Writing a PhD dissertation is the toughest milestone to achieve. Unlike undergraduate and master’s dissertations, doctorate students start taking the stress of a PhD dissertation right after getting their hands on the admission or acceptance letter. Who will be the supervisor? Which area of research will be more suitable to meet international research standards? How to narrow down the topic of research? What should be the design for achieving the research aims? Which research method will be more appropriate for writing a PhD dissertation? These are a few common questions that almost all doctorate students have to deal with. In light of the scope of this article, discussing all these things in one place will be difficult; thus, this article will provide a guide only on how to choose the best PhD Research Method. Let’s get started:
Phd Research Method:
Though it seems that the PhD research method may be different from the one used in graduate-level research, but actually it is more or less similar. The method of research refers to the detailed process one follows to complete a research project. It includes the process of deciding on the type of data, method of collecting data, sampling techniques, ways of analysing the information, and finally the act of interpreting the analysed data. As a big picture, the PhD research method needs students to follow a step-by-step guide. Thus, mentioned below are some common steps that all scholars must follow in choosing the right PhD research method for a dissertation.
Ways To Select The Right Phd Research Method:
Broadly, there are four main types of methodologies for conducting a PhD level research, namely, qualitative primary, qualitative secondary, quantitative primary, and quantitative secondary. All these methods refer to certain options at different steps to deduce logical results for solving a particular mystery. Not every research is conducted to achieve the same results; thus, the availability of different options ensures the accomplishment of different types of research with widely different areas of interest. Which will be best for your dissertation is a matter of expertise, and in case you lag at any point, you must feel free to seek professional PhD dissertation help. Moreover, the following step helps you make informed decisions at every step of conducting doctorate-level research.
Set Goals For Research:
To begin with, the clear goals of research must be the first step in choosing the right PhD research method. For example, if you are a life sciences student, then pursuing your research by deciding on a topic related to human and animal life issues is worth starting. Remember, it presents only one side of the picture, your research goals must fill in the frame of your field. Moreover, even at the doctorate level, you must move on by narrowing your research focus.
Decide On The Most Appropriate Type Of Data:
Research goal setting helps you identify the relevant literature. Literature is the best tool to clear your vision about the possible ways of solving a research problem. Whether you want to collect qualitative or quantitative data is the second most important stage while selecting a PhD research method. (Hint: if your research goals are to measure or calculate the outcomes by using any mathematical formulae, then the suitable type of data for such studies must be quantitative. In contrast, if your aim is to explore some experiences and get feedback, responses, and opinion for improving an existing policy and devising\ a new one, the suitable data type for such studies must be qualitative.)
Choose The Best Possible Method To Collect The Data:
Once the type of data necessary to solve a research problem is decided, then the next thing to handle in the process of choosing the right PhD research method is to decide the method of collection. Basically, quantitative data cannot be collected through case studies, interviews, direct observations, and focused groups. Likewise, qualitative data cannot be collected via using experiments, closed-ended questionnaires/surveys, and polls. But vice versa is possible. Still, among all the options offered by a particular research method, whether your direct involvement is mandatory or not depends on your convenience in collecting the data.
Select Sampling Technique:
Whether one selects a primary method of data collection or a secondary one, choosing a right method of sampling is also a must. Basically, including the whole population or all available literary sources in a study is not practical, so among the probability or non-probability sampling techniques, PhD scholars must have to select the one that seems most feasible.
Move Through The Stages Of Selecting The Right Method Of Data Analysis:
Collecting data is not the only task for completion in a research project. It is quite obvious that raw data cannot provide valuable information to reach the outcomes. Instead, PhD scholars need to summarise the data in order to observe the trends hidden in the dataset. Again, the selection of analysis or summarising technique depends on the type of data. Statistical analysis is the way to sort the numerical form of data that can be done while applying descriptive and inferential statistics. However, the analysis of qualitative data analysis provides a broad spectrum of analysis techniques, including narrative, content, thematic, discourse, and phenomenological analysis.
Prepare The Research Map And Start Following It:
Lastly, the process of choosing the right PhD research method ends with writing all-important decisions on one page to turn into a chapter three of a dissertation. Following the above step, you can find the outcomes giving useful insights about your main thesis claim.
In conclusion, choosing the right PhD research method is all about taking some vital decisions about the different stages of the research process. However, to achieve excellence, one must gather theoretical evidence to support each decision. No doubt, literature is the backbone of research, so one must lay the foundation of a research project on theoretical and conceptual frameworks.