Five Steps to Writing an Effective Discussion Chapter
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When you plan to write the discussion chapter for your dissertation, it is important to state your findings and interpretations in a clear and effective way. Based on your interpretations, you should also provide suggestions for further research. This chapter is critical, as it answers all the questions that you asked in the introduction chapter. Thus, here are some steps that will help you in making this chapter more powerful.
1. Specific-to-general approach: When you are mentioning and interpreting your findings in the context of literature, theory or practice, make sure to start from the specifics and then move on to a broader approach.
2. Being consistent: It is regarding the use of verb forms and key terms. Maintain consistency between what you write in the discussion chapter and what you have written in the introduction chapter.
3. Linking questions to answers: It is helpful to restate your original hypothesis and questions before you link them to your findings. Readers should understand the connection between your questions and answers. Additionally, explain how your findings fit the existing knowledge and support your answers. Do not leave any of your results, even if these are not statistically significant.
4. Give perspectives to findings: The next step is to describe the relationships and patterns of your findings and put them in a right perspective. You should have sequenced information and answers that are properly defended. Make sure that your arguments to defend your answers are convincing. On the other hand, you should also evaluate any conflicting explanations. This is what an effective discussion is all about.
5. Admit to limitations and offer recommendations: While interpreting results, it is necessary to admit to your study’s limitations without using an apologetic tone. Further, summarize the major implications of your study and provide suggestions for future research. Highlight the importance of your results. Basically, discuss everything but in a brief, crisp and concise manner.