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Research methods

Chapters 3, 4, 7, & 27

page 144

'Research methods' is used here as a catch-all for issues you need to outline, such as:

  • Your research design and sampling approach
  • How access was achieved (if relevant)
  • The procedures you used (e.g., following up non-respondents with a postal questionnaire)
  • The nature of your questionnaire, interview or observation schedule, participant observation role, coding frame, etc. (these may appear in an appendix, but you should comment on why you did what you did)
  • Problems of non-response
  • Note taking
  • Issues of ongoing access and cooperation
  • Coding matters and how you proceeded with your analysis

When discussing each of these issues, you should describe and defend the choices that you made, e.g.:

  • Why you used a postal/online questionnaire rather than a structured interview
  • Why you focused upon that particular population for sampling purposes