.So you got to the Results section of your Thesis. You are proud of yourself because you leaped over the hill of doubts, re-dos and statistical programme shut-downs that come with the running your model. You gleefully write up your results satisfied with what you accomplished. Then you get to your Discussion section. You find yourself rewriting what you wrote in the Results section. You are rubbing your temples because you swore you had this down. Relax. The Discussion is the hardest part of your Thesis believe it or not. Why, because you have to prove that you can think analytically.
To think analytically you have to be creative. You must have the need to see something not before seen, to make links that have never been connected and to draw potential outcomes by being futuristic in thinking. Today’s blog will look at how this can be done in the Discussion.
So you have an option. You can either merge the Results and Discussion sections. Or you can keep it separately. Either way, you must have the core elements of a Discussion.
What is the purpose?To give your results value and meaning. It is easy to say that two variables are correlated and associated. The real question is “So what?” Why is it even important? The discussion addresses these questions.
Tools to get your order clear. There are so many ways and tools. There isn’t enough space here to discuss them all. These links are great resources for your Discussion writing journey:
Compare and Contrast tools:
Aspects and Considerations
So to make it clear as to what you should have and include in the discussion, the following is listed:
1) Make sure that you say why this research and the results are important to the field. Did your findings contradict conventional theory? Was it a first for your country?
2) You can offer recommendations in this section as to future research. Really think critically about this. If you could have addressed the offering of future research in your Thesis, do not mention it. The purpose of recommending future research is to propose research questions of higher-value and high analytic expectations. So for example, if you found the correlation and association between two variables in your Thesis, you can suggest a deeper analysis of what type of relationship: is it causal? What is the direction of causality? You can use regression analysis or granger causality for time series data. If you notice a difference in initial group frequency responses, you can suggest group analyses. The options are endless.
3) You must mention the consequences. What will your results mean for the country or organization you are studying in the future? For businesses, will your results affect a business’s profit line? Will it affect a countries debt? Think down the line of events and variables.
4) Limitations and weaknesses must be mentioned. Discuss how it affects the validity of your results.
5) Did you discover something you did not expect? Talk about it. Support it with similar or contrasting studies. Apply the other points in this section to this new findings. If it was a less than positive result that goes against your hypothesis, do not despair and do not IGNORE it. Talk about what the results mean to the country or organization or object. What did the literature or theory say?
6) Rewrite the hypotheses you mentioned in the Introduction. Use them to lead your discussion.
7) Remember to compare your results to other research and core theories.
TIPS TO CONSISTENCY
Use the same verb tense as the Introduction, preferably present tense.
Make sure that you are always trying to answer your research questions. Even if the results are not supportive of your hypothesis, keep trying to address the research questions.
Keep in mind the context with which you wrote your literature review.
It is not a reiteration of Results. It is an explanation of meaning and importance. So be careful.