Take Home Messages

Once you have an awareness of different kinds of methods, how easy is it to select the right ones for your project? There are several ‘rules’ it is useful to follow to ensure you pick the right tools for the job in respect of your project.

  • Select methods that allow you to gather data relevant to answering your question; discard methods that don’t!
  • Use the methods that will work best, not the ones you prefer. If a method that is necessary is really outside of your comfort zone then consider whether you need to ask a different question.
  • Don’t be tempted to use every method. Not every method will be suitable! The marker will want to see you have got the right ones, not that you have used every tool just for the sake of it.
  • That said, you may need to triangulate your methods – that is, use more than one to cross-validate your findings to strengthen your argument. Will combining two or more methods give you richer findings in relation to your project?
  • Consider if you need to use mixed methods. Does your project require quantitative and qualitative responses? If so you might well ‘mash up’ your approaches to gather suitable data.