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Stage 3:Developing a methodology or a methodological framework

How you choose to do your research - the research paradigm in which you work and the research methods you use - will impact not only your PhD but also the niche you carve for yourself within your department, your discipline, and the wider academic community. This stage involves refining the research questions devised/created in Stage 2 (Identifying your Research Questions) and this involves both philosophical and practical considerations. Decisions about methods and methodology involve going from what you want to ask to how you are going to ask it.

Step 1: Survey available paradigms/methods and find your best fit.

Examine prevailing paradigm(s) and relate them to your discipline and your research question(s)

      Paradigms and Research Methods

Examine prevailing method(s) and relate them to your discipline and your research question(s)

     See Leedy, P. D. (2001). Practical research: planning and design. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Merrill Prentice Hall. This book can be found in the Education Library on West Campus, and the call number is Q180.55.M4 L43 2001

Step 2: Consider paradigms/methods you might use.

Note that, depending on what discipline you are in, you might choose to use one or more of these approaches.

    Critical Theory & Postmodernism

    Survey Research

    Qualitative Research

    Combining Quantitative And Qualitative Methods

    Quantitative Methods

Step 3: Explore analytical methods including statistics.

Identify prevailing analytical methods and relate them to your discipline and your research question(s)

Check out methodological statistical journals, if appropriate

Read more about particular statistical techniques, if appropriate

Step 4: Decide on a working methodology.

Create a strategy for combining research methods and analytic techniques that allows you to address your research question(s).