This is a very nice piece getting to grips with what is often a key difficulty in thesis writing. Thanks, Pat!
Since I’ve been posting about methods and methodology, I’ve been asked several times to discuss the difference between methodology and methods and how these appear in a methods chapter. This post is by way of an answer.
Not all dissertations have a methods chapter. Although much of the how-to-write-it material (including my own) suggests that there is a distinct chapter called methods, some disciplines and many research projects don’t have one per se.
However, most (but not all) arts, humanities and social science theses do have to include, somewhere in the first few chapters, something about the way that the researcher has approached the task of researching, how they think about themselves as a researcher, and how they have designed the actual piece of research that they are doing, and why it is the way that it is. (In the textbooks these things are usually called epistemology, methodology, and methods.)
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