Writing A Dissertation Discussion Section

Writing A Dissertation Discussion SectionThe discussion chapter explains the meaning of your results, their importance, and their relevance to your study. You should focus on explaining and evaluating your findings and showing how they relate to your research questions and literature review. By doing this, you will make an argument that supports your overall conclusion. Often, there is an overlap between the discussion and conclusion sections; thus, they are included in one chapter in some papers. It is crucial to consult your instructor or look at sample dissertation discussion sections in your discipline if you are unsure how to structure them. The section can be written in various ways, but the primary focus should be on the following aspects:
  • Interpretations: Highlight the meaning of your results
  • Implications: Tell the readers why the results matter
  • Limitations: Mention what the findings do not tell the readers.
  • Recommendations: Give suggestions for the scientific studies or practical actions that should be followed.

Structure Of The Conclusion Chapter

Begin this section by restating your research problem and summarizing your main findings. Have one paragraph with statements that directly answer your main research question and avoid repeating data reported in the results.  Although the meaning of the results might be obvious to you, it is vital to interpret them and show the reader how they answer your research question. Depending on the research type, the interpretation form will differ, but here are the general approaches:
    • Identify relationships, patterns, and relations among the data.
    • Discuss if the results supported your hypotheses or met your expectations.
    • Contextualize the findings within the existing research.
    • Explain unexpected results and evaluate their importance.
    • Make an argument for your research.
Your discussion should be organized around key themes, research questions, or hypotheses, just like in the results section. As much as you should interpret the results, you also need to relate them to the sources you cited in your literature review. The chapter should demonstrate how your results fit with previous knowledge in the field, the new insights they contribute, and the consequences they present for practice or theory. Acknowledging limitations in your research is essential in demonstrating your credibility since even the best studies have limitations. Limitations provide readers with an accurate picture of what you can or cannot conclude from your research. They can be due to unanticipated obstacles, general research design, and methodological choices. You should only mention limitations that directly relate to the study’s objectives and highlight their impact on achieving the research’s aims.  After saying the limitations, tell the reader why your results are still valid for answering your research question. Based on your discussion, you should make recommendations for further research on the topic. There are times when recommendations are given in the conclusion. You should establish your suggestions from the limitations you encountered. Rather than just stating that more research should be done, you should suggest how future work can build on areas your study could not address. When writing your discussion, you should avoid the following mistakes:
    • Introducing new results.
    • Undermining your research.
    • Making inflated claims or speculations that are not supported by your results.

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