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13 awesome academic phrases to write your methodology (+ real examples)

Writing a methodology can be painful but there are generally accepted and popular academic phrases that help you to convey your research design, methods, limitations and awareness of ethical challenges in a poignant and effective manner. Additionally examples are given to show you how academics do this in real publications.

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Academic key phrases explaining the research design in a methodology

The study follows a … design.

Example: The study follows a case study design, with group interviews with teachers. Observation in class, video recording and interviews with students form a backdrop of the main interview data.” (Bungum and Mogstad, 2022, p. 2)

This study employs a … approach.

Example:This study investigates reasons for sport engagement among students and addresses the utilization of university sports programs (USP) by employing a mixed-methods approach.” (Farsani and Rahimi, 2022, p. 177)

Following the guidelines for conducting…

Following the guidelines for conducting valid content analysis (Bengtsson, 2016; Elo & Kyngas, 2008; Kohlbacher, 2006; Krippendorff, 2012; Seuring & Müller, 2008), i.e. reading the papers several times to become familiar with the topic and to make sense of the data, we identified the definitions of resilience provided by the authors in the selected documents.  (Conz and Magnani, 2020, p. 402)

You may also like: 24 popular academic phrases to write your abstract (+ real examples)

Academic key phrases describing research methods in a methodology

The study is undertaken by means of…

Example: “The study is undertaken by means of interviews with teachers in the KreTek project…” (Bungum and Mogstad, 2022, p. 3)

Data were collected through…

Data were collected through online questionnaires sent via email. Respondents first
filled out a general survey with background information, including demographics and
segmentation preferences. (Delanoeije et al., 2019, p. 1852)

Hypotheses were tested through…

Example: Hypotheses were tested through multilevel moderated mediation modeling using diary data collected during 14 consecutive workdays with 81 employees (N = 678 data points).” (Delanoeije et al., 2019, p. 1843)

We assess… through using…

Example: “Exploiting bilateral data on asylum seeking applications for 157 countries over the period 2006–2015, we assess the determinants of refugee flows using a gravity model which accounts for endogenous selection in order to examine the causal link between climate, conflict and forced migration.” (Abel et al., 2019, p. 239)

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Academic key phrases addressing limitations in a methodology

One major drawback of this method…

Example:One major drawback of this method is the simultaneous generation of carbon dioxide.” (Scheiblehner et al. 2023, p. 6233)

The limitations of this study include…

Example: The limitations of this research include the limitation of the distance with the dangerous criteria, which according to the experts, if these distances are not observed, it will not be possible to accommodate the injured in times of crisis.” (Pakpahan and Augustine, 2019, p. 340)

We acknowledge limitations in our research method…

Example: We acknowledge limitations in our research method but point nevertheless to its value in supporting a critical perspective and make suggestions for future research.” (Eliwa et al., 2021, p. 1)

Academic key phrases addressing ethical considerations in a methodology

There were several ethical risks and challenges…

Example:For our research there were several ethical risks and challenges, which demanded specific processes to be put in place: . The key ethical risk of working with students was that they could feel that their participation would have an impact on their learning or assessment on the module.” (Hopfinger and Bissell, 2022, p. 40)

Ethical approval was obtained by…

Example: Ethical approval was obtained by the National Research Ethics Service, London Committee – Camberwell St Giles (ref no 14/LO/0075). All participants provided written informed consent after receiving a complete description of the study and getting the opportunity to ask questions.” (Nath et al., 2020, p. 2)

To ensure the soundness of the study, …

Example: To ensure the soundness of our study, hereafter, we provide some examples of our inductive content analysis process that led to the development of emerging categories and sub-categories presented in Table 1.“(Conz and Magnani, 2020, p. 402)

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