If you are stuck with your thesis or dissertation discussion chapter, you are in the right place to complete this section successfully. This article will outline our best solutions and methods on how to write the discussion of a dissertation or thesis. We also will share advanced dissertation discussion examples to help you finalize your PhD work.
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What Is a Dissertation Discussion?
First and foremost, students need to have a clear understanding of what dissertation discussion is. This is not the same as your results section, where you share data from your research. You are going deeper into the explanation of the existing data in your thesis or dissertation discussion section. In other words, you illustrate practical implications of your research and how the data can be used, researched further, or limited.
What will make your discussion section of a dissertation excellent:
- clear structure
- practical implication
- elaboration on future work on this topic.
This section should go after research methodology and before the dissertation conclusion. It should be directly relevant to questions posed in your introduction.
The biggest mistake you can make is to rewrite your result chapter with other words and add some limitations and recommendation paragraphs. However, this is an entirely different type of writing you need to complete.
Purpose of a Dissertation Discussion Chapter
A dissertation discussion section is critical to explaining students’ findings and the application of data to real-life cases. As we mentioned before, this section will often be read right after the dissertation methods. It evaluates and elaborates on findings and helps to understand the importance of your performed thesis research.
A dissertation discussion opens a new perspective on further research on the same field or topic. It also outlines critical data to consider in subsequent studies. In a nutshell, this is the section where you explain your work to a broad audience.
Structure of a Dissertation Discussion Section
Let’s start your writing journey of this research part with a clear delineation of what it should include and then briefly discuss each component. Here are some basic things you need to consider for an excellent discussion chapter of dissertation:
- Brief summary It does not mean copying an introduction section. However, the first few paragraphs will make an overview of your findings and topic.
- Interpretations This is a critical component of your work — elaborate on your results and explain possible ways of using them.
- Implication Research work is not just 100+ pages of text. Students should explain and illustrate how it could be used for solving practical problems.
- Constraints This is where you outline your limitations. For instance, your research was done only on students, and it may have different results with elderly people.
- Recommendations You can also define possible ways of future research on the exact topic when writing a discussion for your thesis or dissertation. Tell readers, for example, that it would be helpful to run similar research in other specific circumstances.
How to Write a Dissertation Discussion Chapter?
One of the most commonly asked questions for our experts is how to write the discussion section of a dissertation or thesis. We understand why it can be complicated to get a clear answer. Students often think that this section is similar to the result chapter and just retells it in other words. But it is not so. Let’s go through all steps to writing a discussion in a dissertation, and share our best examples from academic papers.
1. Remind Your Research Questions & Objectives
Writing the discussion chapter of a dissertation is not a big deal if you understand its aim and each component in a text structure. First of all, you need to evaluate how your results help to answer research questions you defined in the beginning. It is not about repeating the result, you did it in previous paragraphs.
However, dissertation or thesis discussion should underline how your findings help to answer the research problem. Start writing from a brief intro by recalling research questions or hypotheses. Then, show how your results answer them or support a hypothesis in your work.
2. Sum Up Key Findings
Next part of your discussion for dissertation is to provide a short summary of previous data. But do not respite the same summary paragraphs from results or introduction of a dissertation. Here researchers should be more thoughtful and go deeper into the work’s aims.
Try to explain in a few sentences what you get from running research. For instance, starters usually write the statement that “our data proves that…” or “survey results illustrate a clear correlation between a and b that is critical for proving our working hypothesis…”.
A discussion chapter of your dissertation is not just a fixation on results but a more profound summary connected to research goals and purpose. Here is an example:
Summary of Findings Example
According to the data, implementing the co-orientation theory was successful and can be used for the same circumstances in the future. As we found, most participants agreed with the importance of those theses on the five fundamental reforms. It means that the results identified a successful government work in choosing the messages to communicate about examined reforms. At the same time, the situation is not so favorable with implementing the principles of two-way symmetrical communications. According to the results, people did not feel that the government had a mutual, open, and equal dialogue with the public about the reforms.
