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For the thesis, this chapter will be dominated by past tense because the story line will be about why things were done as they were.
During doctoral candidature these early thoughts will have become more refined or even considerably altered.
Depending on how much things have changed, it may be more pragmatic to write this section afresh for the thesis.
I commonly advise students to seek out two types of key resources: aim for big names in research methods (for example, for social scientists, Creswell) and secondly a big name in your particular field of research (for example, Hammersley and Atkinson for ethnography).
You can’t go wrong knowing and citing these folk, especially when you connect their say-so to your particular work or intentions.
When to write the methodology chapter Mostly students will have written a methodology/methods section months or years earlier for the research proposal.
This work will have been predictive, the language often propositional, and the future tense will have dominated.and when the literature review is also largely complete).At this time the research questions and approach will more likely have been refined and bedded down—and making sense of methodology texts will be considerably easier.Headings can help facilitate the dumping of ideas into the relevant sections and can enable items to be collected and written in any sequence.Headings can be removed later if they don’t fit the style of the thesis.By Claire Aitchison I have worked with many students, particularly humanities and social science scholars, who have found writing the methodology chapter a hugely agonising experience.I recall my own experience as a mature-aged student, acutely aware of my ignorance and uncertainty: I read and wrote blind for weeks and weeks before showing anything to my supervisor.Like me, for many, the task of coming to understand methodology begins with reading.In the main, research methodology textbooks are big and dense, and it isn’t uncommon for students to disappear, like Alice, into Research Methodology Wonderland only to reappear months later, dazed and confused.Seek advice from your supervisors and mine your networks–especially other doctoral students doing similar research.Look at the methodology chapters of recent theses in your field for guidance about who is cited.