Other articles have discussed the desirability for Doctoral students looking for dissertation help to set up work-study teams, and the benefit that these teams can find from using action research processes throughout their dissertation writing journey. For many doctoral students, writing chapter 3, their methodology chapter, is by far the hardest writing of the five chapter dissertation. I think this is because it demands so many new skills and has extra importance due to being key to your ability to defend your research proposal. People who are not researchers suddenly need to write as though they were. This article outlines a 10 week action research oriented program through which students can develop a solid draft of their methodology. The three steps of action research (discovery, measurable action, and reflection) will help you move through the design work necessary to write the check
Prior to the first work/study group meeting all participants should do a solid cycle of discovery. Things that are needed include: 1) a long list of all the questions you are asking about your topic, 2) examples of dissertations or research articles based upon a methodology you are considering, 3) a solid set of headings from your university, authors on books about dissertation writing, and websites for the methods chapter, and 4) any research books you have found helpful. I recommend Creswell (2009), Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, third edition. His writing is direct, to the point, and generally doctoral students find it very helpful.
Week 1: The first group meeting should probably be a long one, at least two hours. During this time your group will go over those four things everyone brought to the meeting, one by one. You should analyze what you like or don’t like about each kind of example. For instance your questions lead the way, and therefore as you look at examples of dissertations or research articles you should be asking whether or not the methodology you find interesting could easily be applied to Dissertation help answering the questions you have listed. You also should compare the examples that you have, the headings that they use, the way they are writing out methodology, to the headings from your university and suggestions from the authors of the books or websites you are using for dissertation help. By the end of this meeting you need to have established the headings you will use. Be sure to keep good notes as a group and to continue talking until everyone can say that they have a pretty solid idea of what they would put under each heading.
The measurement of your study groups first weeks actions will be how easy it in for you to quickly outline, or draft some writing under each heading in the following week. Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down. When you don’t know what to say just move on to the next section.
Week 2: Everyone brings back their writing and discusses how it went. The work of this week is to identify the holes in understanding that prevent you from completing the chapter quickly. Generally the challenges you face, under one of several headings, you don’t understand: 1) the logic of the chapter or 2) how the parts are supposed to go together, or several types of methodology seem to fit any other which ones to choose, or 3) you know that you need to have a research question or prime hypothesis and it seems impossible to craft one thing have all the ideas that you have. There also may be other roadblocks that you face. This week’s work-study group discussion is directed at uncovering what those roadblocks are and then spending the week in the discovery cycle trying to find the answers you need. For example:
- For example if you need to have a greater understanding of the logic of the chapter you could: look on the web for articles and videos that discuss it, analyze your model dissertation, read Creswell, discuss the challenge with your university advisor, and read books on dissertation writing.
- If you don’t know what type of methodology to choose the discovery is twofold: first, dig deeper into the literature on the methodologies you are considering looking for authors who tell you what makes it different from other methods, why you would use them and how long they take to implement. Remember methodology is a tool, and just like you wouldn’t want to use a hammer on a screw you don’t want to use a more complicated tool than you need. Time is also a factor, some methodologies are time-consuming, more so than that doctoral student is aware of until it is too late to change. The second thing you can do, in fact should do, is to schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss your ideas.