Results And Discussion
Once your data collection and analysis is complete, you should report your findings. This section should be a combination of:
- Description - what did you find?
- Interpretation - what do the results mean? What are the reasons for them?
- Evaluation - how reliable or meaningful are the results?
Your supervisor will inform you if you need a separate discussion section or if you are expected to integrate your discussion as you describe your results.
You should relate your results back your original research question and the themes that were developed in your literature review. Does your research provide confirmation of your hypothesis and existing research or does it suggest an alternative theory? Don’t worry if your findings do not support your original theory. It is more important to show that your research methods were appropriate and carried out effectively, than it is to manipulate your data to fit your assumptions. You must also identify any limitations and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your reported research.
If you have quantitative data and have analysed the data using SPSS or Excel, you should use it to generate graphics to include in this section, such as pie charts, bar charts, etc.
If you have qualitative data, it is important to support your interpretation by presenting examples of direct quotes that relate to the topic of discussion. Take advice from your supervisor as to how lengthy these quotes should be.
This is where you combine all the strands of your argument to give a relatively short convincing answer to the question you originally posed. You may summarise your findings from the results and discussion, but make sure that it not merely repetition.
Your conclusion is an evaluation of your research as a whole. You should be able to justify your conclusion and show how the stages in your reasoning are connected. You should identify how your research could be developed further for future research and if there are any practical implications for management or government policy.
After completing the above sections, you should compile your appendices and submit. However, make sure you have revised your dissertation thoroughly through several drafts. You should review your text, as well as spelling, grammar, logical flow, style consistency and ensure your citation and referencing is correct.
Points to consider:
- Make sure you do not miss your submission date – there could be penalties involved.
- Remember that other people are submitting at the same time as you and this puts pressure on services such as Turnitin, printing, copying and binding within the University.
- Make sure you know how many hard copies you need to submit and what kind of binding you must use.
- Allow enough time for the binding of your work in the required format. Note that if you need hard back binding it can take up to a week.
Owl's Top Hoot
Make sure you know which type of binding you require. Hard binding will take up to a week to complete. Have a look at the library webpages for full details of hard and soft binding.