Dissertation Chapter 3

If a Likert scale is used, the scale should be described.If the study involves interviews, an interview protocol should be developed that will result in a consistent process of data collection across all interviews.

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Quantitative examples: experimental, cross-sectional, comparative, longitudinal, case study Describe the site of your research, in terms specific enough for the reader to understand the context (but likely not specific enough to identify the institution/s).

Articulate why the site is the best one to select for your research. Generally you’ll want to indicate the number of participants and how you selected them, and will likely want to indicate demographic characteristics as well as any characteristics that are distinctive and important to your study.

Such an analysis uses the alpha level and the population effect size (the estimated effect of the independent variable within the target population) to estimate the number of participants needed to demonstrate an existing effect.

Typically, researchers strive for a power of .80, which refers to an 80% certainty that an existing effect will be found in the sample.

Sample size is based on the total number of potential participants.

The required sample size should be determined through a power analysis.Identify the specific research design and argue for why it is the best approach.Qualitative examples: pragmatic/basic, grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography (note: I view all qualitative research as “case study research;” for a fuller argument about this, see Savin-Baden and Major 2013).In this section, you indicate what view of quality you are taking (Validity/reliability, trustworthiness, or other).You argue for why you have chosen this stance toward quality, and you describe the steps that you have taken to ensure it.Describe the tool(s) you will use to collect data in a research study such as a test, survey, observation protocol, or questionnaire.Explain how you will go about the data collection (including requesting participation, actual data collection, and how you will store the data you collect).The purpose of the methodology chapter is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study.Some advisors do not understand this and require students to write what is, in effect, a textbook.Spell out the independent and dependent, variables.An unfortunate trend in some institutions is to repeat the research questions and/or hypotheses in both Chapter 1 and Chapter 3, a needless redundancy.


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