You Don’t Have to be an Expert in Methodology to Finish Your Dissertation

You do not have to have expertise in research methodology and statistics to conduct research for your dissertation. You can do reputable research without knowing the ins and outs of statistical software and texts.

The most effective way to deal with the challenges of data collection and statistical analysis is to engage the services of a qualified methodologist when you begin the methodology section of your dissertation.

Her advanced knowledge of research methods, data management, and statistical analysis will save you time and reduce the risk of ambiguity when you defend your proposal and ultimately, your dissertation.

Here’s how a skilled methodologist can impact your efforts.

Research

The typical dissertation candidate might state: The quantitative methodology expert adds another layer of insight
I see a problem. • What does the current literature say about the problem?
• What do current researchers recommend as further research?
• How have other researchers studied the problem?
• Does the problem lend itself to quantitative analysis?
I want to collect some data.• Will it be with a questionnaire? Do questionnaires already exist in the literature?
• Will it be archival data? Can you access it readily? Do you know the gatekeepers of those data?
I want to collect data from a group of people.• Is it a vulnerable population? Will you be able to pass IRB using the methods you propose?
• Do you have access to that population?
• How will you recruit members of that population?
• What sample size is needed?
I want to conduct a survey.• Will the survey be online or paper?
• If paper, who will collect the data?
• If online, do you have access to email addresses for the potential participants? If not, how will you disseminate your survey to potential participants?
• Will you use social media to collect the data? How will you screen potential respondents?
I have some research questions to answer.• Will the data collected answer the research questions?
I have some variables in mind.• How are the variables operationalized?
• What items on the questionnaire will be used to measure each variable?
• Do you have specific parameters for variables that must be extracted from archival databases?

Analysis

The typical dissertation candidate might state:The quantitative methodology expert adds another layer of insight
I want to look at relationships or differences between variables.• How complicated do you want the analysis to be?
• Are simple correlations appropriate or should the analysis be more complex, using regression, discriminate function analysis, or MANOVA?
I do not understand statistics.A good methodologist will ease your worry and walk you through the procedure.

In the end, you will understand the most important aspects of the analysis and the results, which will lead to a successful defense.

Committees want you to explain why you chose an analysis and what your results were.

Knowing the ins and outs of the mathematics behind the analysis is not the purpose of your dissertation.

Writing

The typical dissertation candidate might state:The methodology expert adds another layer of insight
I have a lot of confusing output.• How should the results section be written?
• How do you construct tables in APA format that will convey the results of the data analysis?
• What is the proper way to present the results of different statistical procedures?
I have to discuss the results and draw conclusions.• How do your results compare and contrast to those found in recent studies of the same problem?
• Are you drawing the correct conclusions from the results?
• Are you drawing conclusions that stay within the scope of the analyses and the research questions?

Only through a thorough examination of your topic with a qualified methodologist will you prepare your study properly, making both writing and defense easier.

When you choose a methodologist, look for someone who is practical in her approach and who will readily explain the reason for each recommendation. The purpose of the methodologist is to understand your research questions and devise the methodology necessary to find answers to those questions.

The Benefits of Working with a Consultant
• Save money on tuition for dissertation courses by completing the dissertation as quickly as possible.
• Discover potential flaws in the research plan or survey instrument before it is implemented.
• Take advantage of experience that comes from performing numerous data analyses.
• Ensure that the research findings answer the questions raised.