What Is Research Method?

The methods section outlines the steps that will be taken to investigate a research problem and the justification for the use of particular procedures or techniques used to locate, pick, process, and analyze data relevant to understanding the problem. This information enables the reader to critically assess the overall validity and reliability of a study. A research paper’s methodology section responds to two key inquiries: How were the data gathered or produced? How was it examined, too? The writing should always be in the past tense, direct, and precise (Kallet & Richard H, 2009).


You must conduct in-depth, meticulous research to write the dissertation, and there are several sorts of research for various study types that use very varied methodologies.

Garvey House, Ph.D., associate director of research and residency for Capella University’s School of Business and Technology, asserts that “the research topic informs the technique of research.” “The issue that is being addressed typically involves either a gap in the literature or a debate in it,” Once the research issue has been determined, the student can use the methodology to help solve the issue. The two main approaches for conducting dissertation research are qualitative and quantitative.

The two main approaches for conducting research methodology for PhD thesis are qualitative and quantitative.

1. Qualitative

Qualitative research concentrates on exploring the subject through observable human behavior, cultural occurrences, or belief systems. To learn more about people’s opinions and ideas concerning particular practices and institutions, this sort of research employs focus groups, open-ended questions, interviews, and other methods.

There are various methods for conducting qualitative research, according to Ayn O’Reilly, Ph.D., a core research faculty member at the School of Public Service and Education and co-chair of the committee’s scientific merit review. The three that are most frequently used are:

the case study According to O’Reilly, “this is the most typical approach for examining work situations.” Multiple data sources are used in the research. Interviews, field notes, papers, journals, and perhaps some quantitative components could be included (more information on quantitative research follows). A case report focuses on a specific issue or circumstance that a population is dealing with and investigates it from several perspectives. For instance, a researcher might examine workplace violence, concentrating on when, where, or how it happens.


According to O’Reilly, this is the most challenging type of qualitative research since it entails documenting a “lived experience” and using what was learned to assist individuals or organizations who might encounter a similar situation. “The researcher is attempting to comprehend the subject’s experience. Consider Hurricane Katrina as an example. The researcher’s task is to evaluate the whole experience of someone participating in large-scale phenomena, whether they are a NICU [neonatal intensive care] nurse, a member of the National Guard, or a recently widowed woman. This kind of research is challenging in part because of the emotional setting. The researcher must understand what it’s like to be that individual. It can be quite effective, according to O’Reilly. A researcher who employs this technique will receive training in conducting this kind of study, which includes specialized interviews and surveys with the phenomenon’s participants, throughout courses and residencies.

A general qualitative investigation

Also known as generic qualitative, generic investigation, or other names. This is the backup strategy, according to O’Reilly. When a student has qualitative research questions but the study doesn’t fit the criteria for a case study or phenomenology, they undertake a generic qualitative inquiry. As a result, even if the researcher may employ similar techniques, the research foundation may not be as solid. Due to the less thorough and inclusive research, it is also a less desired for that reason. With fewer data to examine, the researcher can encounter issues. According to O’Reilly, it’s a preferable strategy for someone who may be pursuing a second advanced degree and has conducted an extensive study, or who simply wants to respond to a specific research issue or subtopic.

If you’re planning to use qualitative methods, House advises improving your skills for in-person and phone/Skype interviews. You must be aware of your prejudices and refrain from asking inquiries that could be interpreted as leading. You will have to learn when and how to delve further.

2. Quantitative

In quantitative research, variables that can be observed and measured are empirically investigated. It is employed in theory testing, result prediction, and the statistical examination of correlations between and among variables. Two important sources of data for quantitative research are described by Ellen Mink, Ph.D., a key member of the School of Public Service and Education’s faculty and co-chair of the PSL Scientific Merit Review Committee.

Initial Data Gathering

You’ll be asked to acquire information from a variety of sources and to learn as much as you can about your topic as main data collectors (TWH, 2019). The researcher gathers the data in this method. The researcher enlists participants in the study, gets their informed consent, then collects quantitative data in person or electronically. With this method, the researcher has complete control over the variables that will be studied and how they will be operationalized. The psychometric qualities (reliability and validity) of the instruments used to measure the variables have been established by other writers. To determine the nature of the relationships between and among variables, data are analyzed using statistical techniques.

Analysis of secondary data

This strategy entails statistically analyzing information gathered by other scholars or organizations. There are many publicly accessible data sets for academics, frequently from sizable, federally supported research programs or data archives. Researchers may save time by using secondary data analysis for research proposal help uk since participant recruiting and data gathering are avoided. It also provides a moral means of getting knowledge about vulnerable groups (as it does not involve direct contact). However, when using this strategy, researchers must construct their research questions in light of the information at hand.

The type of questions being addressed, the state of the field, and the viability of the methodology with the target demographic all play a role in the decision of whether to utilize a qualitative or quantitative methodology.

There is a tonne of options and permutations, according to House. “As they learn new research methods, Ph.D. students need to be resourceful and able to adjust their expectations. A doctorate dissertation’s research is a continual learning process.