Past Event details

How to Write your Methodology Chapter

Friday, 04 September 2020

About the course:

Too often, the methodology section of a research paper, or the methods chapter in a PhD thesis, are the weakest parts of a manuscript. Yet, if we know how to write well about our research designs and our methodological choices, it should not only impress reviewers and examiners, but it could also open up a rich seam of additional publications and broaden the impact of your work across the social sciences and humanities.

Writing your Methodology/Section is aimed at PhD students, post-docs and junior researchers, and acts as a practical guide to the basics of writing about methods. Drawing on good (and bad) examples throughout, and interspersed with hands-on exercises, the course serves as an introduction to an often thorny academic skill for anyone new or newish to research writing.

The course covers:

Understanding research writing

Traditions in research writing

Disciplinary traditions

Methodological traditions

Online or in-print delivery?


Understanding your audience



The scholarly community


Identifying the points of interest and points of departure

Unique contributions

Methodological innovations

Benchmarking from your research problematics

All research is unique (in some aspects) and all research is not unique in others


Explaining your key choices and decisions

Writing about research design

And knowing what can go unexplained


Drawing on the methodological literature

A lit review in miniature

Referring to methodological authorities


Ontology, Epistemology, Methodology and Methods

What, why, when?

The history of the method(ology)

Standpoint vs ideology vs philosophy


Writing about research ethics & ethical review boards


Showcasing your data and field experience

Understanding warrant

Using examples

Deploying evidence

Describing, as well as citing, your data


Understanding methods basics helps methods writing

Validity and reliability in writing (as well as in research)


Writing about methods elsewhere in your thesis/article



The main body of your article/thesis


Common issues when writing about quantitative methods and statistics


Common issues when writing about qualitative methods


Good housekeeping in methodological writing

‘Suggests’ not ‘shows’; ‘argues’ not ‘proves’ etc

‘For example’ and ‘for instance’


Territorial-centrism, cultural-centrism, disciplinary and methodological-centrism

Over claiming and under claiming


Can you get a methods publication from your work?

About the author:

Patrick Brindle spent 15 years in academic publishing with Oxford University Press and SAGE. At SAGE he was Publisher for Research Methods and worked with hundreds of authors from around the world on their methods books. Patrick has managed books, journals and new online products. He is now the founder and director of Into Content Ltd, a company that offers training to researchers on publication strategies and maximising research impact. He is also Visiting Lecturer at City University, London, where he teaches modules in Research Methods, Digital Publishing and Designing Interactive Media. Patrick has a PhD in History from Cambridge University.

Network: Professional Development Programme
Date(s): Friday, 04 September 2020
Times: 9:30 - 12:30, 3:00 - 4:00
Location: Online event, link will be provided
This event has expired
Worldwise news
Call for special issue - Studierbarkeit and Academic Success
Submit by 25.06.21
Networked Learning Conference
10/11 June
Covid-19 & SRHE events/activities
Update (December 2020)
SRHE membership benefits:
Engagement with
the global higher education research community…