How to write research Methodology – chapter three (3) of a research project

Writing your research methodology

The methodology is another important chapter in your research project writing. In writing the research methodology, you state the research method you wish to adopt, the instruments to be used, where you will collect your data and how you collected it.

You also tell the reader why you chose a particular method, and how you planned to analyze your data. Your methodology should be written in simple language such that other researchers can follow the method and arrive at the same conclusion or findings.

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You can choose a survey design when you want to survey a particular location or behaviour by administering instruments such as a structured questionnaire, interview or experimental; if you intend to manipulate some variables.

The purpose of the methodology (chapter 3) is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study. Some supervisors do not understand this and require students to write what is, in effect, a textbook. A research design is used to structure the research and to show how all of the major parts of the research project, including the sample, measures, and methods of assignment, work together to address the central research questions in the study. The chapter should begin with a paragraph reiterating the purpose of the study.

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Before choosing a method, ask yourself the following questions:

Will I generate enough information that will help me to solve the research problem by adopting this method?

For instance, you are attempting to identify the influence of personality on road accidents, you may wish to look at different personality types, you may also look at accident records from the FRSC, you may also wish to look at the personality of drivers that are accident victims, once you adopt this method, you are already doing a survey, and that becomes your methodology.

Your methodology should aim to provide you with the information to allow you to come to some conclusions about the personalities that are susceptible to a road accident or those personality types that are likely to have a road accident.
The following subjects may or may not be in the order required by a particular institution of higher education, but all of the subjects constitute a defensible methodology chapter.

How to write Research Methodology -Writing a Research Design

A qualitative study does not have variables. A scientific study has variables, which are sometimes mentioned in Chapter 1 and defined in more depth in Chapter 3. Spell out the independent and dependent, variables. An unfortunate trend in some institutions is to repeat the research questions and/or hypotheses in both Chapter 1 and Chapter 3. Sometimes an operational statement of the research hypotheses in null form is given to set the stage for later statistical inferences. In a quantitative study, state the level of significance that will be used to accept or reject the hypotheses.

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Pilot Study

In a quantitative study, a survey instrument that the researcher designed needs a pilot study to validate the effectiveness of the instrument, and the value of the questions to elicit the right information to answer the primary research questions in. In a scientific study, a pilot study may precede the main observation to correct any problems with the instrumentation or other elements in the data collection technique. Describe the pilot study as it relates to the research design, development of the instrument, data collection procedures, or characteristics of the sample.


In a research study, the instrument used to collect data may be created by the researcher or based on an existing instrument. If the instrument is researcher created, the process used to select the questions should be described and justified. If an existing instrument is used, the background of the instrument is described including who originated it and what measures were used to validate it.

If a Likert scale is used, the scale should be described. If the study involves interviews, an interview protocol should be developed that will result in a consistent process of data collection across all interviews. Two types of questions are found in an interview protocol: the primary research questions, which are not asked of the participants, and the interview questions that are based on the primary research questions and are asked of the participants.


In a qualitative study, this is the section where most of the appendices are itemized, starting with letters of permission to conduct the study and letters of invitation to participate with attached consent forms.
Sample: this has to do with the number of your participants or subject as the case may be.
Analysis (how are you planning to analyze the results?)

How to write research Methodology – Step by Step Guide and research Methodology sample



This chapter deals with the research methods to be adopted in conducting the study. They are organized under the following sub-headings:

  1. Research Design
  2. Area of Study
  3. Population of the Study
  4. Sample and Sampling Techniques
  5. Instruments for Data Collection
  6. Validity of the Instrument
  7. Reliability of the Instrument
  8. Method of Data Collection
  9. Method of Data Analysis
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Research Design

This study adopted the survey research design. Survey design is explained by Nwogu (2001), as a procedure used in obtaining information from a sample or relevant population that is familiar with the ideas relating to the objectives of the study. In the opinion of Olaitan and Ali (2000), a survey design is one that studies large or small populations by selecting and analyzing (sample) data collected from the group through the use of questionnaires, telephone or personal interviews. The design is therefore appropriate for this study as it tends to obtain data from students in the Business Education Department of Ebonyi State University.

Area of Study

The area of the study is Ebonyi State University. At the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996, the Abakaliki campus of the then ESUT, was upgraded to Ebonyi State University College by Edict no. 5 of Ebonyi State, 1998 still affiliated to ESUT with Prof. Fidelis Ogah, former ESUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor as the first Rector. In 1997, the Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences with 8 departments was added to the fledging University and later in 1998 when the ESUT Pre-Science Programme was relocated to Nsukka, the EBSUC Pre-Degree School commenced lectures in both Science and Arts in replacement of the former. This study focused on the students of Business Education department in Ebonyi state university.

Population of the Study

According to Uma (2007), population is referred to as the totality of items or object which the researcher is interested in. It can also be total number of people of an area of study. Hence, the population of this study comprised of all the students in the department of Business Education, Ebonyi State University which is made up of year one to four totaling 482. The actual number for the study was ascertained using Yaro-Yamene’s formula which stated thus:

n   =        N

1-N (e)2


N is the Population

1 is constant

e is the error margin

Then, n   =         482




=  482


= 214.35 approximately 214

Source: Statistical Returns from Business Education Department Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.


Instruments for Data Collection

The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire, which contains 20 items in all. These items are divided into four sections representing the four research questions in the study.

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Validity of the Instrument

This is said to be the judgment regarding the degree to which the components of the research reflect theory, concept, or variable under study (Streiner and Norman, 1996). The instrument was given to the supervisor and some experts as regards the content measured, in the Department of Business Education for validation.

Reliability of the Instrument

The test-retest reliability method is one of the simplest ways of testing the stability and reliability of an instrument over time. Test-retest approach was adopted by the researcher in establishing the reliability of the instrument. In doing this 25 copies of the questionnaire were administered on twenty five selected respondents. After two weeks another 25 copies of the same questionnaire were re-administered on the same group. Their responses on the two occasions were correlated using Pearsons Product Moment Correlation. A co-efficient of 0.81 was gotten and this was high enough to consider the instrument reliable.

Method of Data Collection

The researcher collected data using the questionnaire. Copies of the questionnaire were administered by the researcher on the respondents. All the respondents were expected to give maximum co-operation, as the information on the questionnaire are all on things that revolve around their study. Hence, enough time was taken to explain how to tick or indicate their opinion on the items stated on the research questionnaire.

Method of Data Analysis

In this study, mean was used to analyze the data collected. A four (4) point Likert scale was used to analysis each of the questionnaire items.

The weighing was as follows:

VGE—————- Very Great Extent (4 points)

GE—————– Great Extent (3 points)

LE—————– Little Extent (2 points)

VLE—————- Very Little Extent (1 point)


SA—————– Strongly Agree (4 points)

A——————- Agree (3 points)

D—————— Disagree (2 points)

SD—————- Strongly Disagree (1 point)

The mean of the scale will then be determined by summing up the points and dividing their number as follows with the formula:

x = ∑fx


= = 2.5

Where; x= mean

f= frequency

X= Nominal value of the option

∑= summation

N= Total Number

Therefore, the mean of the scale is 2.5.

This means that any item statement with a mean of 2.50 and above is considered agreed by the respondents and any item statement below 2.5 is considered disagreed.



  • Numo mildred

    Yes please but on the population of study after my calculations I had 218 I don’t know if am making a mistake secondly I used exacting the measures for my work but I don’t understand how to go about chapters 4 especially on the hypothesis thanks

  • ogamba somtoo

    please how did you get the error margin in population of study?

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