Research methods

Research in thesis – methods and examples of their use

Research in thesis – methods and examples of their use

A research method is a method of obtaining information that will help solve problems and achieve the objective of a thesis. In the article, we talk about methods, give examples of each, show how to select and describe a method.

What research methods are there?

Research methods are divided into two large groups: theoretical and empirical. This classification is based on the method used to obtain information: empirical methods are based on observations of an object, and theoretical methods are based on the information obtained. 

In addition, the research methods are divided into quantitative and qualitative. With the help of quantitative research methods, the properties or properties of an object are measured in numerical indicators (the answer to the question “How much?”) And with the help of qualitative methods, detailed analytical information is obtained (the answer to the “How?” and “Why?” questions).

There are also specific (special) scientific research methods that only work in a certain discipline.

Theoretical methods


Abstraction is the mental separation of the object examined in the abstraction of their connections with other objects or the properties of objects in the abstraction of the objects themselves.


The method by which inferences are made about the properties and properties of Objects are drawn based on information about the properties and properties of similar objects.


With the help of classification, the student divides the research topics into groups based on a series of properties common to them. There are no restrictions on the nature of these properties.


In the context of generalization, the researcher combines research objects into a group, taking into account similar properties. This helps reveal the general properties of a group of objects.

Comparative analysis

Comparison of various research topics to identify similarities and differences. Models and techniques, literary and musical genres, painting styles and much more are compared.


In the context of synthesis, the researcher combines the properties and characteristics of the object identified in the analysis into a whole.


The method consists of forming an evaluation of the possible states of an object in the future based on its properties and known properties. Used in political science, for example.

Empirical methods


An experiment is a method of collecting information about the properties of an object and its behaviour under specially created conditions (which contribute to the explicit manifestation of the properties understudy). The attempt must be repeatable.


The researcher observes the research object, records the information received, passes it to other research methods. It is often used in the natural sciences.

Description / measurement

The researcher measures and records the properties of the research object in units of measurement, if possible. If a property or characteristic cannot be measured, it is described. Both methods are used in conjunction with observation or experiment.

The method consists of obtaining information orally or in writing. In the future, the information obtained will be processed using other research methods.

Specific (special) scientific methods

In addition to the theoretical and empirical methods that are common to all disciplines, there are special methods that are only used within a certain discipline.

Each discipline has its special methods:

  1. Biology: genealogical, historical, biochemical.
  2. Economics: various possibilities of special analysis (normative, positive, static), the method of financial ratios, the method of construction of economic hypotheses.
  3. Philology: various possibilities of special analysis (discourse, compositional, intertextual), biographical method, transformative synthesis and analysis.
  4. Sociology: specific sociological analysis, documentary method, content analysis, survey method.

How to choose a research method 

The choice of a particular method depends on the problem that the student solves and the discipline for which the article is being written. For example, some methods are better suited to the natural sciences, while others are better suited to the humanities.

The choice of research method must be appropriate and appropriate in the context of the thesis, goals and objectives of the student. In addition, the methods used must be appropriate to the content of the study and help to obtain accurate results.


There are several classifications of research methods. Not all of them can be used on a diploma. The choice of research methods cannot be accidental since the reliability of the research and, therefore, the evaluation of the work depends on it.

Methods are selected according to the topic, purpose and objective of the work. The methods must be up-to-date and help the author with the research.

This plays a particularly important role if the student is planning additional academic activities since the chosen topic of the thesis is developed in master and postgraduate studies.

In this case, the author must understand what methods are appropriate for the topic, what new methods need to be added to the existing ones.

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