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Dealing with Your Dissertation: Discussion Chapter

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In approaching the outline, it is in your best interest to focus on two key points. Firstly, you need to focus on answering your research questions. Secondly, you must include any particularly interesting findings that have cropped up as you completed your research. An outline will give you the structure you need, and should make the whole process of presenting your findings easier. We realise that it is going to be a difficult process to pick and choose pieces of data to include.

But you must be diligent in the work that you cut out. A findings chapter that is long and confusing is going to put the reader off reading the rest of your work. This is a huge chunk of information, so it's essential that it is clearly organised and that the reader knows what is supposed to be happening. One of the ways you can achieve this is through a logical and organised introduction. A brief description of how you intend approaching the write up of the results.

Letting the reader know where they can find the research instruments i. With a findings chapter, there should be no suspense for the reader. You need to tell them what they need to know right from the beginning. This way, they'll have a clear idea about what is still to come.

A good introduction will start by telling the reader where you have come from in the research process and what the outcome was in a couple of paragraphs or less. You need to highlight the structure of the chapter as you generally will do with all chapters and where the reader might find any further information e. This is really going to depend on the type of project you have created. For example, if you have completed a qualitative research project, you might have identified some key themes within the software program you used to organise your data.

In this case, highlighting these themes in your findings chapter may be the most appropriate way to proceed. Not only are you using information that you have already documented, you are telling a story in each of your sections which can be useful in qualitative research. But what if you undertook a more quantitative type study? You might be better off structuring your findings chapter in relation to your research questions or your hypotheses.

This assumes, of course, that you have more than one research question or hypothesis. Otherwise you would end up just having one really long section. Subheadings are ultimately going to be your friend throughout your dissertation writing. Not only do they organise your information into logical pieces, they give the reader guidelines for where your research might be going. This is also a break for the reader.

Looking at pages and pages of text without any breaks can be daunting and overwhelming for a reader. You don't want to overwhelm someone who is going to mark your work and who is responsible for your success or failure.

When writing your introduction, be clear, organised and methodical. Tell the reader what they need to know and try to organise the information in a way that makes the most sense to you and your project. If in doubt, discuss this with your supervisor before you start writing. If you have conducted things like interviews or observations, you are likely to have transcripts that encompass pages and pages of work.

Putting this all together cohesively within one chapter can be particularly challenging. This is true for two reasons. Secondly, unlike quantitative data, it can often be difficult to represent qualitative data through figures and tables, so condensing the information into a visual representation is simply not possible.

As a writer, it is important to address both these challenges. When considering how to present your qualitative data, it may be helpful to begin with the initial outline you have created and the one described above. Within each of your subsections, you are going to have themes or headings that represent impactful talking points that you want to focus on.

If you have used multiple different instruments to collect data e. This is so that you can demonstrate to more well-rounded perspective of the points you are trying to make.

Once you have your examples firmly selected for each subsection, you want to ensure that you are including enough information. You must set up the examples you have chosen in a clear and coherent way.

Students often make the mistake of including quotations without any other information. Usually this means writing about the example both before and after. This was a focal point for 7 of my 12 participants, and examples of their responses included: The reoccurring focus by participants on the need for more teachers demonstrates [insert critical thought here]. By embedding your examples in the context, you are essentially highlighting to the reader what you want them to remember.

Aside from determining what to include, the presentation of such data is also essential. Participants, when speaking in an interview might not do so in a linear way.

Instead they might jump from one thought to another and might go off topic here and there. So the quotes need to be paired down to incorporate enough information for the reader to be able to understand, while removing the excess.

Finding this balance can be challenging. You have likely worked with the data for a long time and so it might make sense to you. Try to see your writing through the eyes of someone else, which should help you write more clearly. Something to consider first with numeric data is that presentation style depends what department you are submitting to. In the hard sciences, there is likely an expectation of heavy numeric input and corresponding statistics to accompany the findings.

In the arts and humanities, however, such a detailed analysis might not be as common. Therefore as you write out your quantitative findings, take your audience into consideration. Just like with the qualitative data, you must ensure that your data is appropriately organised. Again, you've likely used a software program to run your statistical analysis, and you have an outline and subheadings where you can focus your findings.

There are many software programs available and it is important that you have used one that is most relevant to your field of study. For some, Microsoft Excel may be sufficient for basic analysis. Whatever program you have used, make sure that you document what you have done and the variables that have affected your analysis. One common mistake found in student writing is the presentation of the statistical analysis. During your analysis of the data , you are likely to have run multiple different analyses from regressions to correlations.

Often, we see students presenting multiple different statistical analyses without any real understanding of what the tests mean. 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. 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. Let's think about your outline and subheadings. If you're including a table under each subheadings, it needs to be relevant to the information that is being discussed in that chapter. 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. 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. 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. The discussion is generally the longest section of your dissertation, and it's a good idea help your readers to follow your lines of reasoning. By dividing the discussion up using sub-headings or, at the very least, clear paragraphs , you'll avoid large chunks of text and help your readers navigate a smooth passage through your work. Depending on the conventions of your subject or any specific instructions you've been given, you may choose to include your conclusions in the discussion section or instead choose to have a separate conclusion.

Whichever applies to you, your conclusion is your chance to sum up, draw some firm conclusions, discuss further directions for this area of study and make recommendations.

The discussion section is the most important part of your dissertation, and you'll need to make sure you have all the vital ingredients of a great discussion. The check-list below includes a list of the important things you should include in your discussion. You can use this check-list as a guide to help you plan and write your discussion, or you can use it after you've written your discussion, to make sure you've missed nothing out.

When you're sure you can agree with each statement in the checklist, tick it off. Not every statement will apply to every dissertation, so cross out any that don't apply to your work. Writing a discussion when you've finished this page you will be able to

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When writing a dissertation or thesis, the results and discussion sections can be both the most interesting as well as the most challenging sections to write. You may choose to write these sections separately, or combine them into a single chapter, depending on your university’s guidelines and your own preferences.

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The discussion chapter is the problem child of the thesis. The chapter most likely to provoke fear, uncertainty and doubt. Not everyone writes a chapter called "discussion", but everyone has to do discussiony bits because, well - that's where the creative magic of the PhD happens.

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The discussion is generally the longest section of your dissertation, and it's a good idea help your readers to follow your lines of reasoning. By dividing the discussion up using sub-headings (or, at the very least, clear paragraphs), you'll avoid large chunks of text and help your readers navigate a smooth passage through your work. Interesting and excellent read! Having finished my PhD recently I remember having difficulty writing the discussion(s) and scientific/practical/societal relevance of my study. Reading a lot of papers of previous research by others made me get the illusion my thesis wouldn’t add anything new or worthy.

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Writing a dissertation or thesis is a daunting task for anyone. This introduction to our dissertation writing guide provides advice to help you get started. So you are writing a dissertation discussion and need someone to help you with this uneasy task? Guarantees; Earn $50; Reviews; Order; Dissertation Chapter Discussion Written by Experts. Dissertation Chapter Discussion. Dealing with Your Dissertation: Discussion Chapter This will help you examine the contribution you.