manage your writing process

Dissertation findings and discussion sections

Writing the discussion and finding chapters can be one of the fulfilling moments in your entire dissertation writing process. It is where you elaborate on your findings instead of reviewing other people’s work in the subject area.

Although you may still have to refer to some previous research at a certain point, you still have the upper hand in the section to contribute your quota to your field of study.

There are various ways to structure your findings and discussion section. If your dissertation is shorter, you can include both in one unit. However, for longer ones, it is best to separate them into two chapters. In this guide, we take you through how to come up with these sections using the Description – Analysis – Synthesis model.

The preparation process

At the stage, we believe that you are done with the analysis of your findings and know what’s next. Also, you may have planned and organized your thoughts using software or done manually. If the answer is negative, you should complete that process before you start writing.

Some students remain in a dilemma when choosing the right data and the amount of it to include in the finding section. During the research, extensive data is collected, and not all can be used in the dissertation. Therefore, you need to decide what to use and what to leave out, a decision many students find overwhelming.

To make things easier, you need to outline your work. Focusing on answering your research questions and adding interesting findings you came across during your research.

Introducing your findings

The finding section can contain about 40% of your entire dissertation; hence, you need to organize and structure it well for easy reading. To this effect, you need to do the following when introducing your findings:

  • Be clear to readers when you want to do
  • Summarize your approach you will use writing the findings
  • Contextualize the research
  • Tell readers where to find the appendix

Plan your finding intro as the opposite of a good movie, no suspense or any surprises. Just go straight to the point. You should also know how to organize your data, whether using qualitative, quantitative, or combined data collection methodology.

Analysis and synthesis in a discussion

The discussion section is another critical area of your dissertation. It tells readers how you answered your research questions and how the work fits within your research field. Every point you make here should be valuable and contribute to the existing theories or hypotheses in the field.

Like your findings, the introduction to your discussion is essential and should highlight the subsections' contents.

The concluding part should also be something that reflects the key points and easy to understand. It is crucial because the discussion section can be bulky and contain confusing data, which not every reader can digest.

Writing the discussion chapter should involve critical thinking. You should rightly and strongly present your opinion in the research area and get into readers' thinking and try to address their concerns.