How to Write the Findings of a Dissertation
Published byat August 11th, 2021 , Revised On September 16, 2021
A dissertation has multiple parts which contribute towards its main objectives. The ability to understand each part helps you to write your dissertation proficiently.
Each part of the dissertation is unique, while some general and specific rules must be adhered to. The dissertation’s findings section serves to present the key results of your research without interpreting their meaning.
The goal is to include only the important and relevant findings in this section. The results must be presented in an orderly sequence 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 results’ interpretation.
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 result of analysis are significant. This segment should be written in the past sentence as you describe 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 analyzed 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 the dissertation.
However, you may not be required to have an independent findings chapter if your dissertation is purely descriptive in nature, and focuses on the analysis of cases studies or interpretation of texts.
- Always report the findings of your research in the past tense.
- The dissertation findings chapter varies from one project to another, depending on the amount of data collected and analyzed.
- Avoid reporting results that are not relevant to your research questions or research hypothesis.
Reporting Quantitative Findings
Report the relevant findings for each of the research questions or hypotheses, focusing on how you analyzed them.
Analysis of your findings will help you determine how they related to the different research questions and whether they support the hypothesis you formulated.
Whilst you must highlight meaningful relationships, variances, and tendencies, it is important not to guess 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 dissertation paper’s appendix section.
Use of Figures and Tables in Dissertation Findings
Suppose your dissertation is based on quantitative research. In that case, 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 summarize 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;
There were 217 participants who completed both the pretest and posttest, and a Pairwise T-test was used for the analysis. The quantitative data analysis reveals there is a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pretest and posttest scales scores from the Teachers Discovering Computers course. The pretest mean was 29.00 with a standard deviation of 7.65, while the posttest means was 26.50 with a standard deviation of 9.74 (Table 1). These results yield a significance level of .000, thereby indicating a strong treatment effect (see Table 3). With the correlation between the two scores being .448, the little relationship is seen between the pretest and posttest scores (Table 2). This leads the researcher to conclude that the impact of the course on the educators’ perception and integration of technology into the curriculum is dramatic.
|Mean||N||Std. Deviation||Std. Error Mean|
Paired Samples Correlation
|Pair 1||PRESCORE & PSTSCORE||217||.448||.000|
Paired Samples Test
|Mean||Std. Deviation||Std. Error Mean||95% Confidence Interval of the Difference||t||df||Sig. (2-tailed)|
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 the 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 a brief explanation of findings in relation 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 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 essential trends.
- Use software such as Excel, STATA, SPSS to analyze results and generate essential 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 relevant to the questions must be presented, keeping in mind whether 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 appropriately organized and accurately.
You will need to have a basic idea about writing 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 section with the least important results.
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.
Therefore, the story needs to be organized so that it makes sense to you and the reader. The findings must be compelling and responsive to 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 have the relevant parts of the primary evidence mentioned. Still, it is a good practice to include all the primary evidence in an appendix that can be referred to later if need be.
The results should always be written neutrally without any form of speculation or implication. The statement of the results mustn’t have any form of evaluation or interpretation.
Negative results should be added in the findings section because they validate the results and provide high neutrality levels.
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 word count of your dissertation paper.
The writer should use their discretion in deciding the length of the findings section or refer to the dissertation handbook or structure guidelines.
It should neither belong nor be short, but it should be concise and comprehensive to highlight the reader’s main findings.
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 a solution to those questions.
Structure of the Findings Chapter
The chapter should use appropriate words and phrases that present the results to the readers. Logical sentences should be used while paragraphs should be linked with each other 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 be sure of primarily because it will provide the basis for your research work and ensure that the discussions section can be written clearly and proficiently.
One way 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 more extended dissertations. It can be helpful when there are multiple results that are equally significant. A brief conclusion should be written to link all the results and transition to the discussion section.
There are numerous data analysis dissertation examples available on the Internet, which will help you improve your understanding of writing the dissertation’s findings. 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 an appendix or a set of appendices 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.
The findings section presents the important data that was collected during the research process. It should be presented concisely and clearly to the reader. There should provide no interpretation, speculation, and analysis of the data.
The major results should be categorized systematically with the 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 label the tables and visual material properly. You should also check and proofread the section to avoid mistakes.
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