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What you should know about a Dissertation Discussion

29 Feb 2016Essay Writing Guides
Writing a dissertation discussion chapter is a crucial part of your completed coursework for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is because it is the place where you analyze the results of your findings, and assess the overall value of your research work. In this section, you take the time to evaluate the outcome of your study, offer your personal opinion on your final results, and give the reader a sense of what it all essentially means. In the dissertation discussion chapter, you must present the maximum number of points possible in order to demonstrate how meticulously and passionately you worked on your project.

What does discussion mean?

As the name suggests, this is the part where you communicate most closely with your reader on a personal basis, and you work to help them see the research process through your eyes. Here, you invite the reader to follow you as go through the research process, introducing them to the aspects that went as you predicted, as well as those that surprised you along the way. This is also the place where you review your findings in consideration of pre-existing literature and other forms of data surrounding the subject matter.

It is also important to point out that some universities require two distinct discussion and results sections, while others insist on having the two arenas combined into one all-encompassing chapter. Make certain to find out which format your particular university expects.

Size of Your Dissertation Discussion

The precise length and breadth of your dissertation analysis and discussion can vary considerably depending on the exact requirements of your university. As a general rule, this chapter is the most expansive and voluminous part of the whole project. It is of significant value and importance, as it involves not just stating what you have done in your research, but the necessity to provide analysis and the rationale behind your study.

Dissertation Discussion Structure

How to Start a Discussion

The biggest stumbling blocks to starting a dissertation discussion are a lack of scholarly confidence and ability to exercise creative thinking about your work. If you’re feeling flustered about where to begin, rest assure that there are many different methods to adhere to. The most common way of organizing a dissertation is through the IMRAD (Introduction, methodology, results and discussion), but recognize that this format is not always optimal to every type of dissertation discussion.

Other dissertation discussion section example techniques to help get you started include the following:

Compare and Contrast: create a list of each of the ways your research findings are similar to previously published texts as well as each way in which your work is new, writing a few sentences going into the descriptions of each.

Your Researching and Writing Machine: Imagine that not you, but a large, complex machine was responsible for creating your thesis. Describe the different parts of the machine and the functions they serve in assembling the body of work that is your thesis.

Invoke a Null Hypothesis: try to write down some notes arguing that your research findings mean absolutely nothing. If your hypothesis has been well-tested and offers sound results, for every argument you make against it, you will be able to meet it with a counterpoint that is thrice as strong.

Consider your Limitations: what is missing from your work? As with the null hypothesis approach, if you begin by discussing all the ideas not sufficiently covered by your thesis, you will be moved harder to endorse the arenas in which you have succeeded. 

Dissertation Discussion Structure

When considering how to write a discussion section, remember that it should be a distinct chapter of your thesis (which may or may not be combined with the results chapter, as noted above). The way you arrange your points will be a decisive moment in the perception of the fulfilled job that is why the structure you use is of the primary importance.

Part 1. Briefly summarize the most important findings of your survey. Include any conclusions and results you have arrived at in entirely descriptive. You may want to start this paragraph with a phrase like “Our results confirm…”, “Our findings suggest…” etc.

Part 2. Impart and explain the inherent value of your research. You must be accurate and focused as you describe your work to readers unfamiliar with the material and assure them of the paper’s significance.

Part 3. Compare your study with previously published alternatives. This paragraph enhances your findings and reinforces them. Consider incorporating one of the following phrases: “Let us compare …”, “The juxtaposed approaches show …” etc.

Part 4. Present the pertinence of your discoveries for the corresponding field of science. This offers your findings a new perspective.

Part 5. Acknowledge the limitations of your study. Every undertaking has its limitations which you must recognize.

Part 6. Offer a trajectory for future studies based on your achievements. Each result inspires new questions to answer and problems to solve, so be sure to elucidate the reason to prepare follow-up studies.

Useful pieces of advice for first-time dissertation writers:

  • Fulfill preliminary works: re-read your thesis, paying close attention to relevant tasks, methods of the survey, literature used, and the results of your study.
  • A dissertation discussion example will be a helpful thing to review before writing a paper of your own.
  • Do not just reiterate the content of the dissertation!!! You should interpret, analyze and evaluate the results. Go over whether and to what extent they back your initial hypothesis.
  • Discuss all the novelties you have introduced in your paper and how they can be useful for future surveys and the development of the field of study your dissertation is related to.
  • Visualization is the key to engaging people in your work. Use graphs, tables to illustrate the outcomes of the dissertation and their interpretation.
  • Describe the process of your job by providing a concise review of your steps in the course of the work.
  • Juxtapose your research with adjacent studies to find any specific peculiarities about your methods and approach.
  • Indicate whether the findings of the investigation satisfy your expectations or not.
  • State future perspectives and possible directions for your research.
  • Do not forget to include all the obstacles and disadvantages of the research you encountered.
  • Offer potential ways to enhance and improve the Dissertation.

Common mistakes:

  • Copying your research summary;
  • Overestimating the scientific importance of your findings;
  • Forming loose conclusions (not based on the data and statistics);
  • Giving new, not previously stated information;
  • Making obscure statements;
  • Offering an incoherent flow of information;
  • Engaging in plagiarism.

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