Category Archives: Research Methods

A comprehensive guide to types of reliability in research methodology

During the research journey, one uses a number of approaches to collect the relevant data and also perform the experiments. When the experiment is conducted several times by using the same research method, the end results obtained must remain the same. This is when the research performed is considered to be consistent, and this is measured via reliability. 

Reliability is nothing but a way of evaluating the quality of the measurement procedure utilised and the extent to which the same output is obtained by using the same software/tool but more than once. Reliability consists of three attributes including,

  1. Stability –  This is nothing but the consistency of outputs using an apparatus with repeated testing
  2. Homogeneity – This is the extent to which all the elements on a scale to measure one construct
  3. Equivalence –  Consistency among responses of several users of an apparatus, or among alternate forms of an instrument

Reliability is classified into inter-rater, test-retest, parallel-forms, and internal consistency. 

  • Inter-rater reliability 

When several individuals are giving assessments or are the subjects of some test, then similar people must lead to the same end results. Inter-rater reliability is used in two major ways (a) testing how similar individual categorise elements, and (b) how similar individual score elements. Inter-rater reliability thus assess reliability across different individuals. This approach is considered as the best way of evaluating the reliability, especially when you are using observation method. It can also be used to calibrate people.

  • Parallel-forms reliability 

The issue with the questions or assessments is finding out which questions are the best ones to ask. A possible method of discovering this is by performing two tests in parallel but by using different questions. Parallel-forms reliability evaluates various questions and question set that determines to evaluate the same construct. If you want any help in preparing question set to perform parallel tests, consult professionals offering PhD dissertation coaching services. 

  • Test-retest reliability 

As per the rule, the assessment or test of an individual must provide the same outcome whenever the test is applied. Reliability varies with various factors such as time of the day, how the individual responds to the test, interruptions, and many more. However, a good test will cope with such factors and provide little variation. Whereas an unreliable test will be highly sensitive to the above mentioned factors and provide highly varying results even if the test is conducted merely after half an hour. Test-retest reliability assess reliability across time and is used in experiments that makes use of no-treatment control group that measure pre-test and post-test. 

  • Internal consistency 

As said earlier, different questions that evaluate the same construct must give consistent end results. Internal consistency reliability assess individual questions in comparison with another to give apt outcomes. 

If your research is reliable, the chances of it getting accepted by the research community improves significantly. Hence ensure that your study is assessed and the reliability is properly explained in your research methodology chapter. If you need assistance in penning down the reliability, get in touch with writers providing PhD writing coach service. 

A Good Coach is all What You Need: Dissertation Coaching Services in US

What does it take for students to excel in the area of their research other than their own efforts?

Answer: A Good Coach

Applying for a PhD in the US comes with a lot of opportunities for students who take their research work very seriously. US is one of the top countries with lots of universities where a research scholar or PhD aspirant can pursue a PhD.

Some of the universities to name are:

  • The New School
  • Columbia University
  • California State University Northridge
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mississippi State University

Being a research scholar aiming for a PhD, you must be going through a lot of pressure because you are involved in a lot of tasks which are occurring simultaneously. Starting from the topic selection of your research to writing proposal to preparing the format for dissertation, writing the actual dissertation to edit and proofread it until and unless it becomes perfect for the final submission, defence vivas and so on.

The most crucial part of your PhD journey is the Dissertation Paper, and we all know that it can do wonders if it is well written.

Students are supposed to do multiple things at a time so they might as well tend to let ignore the level of focus that should be given to a dissertation paper.

Some students go for Dissertation Coaching Services in US or if they are done writing some part or the entire dissertation they opt for PhD Dissertation Editing Services.

Doing this is one of the best choices a research scholar can make. The question which arises here is from where can you get the right help, because getting help is not relevant until and unless it is accurate for your requirements.

I had begun my article with a question:

What does it take for students to excel in the area of their research other than their own efforts?

And the answer was: A Good Coach.

Now why did I mention this?

A coach has the power to make you reach heights but at the same time coach also has the responsibility that they guide you properly and not let situations get complicated. A student is not aware of who can be a good coach and hence they need guidance in finding the coach as well. 

If you want guidance for the dissertation that you are preparing, if you need a coach who can help you, you are at the right place already. We can provide you with dissertation coaching services in US and you can also rely on us for PhD dissertation Editing Services.

