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Dissertation findings and discussion sections

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❶What needs to be included in the Results section Due to the risk of overwhelming the reader with too many numbers and statistics, your dissertation rarely needs to include pure unedited data. Subheadings need to be informative but not too long.

This article is a part of the guide:

Writing a Results Section
Writing up results

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. The other way is to present a section and then discuss it, before presenting the next section with a short discussion.

This is common in longer papers, and your discussion part of the paper will generally follow the same structure. Be sure to include negative results - writing a results section without them not only invalidate the paper, but it is extremely bad science. The negative results, and how you handle them, often gives you the makings of a great discussion section, so do not be afraid to highlight them.

If you condense your raw data down, there is no need to include the initial findings in the results, because this will simply confuse the reader. If you are in doubt about how much to include, you can always insert your raw data into the appendix section, allowing others to follow your calculations from the start. This is especially useful if you have used many statistical manipulations, so that people can check your calculations and ensure that you have not made any mistakes.

In the age of spreadsheets, where the computer program prepares all of the calculations for you, this is becoming less common, although you should specify the program that you used and the version.

On that note, it is unnecessary show your working - assume that the reader understands what a Chi Squared test, or a Students t-test is, and can perform it themselves. Once you have a streamlined and informative results section, you can move onto the discussion section, where you begin to elaborate your findings.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Mar 2, Writing a Results Section. Retrieved Sep 13, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.

Then, relevant descriptive statistics like range, frequency, mean, median or others should be included, and after that, you should detail any performed statistical analyses such as tests, ANOVA, etc. If you included a qualitative study, it should be backed up with relevant information like quotes that will prove vital in the overall discussion. Tables are, essentially, lists organized in rows and columns that outlay numerical values, and they are widely used to help the reader process and understand certain derived pieces of data.

A table should be used if the author has more information than a simple text would be able to properly cover. So for example, if the data you need to submit can fit in less than a space of three columns and three rows, it would be recommended that you present it as text. Figures can mean any pictures, charts, maps, graphs or any kind of illustrations that you want to include in the Results section.

Every figure should come with a brief description below it. A photo, for example, should come with the reason why it is there, as well as its source. The most common figures in the Results section are, without a doubt, graphs, as they do a good job in showing connections between data.

Although the choice of using tables or figures is up to the author, a good general recommendation is not using tables when trying to prove a connection between certain groups of values.

If you are writing a paper dedicated to a specific treatment, tables would be used to discuss its cumulative effects, while figures would be used to show each treatment effect variation week by week. Also, avoid adding the same data more than once; this should help keep the Results section brief. Graphics formatting is also important. Rules for formatting tables and figures vary with each style guide; however, generally, tables have their name and number posted above them and any notes explaining them underneath.

The writing in the results section should be kept as simple as possible. If however, an unusual statistical method or model is used, its explanation should be included in the Methodology section. Although many students are tempted to add explanations or introductory notes to the section, a direct rendition of available data is usually the most recommended approach. This is an example of a text that contains too many useless words and offers a subjective view of the presented data:.

Keeping it short is vital. If tables and figures are the main components of the results section, repeating all that info in a text form is redundant.


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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 should write your results section in the past tense: you are describing what you have done in the past. you should discuss how the results help to answer your research.

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Sometimes the findings or results section of a dissertation comes in the same chapter as the main discussion. You will need to check with your supervisor what your university department’s rules are regarding these two sections. Whatever the case, there should be two sections if they are in the same chapter; one for the findings [ ]. cranfield masters thesis archive Help With Writing A Dissertation Results Section essays on how customers choose brands write high school essay.

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Writing up the results section of your dissertation. So, you have overcome the colossal task that is doing your dissertation research – either primary or secondary, depending on which avenue you chose. very useful guide on how to write up the results section of your dissertation. To help you further, we've broken the information down into. Writing up results - How to write your dissertation. A mondofacto study skills topic to help you write a dissertation. help; contact; sitemap; How to write your dissertation. home; dictionary; word tools; it's time to write it up, and the place for this is the results section. The key to a great results section is in describing your results.