Investigative Thesis The investigative thesis takes an in-depth look at a specific health problem or topic, describing its public health importance and analyzing it from a disciplined perspective. This thesis should include the following:. Research Study Demonstrating Mastery of Methodology This type of thesis requires sophisticated analysis and application.
Consequently, students should be sure of their readiness to undertake it. A variety of standard case study formats may be employed. An administrative case study thesis should be planned in advance with appropriate techniques for systematic observation and recording of data as the project progresses. This thesis usually includes the following:. Program Analysis, Evaluation, or Projection This type of thesis examines either retrospectively or prospectively some particular health problem.
Special Project This type of thesis incorporates a product useful in the teaching or practice of public health such as a curriculum, syllabus, or course for a school program or on-the-job training; specific educational aids perhaps a computer-assisted learning experience, a programmed instruction course, or a training manual ; a movie, videotape, or slide package; a pamphlet for use in health information; a set of formal administrative guidelines to implement a law or administrative decision; or architectural plans for a health facility.
Structuring Your Research Thesis. Methods Section. Writing Center. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, , pp. Purdue University; Methods and Materials. Department of Biology. Bates College.
Statistical Designs and Tests? Do Not Fear Them! Don't avoid using a quantitative approach to analyzing your research problem just because you fear the idea of applying statistical designs and tests. A qualitative approach, such as conducting interviews or content analysis of archival texts, can yield exciting new insights about a research problem, but it should not be undertaken simply because you have a disdain for running a simple regression.
A well designed quantitative research study can often be accomplished in very clear and direct ways, whereas, a similar study of a qualitative nature usually requires considerable time to analyze large volumes of data and a tremendous burden to create new paths for analysis where previously no path associated with your research problem had existed.
Knowing the Relationship Between Theories and Methods. There can be multiple meaning associated with the term "theories" and the term "methods" in social sciences research. A helpful way to delineate between them is to understand "theories" as representing different ways of characterizing the social world when you research it and "methods" as representing different ways of generating and analyzing data about that social world. Framed in this way, all empirical social sciences research involves theories and methods, whether they are stated explicitly or not.
However, while theories and methods are often related, it is important that, as a researcher, you deliberately separate them in order to avoid your theories playing a disproportionate role in shaping what outcomes your chosen methods produce. Introspectively engage in an ongoing dialectic between the application of theories and methods to help enable you to use the outcomes from your methods to interrogate and develop new theories, or ways of framing conceptually the research problem. This is how scholarship grows and branches out into new intellectual territory. Reynolds, R.
It leads to the identification and characterization of new materials, new living things, new stars, etc. Some theses dwell too long on theory and never get to the main point: the analysis and discussion. Reverse Side. Differences between basic and applied researches. But do you get what I mean?
Ways of Knowing. Alternative Microeconomics. Part 1, Chapter 3. S-Cool Revision. United Kingdom. Methods and the Methodology. Do not confuse the terms "methods" and "methodology. Descriptions of methods usually include defining and stating why you have chosen specific techniques to investigate a research problem, followed by an outline of the procedures you used to systematically select, gather, and process the data [remember to always save the interpretation of data for the discussion section of your paper].
The methodology refers to a discussion of the underlying reasoning why particular methods were used. This discussion includes describing the theoretical concepts that inform the choice of methods to be applied, placing the choice of methods within the more general nature of academic work, and reviewing its relevance to examining the research problem. The methodology section also includes a thorough review of the methods other scholars have used to study the topic. Bryman, Alan.
Chinese Department, University of Leiden, Netherlands. Contact us. The Methodology Search this Guide Search. The Methodology This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences.
The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Importance of a Good Methodology Section You must explain how you obtained and analyzed your results for the following reasons: Readers need to know how the data was obtained because the method you chose affects the results and, by extension, how you interpreted their significance in the discussion section of your paper. Methodology is crucial for any branch of scholarship because an unreliable method produces unreliable results and, as a consequence, undermines the value of your analysis of the findings.
In most cases, there are a variety of different methods you can choose to investigate a research problem. The methodology section of your paper should clearly articulate the reasons why you have chosen a particular procedure or technique. The reader wants to know that the data was collected or generated in a way that is consistent with accepted practice in the field of study. For example, if you are using a multiple choice questionnaire, readers need to know that it offered your respondents a reasonable range of answers to choose from. The method must be appropriate to fulfilling the overall aims of the study.
For example, you need to ensure that you have a large enough sample size to be able to generalize and make recommendations based upon the findings. The methodology should discuss the problems that were anticipated and the steps you took to prevent them from occurring. For any problems that do arise, you must describe the ways in which they were minimized or why these problems do not impact in any meaningful way your interpretation of the findings.
In the social and behavioral sciences, it is important to always provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to adopt or replicate your methodology. This information is particularly important when a new method has been developed or an innovative use of an existing method is utilized. Structure and Writing Style I. Groups of Research Methods There are two main groups of research methods in the social sciences: The e mpirical-analytical group approaches the study of social sciences in a similar manner that researchers study the natural sciences.
This type of research focuses on objective knowledge, research questions that can be answered yes or no, and operational definitions of variables to be measured.
The empirical-analytical group employs deductive reasoning that uses existing theory as a foundation for formulating hypotheses that need to be tested. This approach is focused on explanation. The i nterpretative group of methods is focused on understanding phenomenon in a comprehensive, holistic way. Interpretive methods focus on analytically disclosing the meaning-making practices of human subjects [the why, how, or by what means people do what they do], while showing how those practices arrange so that it can be used to generate observable outcomes.
Interpretive methods allow you to recognize your connection to the phenomena under investigation. However, the interpretative group requires careful examination of variables because it focuses more on subjective knowledge. Content The introduction to your methodology section should begin by restating the research problem and underlying assumptions underpinning your study.
The remainder of your methodology section should describe the following: Decisions made in selecting the data you have analyzed or, in the case of qualitative research, the subjects and research setting you have examined, Tools and methods used to identify and collect information, and how you identified relevant variables, The ways in which you processed the data and the procedures you used to analyze that data, and The specific research tools or strategies that you utilized to study the underlying hypothesis and research questions.
In addition, an effectively written methodology section should: Introduce the overall methodological approach for investigating your research problem. Is your study qualitative or quantitative or a combination of both mixed method?
Are you going to take a special approach, such as action research, or a more neutral stance? Indicate how the approach fits the overall research design. Your methods for gathering data should have a clear connection to your research problem.
In other words, make sure that your methods will actually address the problem. One of the most common deficiencies found in research papers is that the proposed methodology is not suitable to achieving the stated objective of your paper. Describe the specific methods of data collection you are going to use , such as, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, observation, archival research.