We are the ones who can guide you and take your dissertation paper ahead, we can make your paper of high quality with the proper format, language, grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing style.

How do we do this?

With the help of our guide and coach Dr. Jennifer Feldman, you can expect a great level of guidance and this is how it will happen-

The Process of Coaching:

  • Understanding areas which need to be worked upon.
  • Skill development and Implementation.
  • Providing relevant resources and tools.

The Types of Coaching:

  • Chasing the deadline with quick and intensive coaching.
  • One step at a time and taking the entire coaching in detail.
  • Help in a particular section or chapter of the dissertation. 

For more on the best dissertation coaching service in US you can always reach us at:

Can a Topic Sentence or a Dissertation Statement be a Question rather than a Declarative Sentence?

Varun was conducting his research in the business management domain. Everything was going well in the initial days but then came the dissertation writing process. Varun had successfully chosen a unique and authentic research topic. The next step was to determine what exactly he wanted to know about it. He then tried generating possible research questions that were relevant to his research. Varun knew that the dissertation statement forms a crucial ‘road map’ for his research as the statement provides readers with the aim and objective of the research. Once the required materials and layout were ready, Varun started with the dissertation writing process. While writing the dissertation, he noticed that a dissertation statement was declarative. He was curious to know if the statement can be a question instead of a declarative sentence. He decided to find the answer to this question and Consulted a PhD writing coach.

The writing coach cleared Varun’s doubt and stated, the dissertation statement needs to be a declarative sentence. However, the topic sentences can be in the form of a question. According to the writer,

a) Dissertation statements:- A dissertation statement answers each of the research questions and acts a clear point or claim to support the dissertation. Since the statement acts as an essential conclusion of the dissertation, it should not be written in the form of a question. To write a dissertation statement, first of all,  the main research question must be asked, and then the answer to the question must be written as a complete sentence. This answer forms the dissertation statement.

b) Topic sentences:- Unlike dissertation statements, topic sentences can be in the form of a question. Now the question is, ‘what is a topic sentence.’ As per the writer offering PhD dissertation coaching service, a topic sentence is a single sentence that presents the main point of a paragraph. It behaves as a dissertation statement for a particular paragraph, gives a brief idea to the reader about what that paragraph is about and explains how the paragraph will discuss the specific topic. Another critical function of a topic sentence is to prove the dissertation statement and to mention the order of the content of a paragraph and. This way, it will help you write a dissertation in an organised and smooth manner avoiding sudden or illogical jump. Not just this, it will also help the reader to understand the research idea/concept in a clear manner.

Take immense care while writing the dissertation statement and supporting the topic sentence as they map out your dissertation. If you need some assistance in writing dissertation statements/topic sentences/entire dissertation, then get in touch with an adroit team of writers providing PhD dissertation coaching service.


A Case Study of editing the research document at the last moment

This case study is about Riya Sharma, a PhD scholar from Patna. Riya had started her doctoral journey in Zoology a couple of years ago. She had a passion for achieving a PhD degree and worked hard day and night to fulfill her goal. Riya had adequate knowledge about her subject and was consistent in her studies.

While she managed to find a unique and novel topic, conduct research, find the desired result, and complete the research document writing process, she didn’t know how to edit and also didn’t have enough time to edit her research document. Riya realized she was in a mess because submitting the research document without editing can doom your research journey. This is because, while writing the research document, grammatical, punctuation, subject-verb agreement etc errors unknowingly crawl into the research document and submitting research document with tons of errors is never acceptable.

Riya panicked at this stage. When she shared the same with her peers, they suggested her to go through PhD planner by PhD writing coach. Riya claimed “ as soon as I purchased PhD planner, without wasting some more time, I quickly went through the PhD planner and read the section where editing tips were mentioned. I must say, after going through the planner, the editing process became an easy process. I would suggest all scholars out there struggling out there to have a PhD planner by PhD writing coach as it serves as a comprehensive editing guide. Here I would like to mention some of the editing (also few proofreading) tips as suggested by the PhD planner to help the ones who are running out of time (just like I did) and do not have the PhD planner.

