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dissertation discussion section structure

Presentation of quantitative data is more than just about numbers and tables. You could also explain how they relate to the research question. However, depending on how you have organised your work, this might end up in the discussion section. Students who are not confident with statistical analysis often have a tendency to revert back to their secondary school mathematics skills. They commonly document the mean, median, and mode for all of their results. Now, these three outcomes can be important.

But having a good understanding of why you are proceeding with this strategy of analysis is going to be essential in a primarily quantitative study. That noted, there are different expectations for an undergraduate dissertation and a PhD thesis, so knowing what these expectations are can be really helpful before you begin.

Dissertation Structure

Depending on the presentation of your dissertation, you may be required to print out a final copy for the marker s. In many cases, this final copy must be printed in black and white. This means that any figures or graphs that you create must be readable in a black and white or greyscale format.

This can be challenging because there are only so many distinct shades of grey. In a pie chart, you might show one section as purple and the other as green. Yet when printed, both the purple and the green translate to approximately the same shade of grey, making your graph suddenly unreadable. Another common error is overwhelming the reader with graphs and tables. There is no correct or incorrect number of graphs that should exist within the section, but you should use your judgement about what looks appropriate.

The final mistake we see is the duplication of writing or absence of writing when presenting a graph. Some students will present their findings in a graph or table and then write out this information again below the graph.

This defeats the entire purpose of using the graph in the first place.

dissertation discussion section structure

So avoid this at all times. Conversely, other students sometimes include a graph or figure but nothing else. Doing this denies the reader of context or purpose of said graph or figure. At some point, a balance needs to be struck where the reader has the information they require to really understand the point being made within the section. The structure of your discussion chapter is really going to depend on what you are trying to do and how you have structured your findings.

If you chose to structure your findings by theme, it might make sense to continue this into the analysis chapter.

dissertation discussion section structure

Other people might structure it according to the research questions. This clearly indicates to the reader how you have addressed your study. Marking a dissertation usually requires the marker to comment on the extent to which the research questions have been addressed. So by structuring a dissertation that lays out each research question for the marker, you are making their job easier. Needless to say, this a great thing. Like any other chapter in your thesis, an introduction is an essential component of your discussion.

By this point, the reader has gone through your findings and is now looking for your interpretation. Therefore, at the end of your discussion introduction you should highlight the content that each of the subsections will cover. A conclusion to your discussion section or a chapter summary is also going to be beneficial. The length of the analysis chapter is usually quite long, so a wrap up of the key points at the end can help the reader digest your work.

It can also help ensure that the reader actually understands the points you are trying to highlight within your project. Without any critical thinking, you are really doing yourself a disservice.

It will affect the mark that you obtain on your overall dissertation. This is why the analysis chapter is usually weighted quite heavily on the marking rubric. We tell students about critical thinking and the importance of it on a daily basis. And yet, there does seem to be a general confusion about what critical thinking entails, i. Critical thinking asks you to provide your own opinion on your topic, which can be daunting at first.

Subheadings need to be informative but not too long. It is possible to layer your subheadings, so you might have a Chapter 2, a Section 2. Usually anything after 3 numerical points does not get a number and would not appear in your table of contents.

When creating titles for your subheadings, help with writing a dissertation to plan how they are going to look in the table of contents. They need to fit on one line, ideally, so putting your research question as the subheading might end up being too long.

Finding this balance is important. But remember you can always edit your subheadings retrospectively. Ideally, you will be able to concisely and effectively link your research to what has been researched previously.

Writing a dissertation

But this can be a challenge. But you need to pull examples from both of these sections in order to make the points that you need to. One way is by referring the reader back to previous chapters, sections, or subsections. This process can generally be done at the end. You can put in a place holder until you know how your sections will be numbered.

For example you might write: Findings from this study indicate…. This also makes the proofreading process easier. If you are submitting an electronic version of this document, you may also consider hyperlinks to take the reader to the different sections. The findings chapter is essentially the describe part. You need to ensure that you have clearly identified data that relates to your research questions, hypotheses, or themes of your study. If you have qualitative data, ensure that you have edited the quotes and examples to a reasonable length.

Pick quotes that accurately represent your theme. Try not to focus solely on one or two participants if possible. Ensure that you are demonstrating links between multiple instruments, if you used them.

If you are using quantitative data, be careful about how many statistical tests you run. Make sure you can justify why you chose one particular test over another. Ensure that graphs and tables are appropriately explained, but that the information provided is not duplicated.

