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March 21, 2017
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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 reader.  This section of the dissertation should be easy for the reader 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 sense 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 of your dissertation is based on collection of primary data or experimental work. However, it is important to note that 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 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.

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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;

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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;

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.

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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 a summary of the findings so readers will remember as they make the transition to the next chapter. This is an important step if findings are unexpected or unfamiliar or they have an impact on the study.

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Be Impartial in Your Writing

When crafting your findings, it is important to know how you will organize the work. The findings are the story that needs to be told in response to the research questions that have been answered. The story therefore needs to be organized in such a way that it makes sense to you and the reader. The findings must be compelling and responsive so that they can be linked to the research questions being answered. Always ensure that the size and direction of any changes including percentage change can be mentioned in the section. The details of p values or confidence intervals and limits should be included. The findings sections only has the relevant parts of the primary evidence mentioned, but it is a good practice to include all the primary evidence in an appendix which can be referred to at a later stage if need be.   The results should always be written in a neutral manner without any form of speculation or implication. It is important that the statement of the results should not have any form of evaluation or interpretation.

Negative results should be added in the findings section because they validate the results and provide high levels of neutrality. The length of the dissertation findings chapter is an important question that must be addressed. It should be noted that the length of the section is directly related to the total wordcount of your dissertation paper. The writer should use their own personal discretion in deciding the length of the findings section or refer to the dissertation handbook or structure guidelines. It should neither be long nor short, but it should be concise and comprehensive in order to highlight the main findings to the reader.  Ethically, you should be confident in the findings and provide counter-evidence. Anything that does not have sufficient evidence should be discarded. The findings should be a response to the problem presented and provide solution to those questions.

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Structure of the Findings Chapter

The chapter should use appropriate words and phrases that present the results in a clear manner to the readers. Logical sentences should be used while paragraphs should be linked with each other in order to produce a cohesive work. You must make sure all the important results have been added in the section. Recheck after you have completed the section to ensure that no mistakes have been made. The structure of the findings section is something you may have to sure of primarily because it will provide the basis for your research work and help to ensure that the discussions section can be written in a clear and proficient manner. One of the ways to arrange the results is to provide a brief synopsis and then explain the key findings. However, there should be no speculation or explanation of the results as this will be done in the discussion section.

Another way to arrange the section is to present a result and then explain it. This can be done for all the results while the section is concluded with an overall synopsis. This is the preferred method when you are writing longer dissertations. It can be helpful when there are multiple results which are equally significant. A brief conclusion should be written to link all the results and provide the transition to the discussion section. There are numerous data analysis dissertation examples available on the Internet which will help you improve your understanding on how to write the findings of a dissertation. Here is one such example. 

Problems to Avoid When Writing Dissertation Findings

One of the problems to avoid while writing the dissertation findings is to report background information or explaining the findings. This should be done in the introduction section. You can always revise the introduction chapter based on the data you have collected if that seems an appropriate thing to do. Raw data or intermediate calculations should not be added in the findings section. Always ask your professor if raw data needs to be included. If the data is to be included, then use appendix or set of appendices which can be referred to in the text of the findings chapter. Do not use vague or non-specific phrases in the findings section. It is important to be factual and concise for the benefit of the reader.

Conclusion

The findings section presents the important data that was collected during the research process. It should be presented in a concise and clear manner to the reader. There should no interpretation, speculation, and analysis of the data. The major results should be categorized in a systematic manner with text being used in conjunction with charts, figures, and tables. Furthermore, it is important to abstain from using vague and non-specific words in this section. It is important to properly label the tables and visual material. You should also check and proofread the section in order to avoid mistakes.

Dissertation findings chapter is a critical part of your overall dissertation paper. If you are struggling with presenting your results and statistical analysis then our expert dissertation writers can help you get things right. Whether you need help with the full dissertation paper or individual chapters, our dissertation experts can provide customised dissertation support

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