1) Look for spellingsSome words have more than one correct spelling. For example, “colour” & “color”, “realise” & “realize”, etc. While editing your research document, make sure you pay extra attention to such words. If you are supposed to write in UK English, then the words should end with ‘se’ ‘our’ whereas in US English it ends with ‘ze’, ‘or’.

2) Check for logical flow – There should be a logical flow between the sentences/paragraphs. Check if the data is organized and the reader can identify the key points at ease.

3) Watch commas, full stops – A punctuation when placed wrongly can alter the meaning of the sentences. Manually go through each line of the document and check for punctuation, especially commas.

4) Follow the guidelines– ensure that your content meets your University requirements. Review the position of titles, subheading, headings, etc.

5) Look for repetitive words – Reptiting words or ideas throughout the research document is not a good idea. Hence look for such words or ideas and either eliminate them or replace with its synonyms.

6) Check for citations – Cite your sources properly. Failing to do so will lead to plagiarism. Check for references and citations and ensure they are correct.

PhD planner consists of many such handy and useful editing (& proofreading) tips. To ensure your research document is polished, it is better to go through the PhD planner and follow the guidelines mentioned in it.”

Riya also adds “ PhD planner by PhD writing coach contains not only writing and editing tips but also lets you organize your data and remain free from the fear of losing the data.”

Riya was finally able to edit and polish her research document before the final submission. She has now got closer to her PhD degree with a perfect dissertation.

Are You Suffering from Writer’s Block?

Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
“Fool!” said my muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.”
― Philip SidneyAstrophel and Stella

We all dream to be prolific writers!! At least those who are on the academic journey wish so hard that they could be quick at writing and  it would come to  them easily and smoothly. Do you think this skill is something we are born with? I say it has got more to do with managing every moment of your writing journey and mind you, managing only that moment!  Not the one that has passed or the one that is yet to come. I don’t mean to say that writing is cake walk. It isn’t an easy task, apart from calling for intellectual challenges; it requires the courage to expose you to a jungle of harsh audiences.


 The fear of failure, the feeling is product of a series of external and internal stimuli that we have been exposed to. There are ways to boost our productivity and the first and foremost thing required is reduce or minimize your fears and work to strengthen your capacities and capabilities in a way that you do not give scope to fear in the future to come in the way of your output.

 What is the way to minimize the fear?   Begin with penning down all your fears. Write all your fears and anxieties; begin with the ones that generally associate with life and then narrow down to the   ones that are specific to writing. It is a free expression activity so give you a break from perfection in grammar, spellings and typographical perfection. Take your time and write almost anything and everything that comes to your mind. The outcome you would get would surprise you and I can bet with you on that.

After having done that, give an objective perspective to what you have written. It is magical and you can’t feel the magic till you do not try it. It is that simply writing down the fears is a way to alleviate them, If not all, most of them. You just need to surface them up and bring them out and VOILA!! They vanish.

Address your fears and then get onto writing freely and fearlessly. This is just the beginning, the initiative to get rid of  the writer’s block and your progress on the journey of becoming a prolific writer.   Remember that as a child, what you wrote did not matter as much as the feeling of fulfilment of having written something. Get that same fearless feeling. What are you waiting for now? Open up your journal!!

Are You Looking at This Blog Because You Are Overwhelmed with You PhD?

As it is explanatory in the title, you may have chosen to look at this blog because you are feeling sad or low by your PhD. The stress of you PhD has overwhelmed you, where depression, anxiety, self-doubt and, burnout are taking over the confidence, talent and brightness of your personality.

I often feel that irrespective of the discipline or the university chronic unhappiness has been as an integral part of most of the PhD candidates. Why does this happen and what can we do about it?

To start with, there are various topics that bring in sadness to PhD students. Some commonly found mistakes can be:

• Ill-defined topics
• Incomplete data sets
• Un cooperative supervisors
• Un constructive, de motivating feedback
• Financial Challenges
• Fear of outcome and result of the hard work

Should these problems in PhD be big enough to lead to failure or fraud or let it affect the physical and mental health of the scholars? What about those students who enjoy writing a PhD. Are they different or do they work differently?

I want to say that though there is a great role played by universities in helping their students, but eventually the solution has to come from the end of the student only. Rather than giving the regular expected tips here, I want to end by saying that, we can actually look around and learn from each other instead of wanting to every time reinvent the PhD wheel of wisdom. Become honest to yourself and accept that it is fine to ask for help. Maintain your sanity, irrespective of the help you get from your university. I really hope that when we complete our PhD’s we are able to look back and say that despite being tough it was a good experience and you would do it all over again rather that thinking “Thank God it’s over!!”

