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What Are Acceptable Dissertation Research Methods?

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❶The thesis essay is a logically-constructed argument that presents its central points on the basis of research and critical interpretation.

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A specific single-sample repeated measures design in which participants are measured at baseline A , after an intervention B , and again after the intervention has been removed A. A design in which researchers compare the scores of two or more groups. Between-group designs can be used as either a single or repeated measure. A specific between-groups design in which researchers match participants across groups based on criteria determined by the researchers e.

After matching participants based on the predetermined criteria, researchers examine differences between matched pairs not between group means. Post your question to the forum.

Research Methods for Students. Which of the many different types of research design is best for you? General Types of Research Designs Descriptive: More Articles on PhDStudent. Default Title Date Random. Regardless of the topic of your dissertation or thesis, it is highly likely that at some ….

The project thesis essay may take a number of forms and include a range of information. It ought to discuss at least the following elements:.

Consider the institutional or social context within which the project takes place. Describe the organization, the potential clientele or participants, and the larger environment social, economic and political conditions surrounding the problem and the project.

Describe the particular problem or need that you address in the project. What causes that problem? How extensive is it? Have other attempts to solve the problem been made; if so, what were their shortcomings, and why are you trying another approach? Place the problem in its professional and academic context by referring to the appropriate literature.

Describe the goals and objectives of your project and what you hoped to accomplish. Describe how the program was designed and structured; for example, what kinds of activities did participants engage in, and in what sequence? What kinds of resources and techniques were used? Justify your strategies and tactics by citing appropriate professional and academic literatures. Describe how the plan was carried out. Use as much detail as you need to give the reader a sense of what actually happened, and to indicate the extent to which the reality matched the plan.

Describe the criteria for assessing the project and evaluation methods used. Justify the criteria and methods by referring to appropriate literatures. To what extent did the project accomplish the goals and objectives identified earlier? Citing relevant literature and the practical contingencies of the project, explain why the project did or did not achieve its stated purposes. Describe the factors political, social, organizational, financial, psychological, etc.

What changes-either conceptual or practical-would you make if you were to repeat or extend the project? What would you leave in place? Describe what you learned from the project about the original problem and about your strategy and tactics. Also consider the professional and theoretical implications of the project. If necessary, put relevant documentary materials flyers, important correspondence, budgets, etc.

Below you will find descriptions of the three types of theses: Artistic Thesis The artistic thesis is appropriate for those students who wish to display the creative process in the performing, visual or literary arts. Some General Advice Be careful to keep records and a log of your artistic project as it evolves. Essays for the Artistic Thesis Background Research Essay As stated above, this essay follows the description for the standard research essay.

How the study is approached and how contrasting approaches are drawn upon needs to be stated very clearly. A library-based or theoretical study is not necessarily 'easier' than an empirical study, indeed, it may well be harder. Remember that theoretical studies, like data-based studies, need to have their research design spelled out from the start.

But even if your dissertation is more empirically focused, it could still be entirely literature-based. You might choose to conduct a review of a field of work. What does the research literature in this field tell us about x? While all dissertations will include a literature review, it is possible to produce a dissertation that is entirely based on a review of the literature.

If you do this, it is important to review the literature from an explicit angle and identify some themes to make the review distinctive. You might, for example, explore empirical debates in your chosen field across different countries or time periods. Whilst it is possible for dissertations to be entirely literature-based, the most common form of dissertation takes the form of a case study.

Here the focus of attention is on a particular community, organisation or set of documents. The attraction of this kind of dissertation is that it stems from empirical curiosity but is at the same time practical.

You may be interested in a wider question but a case study enables you to focus on a specific example. A major challenge in case study dissertations is connecting your own primary research or re-analysis with the broader theoretical themes and empirical concerns of the existing literature. Most dissertations demand either primary or secondary research. In other words, you usually have to analyse data that you have either collected yourself or data that is already available.

The reason for this is that the questions dissertations usually address take the following form: Why is x happening? Why is x changing? These questions demand primary or secondary analysis of data. Case Study 9 Think hard before you decide to undertake empirical research: Secondary analysis is when you analyse data which was collected by another researcher.

