After completing the proposal, IRB, and data collection process, the results chapter can be daunting task for many students. However, if sufficient planning is done, the results chapter can be the most straightforward and efficient chapter of your dissertation. Communication with your committee (specifically your chair and methodologist) is vital to this process.
Assuming you have written a detailed data analysis plan in your proposal, it is important to develop an outline for how the results chapter will be presented. Make note of all pre-analysis screening steps, such as removing outliers and dealing with incomplete or partial responses. Identify the descriptive statistics, charts, and figures that will be presented in the chapter. List the statistical assumptions that will be tested and have a backup plan ready if there are any violations. Finally, describe the inferential tests that will be used to address each research question, including the specific variables in your dataset that will be used in each analysis. Review the outline of the chapter with your committee to ensure there are no surprises from either side.
After analyzing the data and writing the results chapter, it is possible a committee member will suddenly request an additional analysis. Many times, these requests are valid points and can strengthen your chapter. But other times, the recommendations do not bolster the statistical findings of the results. This is when the outline can be used to justify the presentation that was initially agreed upon. Also make sure to save all spreadsheets, syntax, and output files in the rare scenario that the university requests an audit on the findings. Following the suggestions above can make for a much smoother and faster process as you complete your results.
We work with graduate students every day and know what it takes to get your research approved.