Writing a Dissertation Chapter – Discussion

If you feel worried about the future of your dissertation, join the ranks of students who are worried like you. Believe it or not, every other student has serious concerns about whether he or she will be able to finish the dissertation on time. It is difficult to say anything, since every dissertation is unique. However, every student is in a position to improve the quality of his or her writing. We have developed these recommendations to help you cope with the discussion chapter of your project. It is a very important piece of your work, where you will need to discuss the results of your experiment or investigation in the context of previous findings. In essence, writing a dissertation chapter is telling your readers what they can learn from your work. You will also need to include some information on how significant your findings are for your practice and future research.

So, what do you do to write a perfect discussion chapter for your dissertation? First, you must be confident that you can do it. Developing confidence is probably the most difficult thing about writing a dissertation. However, it is not enough to be certain that you can be a perfect academic writer. What is needed is a thorough understanding of your subject, the results of your study, and the extent to which they fit or do not fit in previous research. Be ready to accept a simple fact that readers will not take your claims for granted. They may not believe you, no matter how convincing you are. Thus, your confidence must be scholarly. It essentially means that you must be ready to prove your claims and use as much scholarly evidence as you can to support your findings.

Another important thing to remember is that you must be creative. You must use your analytical and critical thinking skills to understand how the results of your study meet the broader demands of your professional community. Be creative. Imagine that this dissertation is a matter of your life or death in your future profession and career.

Now think of the way your dissertation will be structured. Apparently, all dissertations have a set of mandatory components. These are introduction, literature review, methods, findings, and discussion. So, your main task here is to decide if you want to write your dissertation as a separate component of your dissertation or have it merged with other sections, for example, the section for results. The proposed structure is used widely in dissertation writing. However, the problem is that it is the dead end of dissertation writing. It leaves little room for imagination and creativity. At the same time, it allows readers to find the information they need quickly, without scanning the entire dissertation as it may take hours. You are the one to decide which format and style you want to pursue in your work. However, do not forget that your dissertation must meet the requirements and instructions developed by your supervisor. You are not entirely free in your decisions about dissertation writing. Ultimately, if your university requires that you rely on the traditional dissertation structure, you will not be able to change that.

Now about your discussion section – you may want to place it separately from other chapters, or you may want to link it to your other sections such as results, and in ways which create a more coherent picture of your experimental findings or investigation results. You can make the final decision, taking into account all possible variables, including the purpose and intent of your project and even the discipline you are in. Medical professionals may want their discussion section to operate separately from other sections of the dissertation, while graduates in sociology and history may want more integrity and structure in their works. So, now you know the difficulties you may encounter when crafting your discussion chapter. It is time to overcome them.

Use the advice below to write a perfect discussion section for your dissertation:

  • Compare and contrast. This writing technique never loses its relevance. Create a table and include the results of your work and the findings of similar experiments in the past. You will see the similarities and differences that will translate into a coherent piece of writing.
  •  You can begin with a simple reiteration of your findings. Create a simple picture and then make it more complicated, step by step. Add new information to explain your decisions and justify your recommendations.
  • One more advice you could follow when working on your dissertation chapter is using your null hypothesis. Apparently, you assume that there is some null hypothesis suggesting that your variables are not related in any way. Now try to explain why is that? If you take your null hypothesis as a starting point for your discussion, it will mean that, probably, your findings are meaningless. Can you tell me why? Answer this question and surprise your reader.
  • Ask your friend or family member to help you. Imagine that you are writing for them. You can record your speech or present your discussion in writing. Ask your audience to evaluate your successes. Use their recommendations to improve the quality of your writing.
  • Consider the limitations of your experiment. These limitations will help your readers understand the significance of your story.
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