Describe your methods of analysis
Next, you should indicate how you processed and analyzed the data. Avoid going into too much detail—you should not start presenting or discussing any of your results at this stage.
In quantitative research, your analysis will be based on numbers. In the methods section you might include:
- How you prepared the data before analyzing it (e.g. checking for missing data, removing outliers, transforming variables)
- Which software you used to analyze the data (e.g. SPSS or Stata)
- Which statistical methods you used (e.g. regression analysis)
Quantitative methods example
Before analysis the gathered data was prepared. The dataset was checked for missing data and outliers. For this the “outlier labeling rule” was used. All values outside the calculated range were considered outliers (Hoaglin & Iglewicz, 1987). The data was then analyzed using statistical software SPSS.
In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images and observations (often involving some form of textual analysis). Specific methods might include:
- Content analysis: categorizing and discussing the meaning of words, phrases and sentences
- Thematic analysis: coding and closely examining the data to identify broad themes and patterns
- Discourse analysis: studying communication and meaning in relation to their social context
Qualitative methods example
The interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. This involved coding all the data before identifying and reviewing six key themes. Each theme was examined to gain an understanding of participants’ perceptions and motivations.