Every field and discipline has a unique way of writing a dissertation. Regardless of your writing preference, the findings and discussion section of your thesis are arguably the most rewarding sections of your dissertation.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the various ways you can present your findings and discussion so that it arrests readers’ attention and shows the level of work you have done in the subject area and what others have done before you. Simply put, dissertation findings and discussion sections allow you to bridge the gap between existing research and discoveries.
Bear in mind that in a shorter dissertation, the findings and discussion sections come out as one chapter, but in longer pieces of work, it might make sense to have them in separate chapters.
This section will use the model of Description – Analysis – Synthesis, which are the three basic components that readers expect to see in these sections (findings and discussion).
- Introducing your findings
The chapter containing your findings is likely to make up most of your paper and make up to 40% of your entire dissertation. Suffice to say, this chapter constitutes a chunk of your whole thesis, and therefore, you must ensure that this chapter begins with a logical and organized introduction.
Your introduction must contain all of the following components;
- Reminding the reader of what you want to achieve
- Eplain how you plan to come up with the write up of the results
- Place the research into context
- Letting the reader know where the research instruments are (i.e., the Appendix)
- Organization of data
To organize your data so that the reader understands what information you are trying to convey, create a unique outline for your findings, and highlight the information you believe is the most important for your project.
- Employ the use of Subheadings
Another common mistake which students make is trying to do too much in one chapter or under one heading. Break down your work with subheadings; it not only gives clarity, but it also makes reading more simple and understanding relatively easy.
- Presentation of qualitative data
Qualitative data presentation is another very important requirement of a good dissertation as it encompasses longer and detailed responses regarding your work. For findings such as interviews, observations, this is where you present them.
- Presentation of quantitative data
The presentation of quantitative data goes beyond presenting numbers and tables. As important as they are, you must also be mindful of their usage because quantitative data poses the risk of overwhelming readers with statistics, numbers, and percentages. Also, bear in mind that the numeric and data presentation style is dependent on the department you are submitting to. For example, while Arts and Humanities require lesser numeric input, the expectation in sciences are opposite.
- Linking to previous chapters
Presenting our analysis will be the most challenging aspect of our dissertation; however, your chapters and discussion need to be long enough to show how your research findings link to previous research.