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How to Write the Findings of a Dissertation

A dissertation has multiple parts which contribute towards its main objectives. The ability to understand each part helps you to write your dissertation in a proficient manner.

Each part of dissertation is unique while there are some general and specific rules that must be adhered to. The findings section of dissertation serves the purpose of presenting the key results of your research without interpreting their meaning.

Theoretically, this is an interesting section of a dissertation because it involves writing what you have observed and found. However, it can be a little tricky if there is too much information that would rather confuse the readers.

The goal is to include only the important and relevant findings in this section. The results must be presented in an orderly sequence in order to provide clarity to the readers.

This section of the dissertation should be easy for the readers to follow which means that you should avoid going into a lengthy debate over the interpretation of the results.

It is vitally important to focus only on clear and precise observations. The findings chapter of the dissertation is theoretically the easiest to write.

It includes statistical analysis and a brief write up about whether or not the results emerging as a results of analysis are significant. This segment should be written in the past sentence as you are describing what you have done in the past.

This article will provide detailed information about how to write the findings of a dissertation.

When to Write Dissertation Findings Chapter

As soon as you have gathered and analysed your data, you can start to write up the findings chapter of your dissertation paper, which is your chance to report the most notable findings of your research work and relate them to research hypothesis or research questions as set out in the introduction chapter of dissertation.

You will be required to separately report the findings of your study before moving onto the discussion chapter if your dissertation is based on collection of primary data or experimental work.

However, you may not be required to have an independent findings chapter at all if your dissertation is purely descriptive in nature, and focuses on the analysis of cases studies or interpretation of texts.

TIPS

Always report the findings of your research in the past tense.
The length of the dissertation findings chapter varies from one project to another depending on the amount of data collected and analysed.
Avoid reporting results that are not relevant to your research questions or research hypothesis.


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Reporting Quantitative Findings

The best way to present your quantitative findings is to structure them around research hypothesis or research questions you intended to address as part of your dissertation project.

Report the relevant findings for each of the research questions or hypothesis with a focus on how you analysed them.

Analysis of your findings will help you determine how they related to the different research questions and whether or not they support the hypothesis you formulated.

Whilst you must highlight meaningful relationships, variances and tendencies, it is important to not guess on their interpretations and implications because this is something to save for the discussion and conclusion chapters.

Any findings that are not directly relevant to your research questions or any explanations concerning the data collection process should be added to the appendix section of the dissertation paper.

Use of Figures and Tables in Dissertation Findings

If your dissertation is based on quantitative research, it is vitally important to include charts, graphs, tables and other visual elements to help your readers understand the emerging trends and relationships in your findings.

Repeating information over and over will give an impression as if you are short on ideas. Refer to all charts, illustrations and tables in your write but avoid recurrence.

The text should be used only to elaborate and summarise on certain parts of your results. On the other hand, illustrations and tables are used to present multifaceted data.

It is recommended to give descriptive labels and captions to all illustrations used so the readers can figure out what each of them is referring to.

How to Report Quantitative Findings

Here is an example of how to report quantitative results in your dissertation findings chapter;

Also Read: How to Write the Abstract for Dissertation.

Reporting Qualitative Findings

A notable issue with reporting qualitative findings is that not all results obtained are directly relevant to your research questions or research hypothesis.

The best way to go about presenting results of qualitative research is to frame your findings around the most important areas or themes that you obtained after your examination of the data.

An in depth analysis of the data will help you observe what the data is showing for each theme. Any developments, relationships, patterns, and independent responses that are directly relevant to your research question or hypothesis should be clearly mentioned for the readers.

Additional information that is not directly relevant to your research can be included in the appendix.

How to Report Qualitative Findings

Here is an example of how to report qualitative results in your dissertation findings chapter;


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What to Avoid in Dissertation Findings Chapter

 Avoid using interpretive and subjective phrases and terms such as “confirms”, “reveals”, “suggests” or “validates”. These terms are more suitable for the discussion chapter where you will be expected to provide your interpretation of the results in detail.

 Only provide brief explanation of findings in relations to the key themes, hypothesis and research questions. You don’t want to write a detailed subjective explanation for any of the research questions at this stage.

The DO's – How to Write the Findings of a Dissertation

Make sure you are not presenting results from other research studies in your own findings.

Observe whether or not your hypothesis is tested or research questions answered.

Illustrations and tables are used to present data and they are labelled to help your readers understand what they relate to.

Use software such as Excel, STATA, SPSS to analyse results and generate important trends.

Important Guidelines On How to Write Dissertation Findings

The dissertation findings chapter should provide the context for understanding the results. The research problem should be repeated and the goals of the research stated briefly.

This approach helps to gain the attention of the reader towards the research problem. The first step towards writing the findings is to identify which results will be presented in this section.

The results that are relevant to the questions must be presented – keeping in mind whether or not the results support the hypothesis. You do not need to include every result in the findings section. The next step is to ensure that the data can be organized in a proper and accurate manner.

You will need to have a basic idea about how to write the findings of a dissertation because this will provide you with the knowledge to arrange the data in a chronological manner.

Start each paragraph by writing about the most important results and concluding the paragraph with the least important results.

A short paragraph can conclude the findings section which provides