3. Interpret the Results
The most critical part of a discussion section is to explain and enact the results you’ve got. It is the most significant part of any text. Students should be clear about what to include in these paragraphs.
Here is some advice to make this elaboration structured:
- Identify correlations or patterns in the data for dissertation discussion.
- Underline how results can answer research questions or prove your hypothesis.
- Emphasize how your findings are connected to the previous topic studies.
- Point out essential statements you can use in future research.
- Evaluate the significance of your results and any unexpected data you have.
- What others can learn from your research and how this work contributes to the field.
- Consider any possible additional or unique explanation of your findings.
- Go deeper with options of how results can be applied in practice.
Writing a dissertation discussion chapter can be tough, but here is a great sample to learn from.
Example of Interpretations in Disssertation Discussion
Our study underlines the importance of future research on using TikTok for political communication. As discussed above, TikTok is the most commonly used social media platform for many young voters. This means that political discussion will also move to this platform. Our research and typology of political communication content can be used in the future planning of effective political campaigns. For example, we can assume that “play videos” have enormous potential to facilitate complicated topics and provide specific agenda settings. We also identified additional affordances of TikTok used for political communication, such as built-in video editors, playlists for specific topics, a green screen for news explainers, and duets for reflection on news and discussion. It means that these features make TikTok suitable for efficient political communications.
4. Discuss How Your Findings Relate to the Literature
Here we came to the implications of your findings for the dissertation discussion. In other words, this is a few sentences on how your work is connected to other studies on the same research topic or what literature gap you are going to fill with the data and research you launched. Remember to mention how your study address the limitations you have discovered while writing a literature review.
First, outline how your hypothesis relates to theories or previous works in the field. Maybe, you challenged some theories or tried to define your own. Be specific in this section.
Second, define a practical implementation of your work. Maybe, it can support recommendations or change legislation.
Discussion chapter of a thesis is a place where you explain your work, make it valuable, and incorporate additional meaning for some specific data.
Example of Implications in Disssertation Discussion
As we pointed out in the literature review, there are few works on using TikTok affordances for political communications, and this topic can be expanded in the future. Government institutions have already understood the importance of this platform for efficient communication with younger audiences, and we will see more political projects on TikTok. That is why expanding research on using TikTok for political communication will be enormous in the following years. Our work is one of the first research on the role of emerging media in war communication and can be used as a practical guide for government's strategic planning in times of emergencies.
5. Mention Possible Limitations
It is pretty tricky to conduct research without limitations. You will always have some, which does not mean that your work is not good. When you write a discussion chapter in a thesis or dissertation, focus on what may influence your results and how changing independent variables can affect your data collection methods and final outcomes.
Here are some points to consider when you structure your dissertation discussion limitation part:
- If results can change in case you change the reference group?
- What will happen with data if it changes circumstances?
- What could influence results?
Critical thinking and analysis can help you to outline possible limitations. It can be the age of the reference group, change of questionnaire in a survey, or specific use of data extraction equipment. Be transparent about what could affect your results.
Example of Complications
Although this study has provided critical first insights into the effects of multimodal disinformation and rebuttals, there are some limitations. First and most importantly, the effects of multimodal disinformation and rebuttals partially depend on the topic of the message. Although fact-checkers reduce credibility of disinformation in both settings, and attitudinal congruence plays a consistent role in conditioning responses to multimodal disinformation, visuals do not have the same impact on affecting the credibility of news on school shootings and refugees.
6. Provide Recommendations for Further Research
Writing a dissertation discussion also makes a connection to possible future research. So, other scientists may complete that. While elaborating on possible implementations of your study, you may also estimate future approaches in topic research.
Here are some points to consider while your discussion in thesis writing:
- Outline questions related to your topic that you did not answer in defined study or did not outline as research questions. There are other possible gaps to research.
- Suggest future research based on limitations. For example, if you define surveyed people’s age as a limitation, recommend running another survey for older or younger recipients.