These parts usually appear in the discussion and ask you to employ your critical thinking skills to demonstrate how your research fits into the bigger picture. It is often the case that your analysis holds the most dissertation bibliography websites in the marking scheme. So you should spend considerable time ensuring this section is appropriate.

It needs to demonstrate how you have attempted to answer your research questions. Finally, create an outline before you begin. While do essay paper might seem tedious at first, filling in the sections with the appropriate information will mean that you are not writing things over and over again. It is always beneficial to have a second set of eyes assess your work for any errors or omissions.

Many students choose to contact professional editors to help with this as they hold the relevant expertise to guide you on the correct path to creating a perfect discussion section that is ready for submission.

In terms of presentation, both the findings and discussion chapters will benefit from a clear and logical introduction and chapter summary. Remember that both of these chapters are meant to inform. You are leading the reader on a journey, so make sure they stay on the path and arrive at the final destination with you! Recent Posts A simple guide to writing a first-class essay Not an apprenticeship: The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation. Dissertation findings and discussion sections.

Depending on your preference for writing, the findings and discussion sections can be the most rewarding sections of your total dissertation. By this point, you actually get to write about what you have done, rather than what others have said about your subject area. The findings chapter is likely to comprise the majority of your paper.

There are four main components that your introduction should include: It may be helpful to think of your introduction as the opposite of a good movie. You probably love watching films that keep you on your toes. Well, your findings chapter is sort of like a really lame movie script.

So, you have created an outline for your findings and highlighted what you thought was most interesting dan simunic dissertation important for your project. Now you need to consider how you might present these findings in the most logical way to the reader.

This brings us to our next student mistake — trying to do too much within one section. Qualitative data largely encompass longer and more detailed responses. Presentation of quantitative data can be equally as challenging as the presentation of qualitative data, but for very different reasons. For example, with the qualitative data you might be concerned about length. Quantitative data poses the risk of overwhelming the reader with numbers, statistics, and percentages that can make heads spin with confusion.

With a few clicks and keyboard taps, a beautiful graph, figure or table can appear in your document. Be wary, however, of common mistakes students tend to make when including these in their dissertation writing. This section is all about how you have 1 answered your research questions and 2 positioned yourself within the larger field of research.

As you progress within this chapter, everything you write is going to have value and make a contribution to the overall field of knowledge. You also need to demonstrate that you understand the limitations of your research and the implications of your findings for policy and practice. This section should be written in the present tense. The Discussion section needs to follow from your results and relate back to your literature review.

Make sure that everything you discuss is covered in the results section. Most people are likely to write this section best by preparing an outline, setting out the broad thrust of the argument, and how your results support it.

You may find techniques like mind mapping are helpful in making a first outline; check out our page: Creative Thinking for some ideas about how to think through your ideas. You should start by referring back to your research questions, discuss your results, then set them into the context of the literature, and then into broader theory. Once you have your outline in front of you, you can start to map out how your results fit into the outline.

This will help you to see whether your results are over-focused in one area, which is why writing up your research as you go along can be a helpful process. For each theme or area, you should discuss how the results help to answer your research question, and whether the results are consistent with your expectations and the literature. Your explanations may include issues such as a non-representative sample for convenience purposes, a response rate skewed towards those with a particular experience, or your own involvement as a participant for sociological research.

You do not need to be apologetic about these, because you made a choice about them, which you should have justified in the methodology section. A full understanding of the limitations of your research is part of a good discussion section.

At this stage, you may want to revisit your literature review, unless you submitted it as a separate submission earlier, and revise it to draw out those studies which have proven more relevant. Conclude by summarising the implications of your findings in brief, and explain why they are important for researchers and in practice, and provide some suggestions for further work.

You may also wish to make some recommendations for practice. As before, this may be a separate section, or included in your discussion. The results and discussion, including conclusion and recommendations, are probably the most substantial sections of your dissertation. Once completed, you can begin to relax slightly: Continue to: Conclusion and Extras Writing your Methodology.

See also: The Introduction Academic Referencing. Search SkillsYouNeed: Writing your Dissertation: Results and Discussion See also: Writing Your Methodology.

Top Tip Summarise your results in the text, drawing on the figures and tables to illustrate your points.

dissertation discussion section structure dissertation discussion section structure

This article gives doctoral dissertation students valuable guidance on how to go about writing their Discussion chapter. The article starts by outlining the main goals and writing approaches. Then the dissertation discussion section structure explains 12 specific steps to take to write an effective Discussion chapter.

dissertation discussion section structure

You should always keep in mind the main goals when writing your Discussion chapter. These include stating your interpretations, declaring your opinions, explaining the effects of your findings, and making suggestions and predictions for future research.