Q: Can I write the methodology chapter of my dissertation before the questionnaire and interview?

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Hi, I am writing the Methodology chapter of an MA thesis., but I have not yet sent out the questionnaires or condcted the interviews. Is it possible to write teh Methodology chapter before these are done?

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1 Answer to this question

The methodology chapter of a dissertation comes immediately after the literature review. By the time you reach this section, you have identified your research question and critically reviewed existing works on the topic. By this time, you will have a fair idea of the methods others have used to tackle this topic. This knowledge, along with discussions with your supervisor, should enable you to come up with a research design or approach to tackling your research question. This is what your methodology section is about: how you propose to address your research problem, the methods you will use to collect evidence or data to support your hypothesis, as well as the reasons behind choosing this approach.

In your research methodology, you need to explain whether you are using a qualitative or quantitative methods, the means you will use to collect data (in your case, questionnaires and interviews), and why you think this study design or approach is the best way to address your research question. You will definitely have clarity on these before you have sent out your questionnaires or conducted the interviews. Thus, I think you can go ahead and write the methodology right away before you conduct your actual research.

You will also find this course useful: A simple guide on how to write a thesis

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