Carrying Out Qualitative Analysis

The methodology that you use for a research work is essentially the approach adopted for collecting and assessing the information that will lead you to the required results. Qualitative methodology is followed mostly for social science studies, which involve subjective information, not numeric data. Examples of such projects are case studies, ethnographic research and grounded theory studies. An important aspect of such research is that it focuses on knowing about the behavioral pattern of the target group, interaction between participants, events and their causes. So, it is also concerned with ‘how’ and ‘why’ things happen, instead of just ‘what’ and ‘when’.

Since the information collected is mostly in non-numeric form, it has to be made measurable before it can be analyzed. This is done by assigning codes to the data. Coding is the process of giving weight or values to the information according to a pre defined scale. For most data sets, the information is segmented in related groups, and some tags or values are assigned to each group. The analysis is done on the basis of how these values are spread and the correlation between them. When the information is structured, then coding may be done without segmenting it further. While coding qualitative data, researchers must remember to keep the variety, tone and intrinsic meaning of the information intact.

Another method of analyzing such information without coding is abstraction. It is a process in which the matter is successively summarized, till a point where a very crisp and meaningful summary is attained for the entire study and this serves as the conclusion. However, the problem here is that some fine points which impact the study may be left out while summarizing, leading to a false outcome.

Content analysis is another popular way of analyzing qualitative data. Here, the information is broken down in small, related parts. Then the researcher tries to find similar words or phrases in the text. These can be thought of as keywords. The analysis is conducted on the basis of frequency of such words and their meaning. Content analysis can be of two types: conceptual analysis and relational analysis. While the first one only looks for concepts and provides an outcome on basis of the presence of such concept, the latter goes a step further to investigate the relation between the words and phrases that support a certain concept.

Qualitative analysis has become easier with the advent of computerized techniques for analysis of such information. Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software is a collective term used for such programs. Further, there are specialized tools like NVivo and ATLAS.ti which enable analysis and interpretation of qualitative data. Using them, one can go arrange and assess conversations, video clips, website sources and other forms of data. Learning the use of these tools and applying them accurately will help research scholars working with large sets of qualitative data.

Importance of Research Design

One of the important aspects that will lay the foundation for your dissertation is the research design. Every project needs to have a layout before it is brought into action. Just like you cannot build a house or a ship without a design, you need to have a framework for research work as well. This is the plan which needs to be implemented to bring about the desired results.

Research design can be fixed or flexible. The type of design you adopt depends upon the nature of research. Experimental projects will have a fixed design, as you know the exact steps which you will follow. On the other hand, case studies and ethnographic studies, which are based largely on observation, have a flexible design because the process depends on the initial findings.

The components of a research design are well defined, and you have to lay equal emphasis on all of them. Identifying these elements needs in depth understanding of the research goals and resources. There may be viability factors, like limitation of time and money, according to which you will specify the design elements. The components are as follows:

  1. Methodology of research: This is the most important aspect, as it will decide the direction which your study takes. Broadly, the methodology can be qualitative or quantitative.
  2. You can also qualify the method as descriptive, correlational, experimental, non-experimental, or meta-analytical.
  3. Information required: What information you need for completing the study will also be defined here. The scope of information will depend on the objectives of the study.
  4. Sample size and target group: Having the accurate sample size is essential for getting the results right. A very small sample will not represent the population properly, while a massive one will only cause duplication of task. You also need to define the target group which you will be covering for the study. It may be a class of students, an ethnic group, a professional group, etc.
  5. Mode of data collection: There are many media of gathering information. So you need to choose the best one and mention the same while making research design. You can opt for a survey, online poll, interview, recordings, etc.
  6. Data analysis tools: Identifying the tests that you will use for data analysis is important. The choice will depend on the nature of research and methodology followed. There are a number of programs and identifying the right one when preparing the design will save you trouble later.

The research design will be checked for completeness, coherence and validity in all aspects. It must be feasible to implement and ensure correct results. While there must be certainty in the design, it is necessary that you keep it somewhat pliable, so that it can be altered according to change in research situations.