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Planning and conducting a dissertation research project

Choosing a topic

❶The research is still valid even though you are now aware of the greater size and complexity of the problem. For your paper, you may be interested in looking at whether angels exist.

What is a dissertation?

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Using focus groups to collect data is similar to using interviews because focus groups allow participants to freely answer questions; however, as implied by the name, focus groups consist of multiple people all being asked questions at the same time. Post your question to the forum. Self-Report Self-report is a type of research design in which participants give their responses to a given set of questions.

Observation Observation is a method of collecting data in which members of research teams observe and record behaviors. More Articles on PhDStudent.

Default Title Date Random. Creating a Writing Support Group. Perhaps the most important part of writing is keeping your sanity throughout the writing process. A Gift from Someone Special. With all the stress in graduate school, it is also important to reward yourself for your …. What is a Research Proposal? You should explain and justify these methods with the same rigour with which your collection methods were justified.

The overarching aim is to identify significant patterns and trends in the data and display these findings meaningfully. Quantitative data, which is typical of scientific and technical research, and to some extent sociological and other disciplines, requires rigorous statistical analysis. By collecting and analysing quantitative data, you will be able to draw conclusions that can be generalised beyond the sample assuming that it is representative — which is one of the basic checks to carry out in your analysis to a wider population.

This can be a time consuming endeavour, as analysing qualitative data is an iterative process, sometimes even requiring the application hermeneutics. It is important to note that the aim of research utilising a qualitative approach is not to generate statistically representative or valid findings, but to uncover deeper, transferable knowledge. Believing it does is a particularly common mistake in qualitative studies, where students often present a selection of quotes and believe this to be sufficient — it is not.

Rather, you should thoroughly analyse all data which you intend to use to support or refute academic positions, demonstrating in all areas a complete engagement and critical perspective, especially with regard to potential biases and sources of error. It is important that you acknowledge the limitations as well as the strengths of your data, as this shows academic credibility. It can be difficult to represent large volumes of data in intelligible ways.

In order to address this problem, consider all possible means of presenting what you have collected. Charts, graphs, diagrams, quotes and formulae all provide unique advantages in certain situations. Tables are another excellent way of presenting data, whether qualitative or quantitative, in a succinct manner. The key thing to keep in mind is that you should always keep your reader in mind when you present your data — not yourself.

While a particular layout may be clear to you, ask yourself whether it will be equally clear to someone who is less familiar with your research. You may find your data analysis chapter becoming cluttered, yet feel yourself unwilling to cut down too heavily the data which you have spent such a long time collecting.

If data is relevant but hard to organise within the text, you might want to move it to an appendix. Data sheets, sample questionnaires and transcripts of interviews and focus groups should be placed in the appendix.

Only the most relevant snippets of information, whether that be statistical analyses or quotes from an interviewee, should be used in the dissertation itself. In discussing your data, you will need to demonstrate a capacity to identify trends, patterns and themes within the data. Spend time reflecting on the implications that your pilot study might have for your research project, and make the necessary adjustment to your plan. Even if you do not have the time or opportunity to run a formal pilot study, you should try and reflect on your methods after you have started to generate some data.

Once you start to generate data you may find that the research project is not developing as you had hoped. Do not be upset that you have encountered a problem. Research is, by its nature, unpredictable. Think about what the problem is and how it arose. Is it possible that going back a few steps may resolve it? Or is it something more fundamental? If so, estimate how significant the problem is to answering your research question, and try to calculate what it will take to resolve the situation.

Changing the title is not normally the answer, although modification of some kind may be useful. If a problem is intractable you should arrange to meet your supervisor as soon as possible. Give him or her a detailed analysis of the problem, and always value their recommendations. The chances are they have been through a similar experience and can give you valuable advice. Never try to ignore a problem, or hope that it will go away.

Finally, it is worth remembering that every problem you encounter, and successfully solve, is potentially useful information in writing up your research. Rather, flag up these problems and show your examiners how you overcame them. As you conduct research, you are likely to realise that the topic that you have focused on is more complex than you realised when you first defined your research question.

The research is still valid even though you are now aware of the greater size and complexity of the problem. A crucial skill of the researcher is to define clearly the boundaries of their research and to stick to them.

You may need to refer to wider concerns; to a related field of literature; or to alternative methodology; but you must not be diverted into spending too much time investigating relevant, related, but distinctly separate fields.

Starting to write up your research can be intimidating, but it is essential that you ensure that you have enough time not only to write up your research, but also to review it critically, then spend time editing and improving it.

The following tips should help you to make the transition from research to writing:. Remember that you can not achieve everything in your dissertation. The companion study guide Writing a Dissertation focuses on the process of writing up the research from your research project. Personal tools Web Editor Log in.

Search Site only in current section. What is a dissertation? Important stages in the dissertation process include: Choosing a topic While some students come to their research project with a clear research question to address, many others arrive at this point with several ideas, but with no specific research question.

There are several ways forward: Does this spark an interest? Look at other writing: Look through the dissertations of previous students in your department: Think about your own interests: Is there a related topic of interest to you that has not been covered in the syllabus, but would fit with the theory or methodology you have been working with? This could include your research plan, early results of your data collection or draft chapters;. Do not assume that your supervisor is available at all times to see you;.

In your research plan you need to specify a time when you are going to stop researching and start writing. You should aim to stick to this plan unless you have a very clear reason why you need to continue your research longer.

Take a break from your project. When you return, look dispassionately at what you have already achieved and ask yourself the question: Speak to your supervisor about your progress. Ask them whether you still need to collect more data. Be organised and take detailed notes when you are undertaking your literature survey and data collection.

Remember that you cannot achieve everything in your dissertation, but you can critically appraise what you have done, and outline ideas for further, relevant research. Navigation Succeed in your studies.


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Success of conducting research depends over the result that is gained by the researcher at the end of the research. These attained results are affected by the used methods to conduct research. In this way, there are two type of methods are available to collect the data to reach at the result of the research [ ].

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Data Collection for Dissertation & Thesis Research When collecting dissertation or thesis data, there are numerous things to consider. First, you must develop a good idea.

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Regardless of the topic of your dissertation or thesis, it is highly likely that at some point you will need to collect data. Below are some common data collection methods. STEP SEVEN Data analysis techniques. In STAGE NINE: Data analysis, we discuss the data you will have collected during STAGE EIGHT: Data canlimacizlemek.tkr, before you collect your data, having followed the research strategy you set out in this STAGE SIX, it is useful to think about the data analysis techniques you may apply to your data when it is collected.

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PDF | As it is indicated in the title, this chapter includes the research methodology of the dissertation. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research. An overview of the considerations required when undertaking data collection for a replication-based dissertation.