Theory and Methodology

Theory and Methodology is when you begin working on Chapter 3 and ultimately select your theoretical foundation, research question(s), the methodology design, and how you will conduct your study.

Assignments and Milestones

Community Updates

Admin Updates with a prefix of 3

Individual and Peer Updates

  • Make your own Updates based on the prompts of the Admin Updates
  • Comment on at least 3 other peers’ updates with the focus on helping your peers improve their work

IRB Materials

  • While IRB materials are a part of Chapter 3 Part 3, be looking into this early and submit the paperwork as soon as possible when working on Part 3 so that you receive IRB approval prior to your preliminary examination. This process takes time.

EDS Survey

  • Complete the latest iteration of the EDS Survey
Manuscript Milestones

The Shared Annotated Bibliography: add sections for your theme and sources as they relate to your selected methodology.

Chapter 3 part 1 should examine your chosen theory or framework and convey its underpinning to your research study. It should conclude with your research questions and hypothesis. It should also include your study’s logic model. 2,000 to 4,000 words.

Word counts for all three parts in Chapter 3 are simply a general idea and not meant to be limiting. The focus should be on quality and addressing the requirements in the most appropriate way

Chapter 3 Part 2 includes a deep investigation into your chosen methodology. This involves defining it, along with conveying the strengths and weaknesses. You should also provide a rationale of how this methodology aligns with your research study. This is also where you would identify any limitations as well as how you will address the reliability and validity of the study. 3,000 to 5,000 words.

Chapter 3 Part 3 is your research implementation plan, including data sources, data collection instruments, data analysis plan, and an implementation timeline. The data collection instruments themselves belong in the Appendix, but within Part 3 be sure to explain them and reference the Appendix. Also justify how they will help answer your research questions. You should also have your IRB materials in the Appendix. 2,000 to 4,000 words, not including your data collection instruments.


Refer to the Work Submission and Review Process webpage for specific submission and review details and instructions (at this stage you will be duplicating the prior work, but do not do this too early. Follow the steps on the Work Submission page.


There is not a formal Methods qualifying examination. However, your Chapter 3 represents the examination and should reflect a deep knowledge of your selected methodology.