What do I do with the method?

The method you choose should be in line with your theory and your question. You cannot answer any question with any method. There are limitations to methods, just as in the case of theories. Depending on whether you lean towards a qualitative or quantitative approach, that will determine the selection of methods that are usually applied in your discipline. Whether or not a method is suitable depends on your research question and your research objective.


Get an overview.

As in the case of theory, the best way to get overview of frequently used methods in your discipline is to focus on the methodological section when reading academic articles. Pay attention to the descriptions of how a method has been applied, and why.

When deciding which method could be appropriate for your paper you can take two paths:

  1. You can either use methods you have already tried, and formulate a question that can be answered by means of the corresponding method.
  2. Or you can find out what methods are usually applied in your discipline, and specifically look for articles that use those methods, in order to get a feel for the applicability of the respective method.