Gathering information, conducting the survey, interviewing people, calculating, and analysing the results is very important. However, this is not all you need to do to write a solid dissertation. Summarising the results, interpreting them, providing limitations and recommendations is equally essential, and that’s what researchers call the discussion. How to write a dissertation discussion? It is simpler than you may think it is, and we’re going to explain why.
Dissertation Discussion Structure
First, let us take a close look at the structure of this section. Here are the main subsections to include:
- Summary of your findings.
Simply put, you need to summarise the crucial info, explain your findings, and how others can interpret it. Provide implications, mention all the limitations, and provide recommendations, the ideas that can be used by the next researchers.
Main Discussion Steps
So, how to write a thesis discussion? Let us take a look at the main steps.
You have to summarise all the facts and the results of your analysis providing the answer to the main question in your dissertation. Your summary doesn’t have to be too detailed — one paragraph is enough to describe what you found during your research. You may start this subsection with phrases like “The results show that”, “The data confirm that”, “The study demonstrates that the assumption that … is correct/incorrect because”, etc.
So, you provided a summary. Now you need to put your vision of the data together and draw conclusions. Do the following steps:
- Show connections in your data, how certain findings explain particular trends, how the results correlate with each other, what patterns were identified.
- Show if the results and findings that you got confirm your hypothesis or not and why.
- Discuss how your findings relate to previous studies.
- Provide arguments that support your claims and conclusions.
- Alternative interpretations, provide counter-arguments if possible/necessary.
Simply put, you need to discuss how your findings may be interpreted and how they correlate with your own hypothesis and consider other interpretations and/or counterarguments.
Discussing the implications
You are hardly the first who does similar research, and that is why it is important to explain who your results correlate with or relate to the previous research. In this subsection, researchers should provide the information on how their results can affect the existing studies, prove some of the points or prove that some of them are wrong. Focus on the following:
- Is what you found in line with the existing studies? If they do, is there anything your findings add to them?
- What are the distinguishing features of your results comparing previous researchers? How can they be explained?
- What are the practical implications?
This is an important part of writing a dissertation discussion — you need to explain how exactly your research contributes to the field of knowledge.
Acknowledging the limitations
There is no survey without limitation, and every researcher needs to mention all of them. This allows you to provide a reader with 100% credible and relevant information, without hiding anything (in particular, the aspects that can be covered by your research) and without unilateral interpretation. In this subsection, you need to mention the methodology you chose, all the circumstances that influenced your results, and all these limitations must correlate with your topic, your main research questions. For example, researchers may note that they interviewed 20 people that cannot provide a clear understanding of what a larger group of people may think about the issue.
Stating your recommendations
As a person, who has already done a survey and faced some limitations, you can suggest what could possibly contribute to all existing studies, including your own research. In other words, you need to provide the ideas on further researchers considering your experience and the results that you got.
Checking the conclusions and excluding unnecessary information
So, these were the dos. What about the don’ts? What kind of information is considered unnecessary? Here are the things to avoid:
- Don’t provide any new findings that weren’t mentioned before. You need to use only the results that were already discussed and explained before.
- Don’t make too broad or subjective assumptions — all the results and thoughts in your dissertation must be supported by facts or at least be logical.
- Don’t provide too many controversial limitations — you don’t need to show that your study and its results may be incorrect, by contrast, you need to show that despite the limitations, they are still relevant.
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