Academic Writing for Graduate Students (2nd ed.). It is also one of the most difficult parts to write, and sometimes the longest. Advancing psychology to benefit society and improve lives. Our step-by-step guide will take you through the process, from planning to writing and publishing. The discussion can start with a summary of the aims and the results (write about x-fold or % changes rather than just repeating the results) You should try to explain the results, but only within the context of the study - integrating swags of theory into the discussion is not necessary and leads to … First, the ability to identify changes in her program suggests to me that she has deeper pedagogical knowledge gained through critical reflection on her practice, and second, there is congruence between her expressed beliefs and the practice she describes. This page and the next, on reporting and discussing your findings, deal with the core of the thesis. For more detailed guidance, we have an excellent handbook titled Write a convincing discussion section – The key to journal acceptance. Follow these do's and don'ts. That is, in your thesis you need to make points that are: These points must fit into a framework that makes a coherent story of your findings. COVID-19 resources for psychologists, health-care workers and the public. There are many ways to write up both your findings and discussion. Help us improve your experience by  providing feedback  on this page. These themes were: the complexity and challenges of working with families and the professional satisfaction and challenges of program planning for children in preschool or childcare. Try to make your sections and subsections reflect the themes that have emerged from your analysis of the data, and to make sure your reader knows how these themes evolved. Lapsing into causal language when your data were correlational. Be guided by your research questions(s) and the nature of your data. comments on whether the results are expected or unexpected. Research & Learning Online Webmaster Team, The difference between expected and obtained results. In the discussion of your findings you have an opportunity to develop the story you found in the data, making connections between the results of your analysis and existing theory and research. Source: Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, Yale University. If you have nothing to write, write 'I have nothing to write'. It is useful to remind yourself what the task of writing up research is all about: …the major task of writing [about our research] involves working out how to make contextually grounded theoretical points that are viewed as a contribution by the relevant professional community of readers. You will need to check with your supervisor what your university department’s rules are regarding these two sections. But don't dwell on the future at the expense of the present,says Scholl. DO: Look toward the future. For example, a clinical study might discuss how psychologists might apply the findings in a clinical setting or a social psychology project might talk about political implications. Yet, arguably the most difficult part of writing your dissertation awaits: your discussion, the place where you sew up the various threads of your research into a cohesive narrative. "You can't and shouldn't rely on others to intuitively appreciate the beauty and importance of your work," he says. In fact, choosing what to include can be overwhelming, warns sixth-year Yale University social psychology graduate student Aaron Sackett. If so, what do they add to it? So it is worth finding out what conclusions your brain has reached  while  you  were collecting and analysing your data. Reducing fat intake may lower the risk of heart disease. The majority of studies indicate that for this age group, reducing fat intake contributes to lowering the risk of heart disease. The difficulty in dating this archeological site. Dissertation discussion is the chapter where you explore the relevance, significance and meanings of your findings - giving you the opportunity to showcase your talents in terms of describing and analyzing results of your study.. It is what all of your hard-work of writing the hypothesis, collecting and designing the data, conducting the statistical analysis of graphs and preparing the summary sums up to. You also need to demonstrate that you understand the limitations of your research and the implications of your findings for policy and practice. Is there anything there you want to develop further? Therefore it is important for you to investigate the conventions of your own discipline, by looking at journal articles and theses. First, the ability to identify changes in her program suggests to me that she has deeper pedagogical knowledge gained through critical reflection on her practice, and second, there is congruence between her expressed beliefs and the practice she describes. And while the discussion should put your research into context and tell a story, say experts, it should not overstate your conclusions. The discussion is the meaty part of your Findings report and can be of great value to your audience if written appropriately. Fellow students, your adviser and your dissertation committee members can help provide that outside perspective, adds Yale clinical psychology professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, who teaches a course on writing in psychology. Do your findings only support the hypothesis in part? Eager to reach the finishing line, they miss the opportunity to fully explore their findings … Give them something clear, concise and interesting to read, and they're sure to appreciate it. University of Michigan Press, We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand. Making lists works well for some people, but not for others. The Discussion section represents the analysis of your research paper. In this chapter I shall try to show to what extent our texts conform to vernacular conventions of a well-told story of a saint, and in what ways they had to modify their originals to do so, attempting also to identify some of the individual characteristics of the three poems. The purpose of a … Whatever the case, there should be two sections if they are in the same chapter; one for the findings […] Every thesis writer has to present and discuss the results of their inquiry. Organize the discussion from the general to the specific, linking your findings to the literature, then to … When to Write Dissertation Findings Chapter. Melbourne University Press. Do your research findings support