Discussing Discussions

Posted October 11, 2017

So, you have conducted all your research, answered your research questions, and made your conclusions, but you are not done yet! You still must write your Discussion section. This may feel like a large hurdle to jump after you have already exhausted all of your energy, but you can do it! Below is a basic outline of components of the dissertation discussion for you to follow (but be sure to always follow your school’s template and guidelines).

Your discussion section is your place to reflect on your study; this is where you provide a summary of your findings and discuss how your findings confirm, refute, or expand upon existing knowledge based upon the research conducted and presented in your Literature Review. This chapter is also where you will discuss the limitations to generalizability, trustworthiness, validity, and reliability that affected your study, provide recommendations for further research based on the findings in your study, and make a conclusion that captures the essence of your study for readers. Each of these components can be written as an individual heading within this chapter.

Typically, you should introduce your discussion by summarizing the problem and purpose statements as established in your introduction to the study. Be sure to use the same wording for these statements! While your introduction to the discussion will often be brief, other portions of the discussion will vary in length. For example, the summary of findings will vary greatly in length based on your study and design; the interpretation of the findings typically will be anywhere from three to seven pages long; the discussion of the limitations is usually one page long; recommendations may range from approximately two to four pages; and the conclusion should be a brief wrap-up of the section and the study, which is usually less than a full page.

We at Statistics Solutions wish you the best of luck in composing your discussion section of your dissertation! If you have any questions or need additional guidance with this, or any other component of your dissertation, our team is always happy to help.

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