Regardless of the disciple, a well-designed research is important for the success of PhD. Research depends on the method adopted to do so that is not just appropriate for the chosen research but also reliable and justifies the role it plays in research.
When a PhD student designs his research methodology, his first concern is whether it would satisfy the examiners and would they be convinced that the results obtained from the research are reliable. In the absence of appropriate research methods, the potential importance of research becomes completely irrelevant and there is no confidence that can be allotted to the results. The way in which you can judge the importance of the research and explain how you went about the research is to properly design the methodology chapter of your doctoral thesis. Most of the PhD studies are based on empirical research such as research surveys and methodology chapters are prerequisite for the same.
Explaining in few words, a research design is the way the researcher assembles and lines up the different tools and specifies the way they are applied in alignment with the elaborated principles through the methodological choices.
If I talk from the perspective of an examiner and try to tell researchers what would the examiner want to see in the methodology chapter and what all key things it should cover, it should have a :
- A mention of the research statement , briefly, since it’s already mentioned in the research before, but surely to be stated here
- The discussion on methodology, including the key discussion on ontology, as much as it is relevant
- The research design, including a detailed discussion on the methods. The blank and untouched areas have to be mentioned here.
- In addition to that, there should be a clear audit trail of what has been done by the researcher. Who has been involved in the research? The time, duration, location of the research and the approach adopted for data analysis. How much data was created and how does it establish a connection with the research. Along with that any problems or issues, whether major or minor but that impacted the research need to be brought forth here so that they can be linked with the gaps in the research and create room for further investigation and as well as caution for researchers who want to take up this topic in the future.