your initial hypothesis? Let’s accept this: Writing a paper is daunting, and sometimes the most difficult and thought-provoking part is writing the ‘discussion’ section. The form of your chapters should be consistent with this story and its components. What, therefore, has become of your original research problem and the literature regarding it? Composing Qualitative Research. The way you present the analysis and interpretation of your data sits within a wider thesis framework, which can itself be thought of as a story (adapted from Silverman, 2005, p. 242-43): The challenge for every thesis writer is to hold the detail of the data in focus without losing sight of the big picture of the research. Going overboard on limitations, leading readers to wonder why they should read on. It is the last part of your paper, in which you summarize your findings in light of the current literature. You should always keep in mind the main goals when writing your Discussion chapter. Sage Publications. This section should be written in the present tense. Qualitative data is difficult to present neatly in tables and figures. In the discussion section, you can provide interpretations based on your observations. Do your findings disprove your hypothesis? Evans, Gruba and Zobel, in their book “How to Write a Better Thesis”, describe the discussion chapter as the place where you: “… critically examine your findings in the light of the previous state of the subject as outlined in the background, and make judgments as to what has been learnt in your work” Step 4: Write your findings section in a factual and objective manner.The goal is to communicate information – in some cases a great deal of complex information – as clearly, accurately and precisely as possible, so well-constructed sentences that maintain a simple structure will be far more effective than convoluted phrasing and expressions. Are your findings very different from other studies? Reducing fat intake contributes to lowering the risk of heart disease. Maintained by: Research & Learning Online Webmaster Team. How to write the Discussion section of a scientific research paper. Do your results agree with previous research? For each of these graduates, their work with children was clearly the area of their professional lives that was bringing the most satisfaction, although there were some challenges identified. The effects of the major operating variables on the performance of the pilot filters are explained, and various implications for design are discussed. ", Roediger agrees: "Conclude the general discussion with a strong paragraph stating the main point or points again, in somewhat different terms-if possible-than used before.". The data itself usually consists of words, from written documents or interview transcripts (but may include images), which have been analysed in some way, often into themes. In this Chapter, all the experimental results from the phenomenological experiments outlined in Section 5.2 are presented and examined in detail. Make reference to similarities or differences in approach or findings. knowledge you are sure of because you have reliable evidence for it, other knowledge you think is only within the realms of possibility. Sometimes the findings or results section of a dissertation comes in the same chapter as the main discussion. The discussion section is a very important part of your dissertation or research paper. Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. Literature reviews play an important role in the discussion section of a manuscript. Day, R. A. In the discussion of your findings you have an opportunity to develop the story you found in the data, making connections between the results of your analysis and existing theory and research. 2. (At this point, don't worry about whether they relate to your aims or research questions.). Why and how? Along with noting your work's limitations, it's helpful to also suggest follow-up studies. 3. That includes avoiding language that implies causality when your study can only make relational conclusions. You don't have to show what you write to anyone. Last updated: Nov 2020. In a traditional doctoral thesis, this will consist of a number of chapters where you present the data that forms the basis of your investigation, shaped by the way you have thought about it. Depending on the nature or your research, these will probably be related to: The skill in writing a successful discussion is in moving backwards and forwards between others' research and your own research, making it clear: Remember that you are dealing with three different issues and the three must be clearly differentiated for the reader. The Results section of a scientific research paper represents the core findings of a study derived from the methods applied to gather and analyze information You're tired and the last thing you want to do is keep writing. DON'T: End with it. The new data may be found in Appendix C. The principal goal of the vernacular adaptor of a Latin saint's life was to edify and instruct his audience. "Many students reach this stage of their careers having been focused for several years on the 'trees,'" says Yale University cognitive psychology professor Brian Scholl, PhD. Write about your data for 5 minutes. As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review. Your discussion should begin with a cogent, one-paragraph summary of the study's key findings, but then go beyond that to put the findings into context, says Stephen Hinshaw, PhD, chair of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. The discussion of findings is often considered one of the most important part of thesis project/research work in the sense that, this is where the researcher of a project topic presents the underlying findings of his research. For example, a thesis in oral history and one in marketing may both use interview data that has been collected and analysed in similar ways, but the way the results of this analysis are presented will be very different because the questions they are trying to answer are different. You can read more about reporting qualitative results in the next section, Reporting conventions. Therefore, you should only use the studies mentioned in the … 2. For many kinds of research, the main work of interpretation cannot be done until most of the data has been collected and analysed. As soon as you have gathered and analysed your data, you can start to write up the findings chapter of your dissertation paper, which is your chance to report the most notable findings of your research work and relate