It allows the researcher to explore areas of interest without having to go through the process of collecting data themselves in the field. The problem with using fieldwork methods in an undergraduate dissertation, however, is that they are costly in terms of time which is relatively scarce in your final year!

You may choose, therefore, to undertake secondary research, analysing existing data. There are a range of documents that already contain research data that you can analyse.

You may, for example, be interested in exploring whether gender stereotypes in the media are changing. This might entail content analysis of newspapers, magazines, video or other media over different time periods. Here you would not be collecting your own data but instead would be analysing existing documents. Download Case Study 6 Media research. If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives.

Government reports and autobiographies may also be used as data. Other documents include official statistics, datasets statistical data , and banks of interview transcripts which are all freely available to the academic community. Increasingly, documents, databases and archives are readily accessible online. Research Methods tutors on your course will be able to advise on the availability and accessibility of such data sets.

There are some advantages of doing secondary analysis, particularly if you are doing a quantitative study. You will be able to work with much larger datasets than you could have collected yourself. This has the following advantages:. Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e. Also, sometimes data that are collected through qualitative processes participant observation, interviews are coded and quantified.

Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative data collection methods and their definitions:. A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own. Self-completion questionnaires are good for collecting data on relatively simple topics, and for gaining a general overview of an issue. Questionnaires need to have clear questions, an easy to follow design, and not be too long. Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee.

The same questions are read out in the same way to all respondents. There will typically be a fixed choice of answers for the respondents. Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Prior to the observation, an observation schedule will be produced which details what exactly the researcher should look for and how those observations should be recorded. If you are conducting a qualitative analysis you are likely to wish to use at least some original material.

This may be collected through in-depth interviews, participant observation recordings and fieldnotes, non-participant observation, or some combination of these. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation:.

A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview. A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning. The moderator tries to provide a relatively free rein to the discussion. This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. The researcher participates directly in the setting and collects data in a systematic manner.

The researcher will observe behaviour, listen to conversations, and ask questions. Spend some time looking at general books about research - they will give you an overview of the data collection methods available and help you to make the best choice for your project. Bryman would be a useful starting point.

For any piece of research you conduct, be it empirically based quantitative or qualitative or library based, its methods must be justified. You need to show in the final dissertation how you have given consideration to different methods, and why you have chosen and eliminated these. Often in early supervision meetings they ask students to justify their reasons for choosing a library-based or an empirical study. Todd, Smith and Bannister , p This was particularly useful for one of our respondents:.

With other essays you can rush them if you have to Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , p …. My reasons for data collection is literature based as my research question involved sensitive subjects which would have been unsuitable for primary data collection.

Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University I chose primary data because it would enable me to build skills that would be useful for postgraduate study. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University It will involve primary data, secondary data, quantitative and qualitative research methods, lit reviews, theory and policy studies and an exploration of alternatives.

My dissertation is to be based around the experience of 'poverty', as poverty is the experience. Theories and policies are not. However, to do justice to the subject, theories and policies will be included so Iam able to demonstrate where failures in the system may exist.

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Research Design Research Methods for Students Which of the many different types of research design is best for you? One thing that you will want to consider early in your dissertation process is the design of your research study.

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Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations What are they and which one should I choose? In the sections that follow, we briefly describe the main characteristics of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations. Rather than being exhaustive, the main goal is to highlight what these types of research are and what they involve.

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Types of Research Methods Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form () and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods . Thesis and Dissertation Research in Environmental Design: Research Methods A strategic bibliographic guide for architecture, city planning, urban design, and landscape architecture graduate students beginning their professional report, thesis, or dissertation work.

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The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative interviewing. it is important to ensure that you match your methodology to the problem you are pursuing. Social Research Method. 2nd ed., Oxford, Oxford University Press CRESWELL, J. (). The thesis may take one of three forms: a research thesis, an artistic thesis, or a project thesis. In each case, the thesis represents a synthesis of the student’s accumulated knowledge and skill and an opportunity to display the ideas, practices and skills learned through the program.