Example of Recommendations
As we mentioned before, our study has some limitations, as the research was conducted based on data from United State citizens. However, for a better understanding of government communication practices, it would be productive to implement the same research in other countries. Some cultural differences can influence the communication strategies the government uses in times of emergency. Another possible way to examine this topic is to conduct research using a specific period of time. For future studies, it will be beneficial to expand the number of survey recipients.
7. Conclude Your Thesis/ Dissertation Discussion
You are almost done, the last step is to provide a brief summary of a section. It is not the same as a conclusion for whole research. However, you need to briefly outline key points from the dissertation discussion.
To finalize writing the discussion section of a dissertation, go through the text and check if there is no unimportant information. Do not overload the text with relevant data you did not present in the result section. Be specific in your summary paragraphs. It is a holistic view of everything you pointed out. Provide a few sentences to systemize all you outlined in the text.
Example of a Concluding Summary in a Dissertation Discussion Section
To summarize, Airbnb has expertise in communicating CSR and CSA campaigns. We defined their communication strategy about the program for Ukrainian refugees as quite successful. They applied all the principles of CSR communication best practices, used dialogic theory to engage with the public on social media, and created clear messaging on applying for the program. Airbnb examples of CSR communication can be used by other businesses to create a communication strategy for unplanned CSR campaigns. Moreover, it can be further researched how Airbnb's CSR campaign influenced the organizational reputation in the future.
Dissertation Discussion Example
If we need to share one piece of practical advice, it would be to use thesis or dissertation discussion examples when writing your own copy. StudyCrumb provides the best samples from real students' work to help you understand the stylistic and possible structure of this part. It does not mean you need to copy and paste them into your work.
However, you can use a dissertation discussion example for inspiration and brainstorming ideas for breaking writing blocks. Here’s a doctoral thesis discussion chapter example.
Dissertation Discussion Writing Tips
Before reading this blog, you should already know how to write a thesis discussion. However, we would share some essential tips you need to have in mind while working on the document.
- Be consistent Your dissertation discussion chapter is a part of bigger research, and it should be in line with your whole work.
- Understand your reader You are writing an academic text that will be analyzed by professionals and experts in the same field. Be sure that you are not trying to simplify your discussion.
- Be logical Do not jump into a new line of discussion if you did not delineate it as a research question at the beginning.
- Be clear Do not include any data that was not presented in the result section.
- Consider word choice Use such terms as “our data indicate…” or “our data suggests…” instead of “the data proves.”
- Use proper format Follow the formatting rules specified by a specific paper style (e.g., APA style format, MLA format, or Chicago format) or provided by your instructor.
Bottom Line on Writing a Dissertation Discussion Chapter
At this stage, it should not be a question for you on how to write a discussion chapter in a PhD thesis or dissertation. Let’s make it clear. It is not a result section but still a place to elaborate on data and go deeper with explanations. Dissertation discussion section includes some intro, result interpretations, limitations, and recommendations for future research. Our team encourages you to use examples before starting your own piece of writing. It will help you to realize the purpose and structure of this chapter and inspire better texts!
If you have other questions regarding the PhD writing process, check our blog for more insights. From detailed instruction on how to write a dissertation or guide on formatting a dissertation appendix, we’ve got you covered.
FAQ About Dissertation Discussion Chapter
1. Where does a discussion section go in a dissertation?
Dissertation discussion section is used to go right after the result chapter. The logic is simple — you share your data and then go to the elaboration and explanation of it. Check the sample thesis we provide to students for details on structure.
2. How long should a dissertation discussion chapter be?
It is not a surprise that dissertation discussion chapter is extremely significant for the research. Here you will go into the details of your study and interpret results to prove or not your hypothesis. It should take almost 25% of your work.
3. What tense should I use in a dissertation discussion?
Thesis or dissertation discussion used to have some rules on using tenses. You need to use the present tense when referring to established facts and use the past tense when referring to previous studies. And check your text before submission to ensure that you did not miss something.
4. What not to include in a dissertation discussion section?
The answer is easy. Discussion section of a dissertation should not include any new findings or describe some unsupported claims. Also, do not try to feel all possible gaps with one research. It may be better to outline your ideas for future studies in recommendations.