them to research hypothesis or research questions as set out in the introduction chapter of dissertation. Think of your discussion and conclusion section as an inverted pyramid: start from the general aspects of your research and then focus on the specifics. Evans and Gruba (2002) offer some good advice: 'Include enough data in an appendix to show how you collected it, what form it took, and how you treated it in the process of condensing it for presentation in the results chapter.' These comments seem to provide evidence that Angela is growing professionally for two reasons. This can be done through the introductions to carefully-structured sections and subsections. Why and how? "Too often I am left excited not by what was in the dissertation, but by what was not in the dissertation. "No reader wants to wade through ten pages of suppositional reasoning," says Roddy Roediger, PhD, chair of psychology at Washington University. This is done within a research tradition where existing knowledge is always being modified in the light of new results. Step 19: Write Discussion and Conclusion The second to last step in conducting a research study is to interpret the findings in the Discussion section, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. For a good structure and organization of your research’s discussion and conclusion, keep in mind these aspects: 1. In all cases, though, the presentation should have a logical organisation that reflects: You are not simply describing the data. Indeed, every discussion should include a "humility" section that addresses the study's limitations, write Cone and Foster. In practice, a combination of these methods is often used: Evans, D., & Gruba, P. (2002). How I do it now is that I have a lot of different things happening at once. More detail can be provided in an appendix. Consistently use ‘this’ to refer to your own research and refer to previous research by name, place or time. Starting with limitations instead of implications. The presentation of results from experimental studies will be different again. While the summary presents information, the discussion analyzes the data and explains to the reader what your results mean relative to the problem you stated in your introduction. The data needs to be connected back through the layers of detail to the overarching research question it relates to. Bavdekar, S. B. So instead of simply summarizing your data and suggesting a few obvious follow-up studies, think about presenting your data in a novel way, showing how the work might resolve an existing controversy in the literature or explaining how it connects to an entirely different literature. You've conducted your research, analyzed your findings and written your results. Another aspect of making clear the contribution of your research is to draw out the implications of your findings. Use a single sentence for each item. The next big step is to write the discussion. This section is concerned with presenting the analysis of the results of data analysis. View our latest COVID-19 updates. The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice. If your results differ from others' findings, you should try to explain why, says Nolen-Hoeksema. Ask yourself these questions: 1. 3. This is writing to think. Each chapter needs an introduction outlining its organisation. It seems that reducing fat intake lowers the risk of heart disease. Point out the agreements and disagreements between your data and that of others. Demographic data that describe the sample are usually presented first. In longer pieces of work, these chapters are usually separate. Reporting conventions differ according to whether the data involved is quantitative or qualitative. Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook (2nd ed.). Discussion Chapter: Main Goals and Writing Approaches. A conclusion section provides a synopsis of work in which the results findings are mapped to the objectives. Give each group a heading. Sort the sentences into groups. The results and discussion sections are one of the challenging sections to write. In the interviews, the data reveal that they were all seeking ways to improve their pedagogy and achieving success in different ways…. Get help with all aspects of your assignment, from research to writing. How will you decide which aspects of your findings are the most interesting and important? After that, the organisation will vary according to the kind of research being reported. As a researcher, you are expected to distinguish carefully between: Therefore, very strong claims, like the one below, are rare in academic writing. A key purpose of the discussion section is to move from specifics to general information. Reducing fat intake appears to lower the risk of heart disease. DON'T: Simply rehash your results. Reducing fat intake could/might lower the risk of heart disease. 4.3 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 4.3.1 Demographic Relationships and Study Variables Although it was not part of the purpose of the study, this set of data was intended to describe demographic variables of the sample and to assess for any influence on the research findings. If the discussion is in a self-contained chapter or section you will need to briefly summarise the major findings that come from the research and relate them to what you originally proposed to find out.If your research is testing a hypothesis, you need to answer these questions: Since one of the requirements of a doctorate is to make a contribution to knowledge, it is essential to show how your results fit in with other work that has been done in your field. the limited amount of organic material available. How do you find the balance? If so, what do they add to it? Offering no concluding statements or ending with the limitations. Use these groups and headings to make a plan of the points you want to make in your discussion. It is important that the results be presented in an informative way. The reporting of qualitative data is much less bound by convention than that of quantitative data. The demographic data consisted of age, sex, years of experience and For some fields of study, the presentation and discussion of findings follows established conventions; for others, the researcher’s argument determines the structure. She discussed this change: One of the things I've changed is this idea of herding children through the Kinder day: they go from indoor play to snack time to the mat and so on. DO: Provide context and explain why people should care.
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