What is the best way to distinguish between 'method' and 'methodology'?
September 4, 2014 2:35 AM Subscribe
I would like to be able to understand, and explain articulately to colleagues and students should the need arise, the distinction between these two terms.
posted by fishingforthewhale to Education (2 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've spent plenty of time drifting around the web trying to find succinct, accurate descriptions of these terms, the difference between them, and when their use is correct and incorrect, but I can't find anything satisfactory and memorable.
It seems that these two terms are increasingly misused, mainly with 'methodology' being applied where 'method' would be most fitting, either out of academic pomposity or just generally not knowing any better. There's a fundamental and important difference between them though, and I'd like to be able to grasp it myself and communicate it to others (preferably without sounding hectoring!).
An example might be of a paper that has simply reviewed 10-20 research papers in the field to assess the frequency and depth with which a certain issue has been discussed. It's a mini literature review, and the process needs to be explained in the write-up. This section would correctly be titled 'Methods', rather than 'Methodology', correct? A discussion of the methodology would need to tell us why this approach generates something of value.
Similar such examples of both or either would be much appreciated. Accessability is the key!