Guiding Questions for Methodology

Qualitative Considerations

Participants and Sampling

  1. What is your strategy for identifying your sources of data and why is this an appropriate strategy?
  2. If your research includes participants, provide a justification for why you have chosen these particular participants.
  3. How will the selected participants and/or sites of study particularize your data?

Methodology and Analysis

  1. What is your methodology or overall research study (e.g., ethnography, case study, narrative, etc.)
  2. What are your data sources?
  3. What data collection method(s) will you use and why?
  4. How do you plan to work toward trustworthiness?
  5. What are the ethical issues that need to be considered regarding your method(s)?
  6. How will you organize, analyze and interpret the data?

Quantitative Considerations

Population and Sampling

  1. Is your proposed sample representative of the population to be studied?

Methodology and Analysis

  1. What type of study will be conducted: non-experimental, experimental, or quasi-experimental?
  2. What are your dependent and independent variables?
  3. What instruments will be used to collect data?
  4. What statistical methods will you use to analyze your data? Are the required assumptions met for using a particular statistical test?
  5. How will you organize analyze and interpret the data?

Non-Empirical Consideration

Projects in this genre will differ significantly from traditional social science conventions. According to AERA, these forms of scholarship include: reviews of research, theoretical/conceptual/methodological essays, critiques of research traditions and practices and scholarship more grounded in the humanities (Educational Researcher, Vol. 35, No. 6, pp.33-40, 2006)

Sources of Knowledge

  1. What text/phenomena/concept/theory are you analyzing and why?
  2. What is the history of the text/phenomena/concept/theory and its current status in the literature?

Analytic Approach

  1. What are the main organizational approaches you will create or use?
  2. What are your main arguments?
  3. What are the analytic questions that guide your strategy?
  4. What theories/concepts guide these analytic questions?