When you are writing a dissertation/thesis, the data analysis and discussion may be stand-alone chapters or may be combined into a single chapter depending on the guidelines of your university or your personal preferences. Both the two approaches have their advantages. Writing the two chapters as stand-alone chapters enables you to focus first on the results obtained from the research and establish clearly what you encountered in your investigations or experiments without worrying about the implications. However, most people prefer combining the wo into a single chapter since the two chapters are closely related.
The results section outlines what you discovered with regard to your research questions or hypothesis, presented in form of written text, figures, graphs, and tables. The results section contains facts of your study. You will also include a brief comment regarding the significance of main results with the prospect that more generalized comments regarding the results will be provided in the discussion section.
On the other hand, the discussion section should focus on your specific results to previous findings and theory. In this section, you should outline the limitations of your study and also present some of the questions that remain unanswered. The purpose of the discussion section are as outlined below:
- Comments on your results
- Explains what your results mean
- Interprets your results in a wider context; indicates which results were expected or unexpected
- Provides explanations for unexpected results.
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