Do you realize that research method and methodology are not the same?
Yes, these two terms are completely different from each other and the students who use them as substitutes are sadly mistaking.
If you look at them technically, you will see that these two words are vastly different from each other. One of the major differences between the two is that the research methodology is the manner in which you proceed with the theoretical assumptions of your dissertation or thesis while the research method is the specific technique that is used for data collection to achieve that theoretical assumption.
But before we start listing further differences between method and methodology in research, let’s have a look at what these two words mean.
Method means: A means, manner or systematic approach to accomplishing something. It can also be defined as the orderly pattern of steps that will help accomplish a particular task.
On the other hand
Methodology means: The study of theoretical analysis of working methods. It is also known as the branch of knowledge that provides principles for gathering and analyzing information for a field of research.
On one hand, methods used in a thesis or dissertation means to conduct tests, surveys, experiments etc while on the other hand; methodology refers to leaning techniques and forming assumptions through which those experiments and tests can be conducted. To put it simply, study methods aims to provide solution for a problem while the methodology tries to figure out what the correct procedures would be that would help find the solution for the problem.
Here, you can also say that the journey of the investigative process of a research report begins with the research methodology where the researchers try to develop ways to the end for a scientific or non-scientific research method.
We shall take a topic for research namely ‘understanding of figures of speech in literature’. In this research theme, the research method is to study the various poets and writers and analyze their writings and work for figures of speech and see how they have been interpreted.
On the other hand, the research methodology involves studying various manuscripts and developing techniques for research methods.
Different types of techniques, experiments and tests will be conducted for different techniques and tools that are used for research. Once you have developed the methodology, you will decide on the techniques and tests to be used for the research method.
Hence, in conclusion, use those two words appropriately where they are needed. This is one basic mistake through which many dissertations score low. They are not synonyms and should not be used as such.