Results Chapter for a Dissertation
How to Write the Results or Findings Chapter for a Dissertation
The results or findings chapter for a dissertation is sometimes incorporated into the discussion chapter. It is best to double-check with your course supervisor or professor to establish what your university or faculty’s rules are in respect of these two chapters. In any case, even if these can be combined into one chapter, they should be separated into two different sections. One section should be dedicated to outlining your results or findings and the other section to discussing these results or findings.
When writing the introduction paragraph of a results section, it is important to say how your results or findings are going to be presented. Firstly, statistical information and other data should be presented in a concise manner and preferably under sub-headings unless your professor or university forbids this. Bear in mind that any already-published statistics and other information that is not hugely important should be placed in Appendices at the end of your paper.
When presenting results, it is important to mention both the positive and the negative aspects of these, but leave any interpretation aside until you get to the next chapter or section. Imagine you are a barrister putting your case to a jury. Therefore, what you need to do is present enough details to your readers so that they can develop their own opinions and arrive at their own conclusions. Try not to dictate.
All important findings should be set out in the form of a topic sentence at the start of each new paragraph. Describe your results or findings in terms of their nature, but resist pointing to their significance or lack of significance. Let your readers make up their own minds on what you have found.
You need not feel worried if your findings or results section seems short. While it is permissible to make various observations on your discoveries, do not try to offer any interpretations in this part. Leave interpretations to the discussion chapter.
It is important that the results or findings section of a dissertation is easy to follow for your readers, so avoid the temptation to enter into a long debate regarding your findings and what they mean. Confine yourself to mere observations and make sure these are concise and clear. Arguably, this part of a dissertation is the easiest one to write. Should you run into any problems, talk to your tutor or a statistician from another department about your concerns.