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During doctoral candidature these early thoughts will have become more refined or even considerably altered.Depending on how much things have changed, it may be more pragmatic to write this section afresh for the thesis.As you progress your own thinking, you will be able to develop more extensive, nuanced and targeted ideas, and over time extend your reading to add other method- or tool-specific references.
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Generally, a Methodology chapter will have two components: the big picture that describes the theoretical orientation and justification (sometimes called the Research Approach), and another section that gives an account of the particularities of how the research was undertaken (e.g. In the ‘hard’ sciences ‘Methodology’ is rarely required; instead, the chapter is called Methods and the focus is on the tools and procedures of data collection and analysis.
Paltridge and Starfield (2007) give a good account of the associated writing practices.
Establishing credibility through story-telling and self-revelation One of the key objectives of the chapter is to establish the reliability of the research and the credibility of the researcher.
Building a picture of an authoritative and competent researcher is crucial for building confidence in the research. On the other hand, employing too many passive constructions (e.g., ‘the interviews occurred…’ ‘data was collected and analysed’) can make it difficult to understand the role of the researcher in relation to how things actually happened.
I commonly advise students to seek out two types of key resources: aim for big names in research methods (for example, for social scientists, Creswell) and secondly a big name in your particular field of research (for example, Hammersley and Atkinson for ethnography).
You can’t go wrong knowing and citing these folk, especially when you connect their say-so to your particular work or intentions.
And also, almost inevitably, coming to understand methodology and its application to a particular study is a transformational step, a threshold concept that is arrived at after considerable intellectual challenge. Read to know As must be clear, I believe you cannot (and I recommend, do not) begin writing without doing preliminary reading.
Yes, reading your way into methodology important; and mostly because the breadth and depth you need cannot be found in journal articles.