  •     Observational
  •     Experimental
  •     Derived
  •     Simulation

The choice of research methodology will depend on the type of research you are conducting.

What is the difference between research method and research methodology?

A research methodology refers to an approach you use in your research. It is a set of methods you can apply in a specific way. At the same time, a research method is just a specific procedure conducted as a part of the investigation. Therefore, there might be different research methods, but the methodology is only one.

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