Aaargh, methodology!


How is it that everytime I tell someone what method I'm using, they try and convince me that I need to take a different approach? Which then makes me feel - am I doing this all wrong?
And why do I feel that I'm faking it, every time I talk about my research I think that people are thinking "She's got no idea, why is she up there talking rubbish???"


======= Date Modified 08 May 2010 19:51:04 =======
Hi VaiBabe,

No one should try and convince you to do something you don't want to do (I'm not really talking about supervisors, as that's a different case). But you know your work more than others (so don't think that you're talking rubbish) and even if your method is wrong, at least you tried it and you could explain why it didn't work. In my opinion, you learn more when you approach a method yourself. If in doubt, research your idea and see if it's possible to do, and compare it to other approaches.

Do take what other people say on board as it may be good advice but it's your own work and your own methodology, being creative is part of research.

Edit: I should add that by 'Method' I'm referring to lab protocols as I don't know any other methodology! Sorry if I got that wrong!



there are probalby as many methods going round as people researching! The thing is that because there are loads you can't actually read about all of them and need some direction sometimes. The best way to start is to read a few books, Robson's Real World research is good, so are Ground rules for good research (Denscombe) and Methodology by Clough and Nutbrown. Here I've been going to some sessions set up for students and have come across methods that I have never even considered - but I am now. This doesn't mean I think you are wrong, its just that I think we are all in the same boat here, too much to choose from. I know I started out with fixed ideas about my approach, which has now been altered as other ideas have come my way. If you have read about other methods, and they don't fit your bill than you can argue against using them, if you haven't read about them, just say you will think about what they have to say, you don't have to do anything about them if you don't want to, but you might find it useful ammo at a later date when someone asks you why you have chosen the approach you have taken. Don't forget though, they may be trying to convince themselves that they are using the right method for their own research :-)