I'm currently working on the final phase of my MSc dissertation, but I've been having technical issues regarding my initial approach set out in the methodology. I've made what I consider a temporary change to prove the concept but I also intend to discuss why the initial method would be better suited if the technical issues were not around.

Do I...

  • Change the current methodology to reflect what is going on now, discussing what was the initial method in the latter sections? or..
  • Leave the current methodology but discuss the "Temporary Fix" in the latter sections and how it's partial success relates to the initial method, and proves it's potential to be successful in practice?


  • What field is this. In some fields either option would be dangerous, bordering on misconduct. Are you doing research or are you trying to arrive at a predetermined result?
    – Buffy
    Oct 20, 2020 at 13:18
  • @Buffy Computer Science
    – Paul
    Oct 20, 2020 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


This should be worked out with your advisor. If it were me (as advisor), I'd suggest that you explain the original methodology and show how your work implies that it fails. That is a valid research outcome. Then, show how a modification of it would work and why. How is it that the "technical details" make a difference.

But if you change the methodology and just pretend that it didn't happen, you are losing an opportunity to extend knowledge. A proof or demonstration of why something doesn't work can be just as valuable as one that it does. Perhaps even more so in a case like this. If your thesis gives insight into a problem, or better, a class of problems, you have done well, no matter the outcome.

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