How to Write Discussion in Thesis?
You can write the discussion chapter in a thesis and explain the structure of your entire essay. The discussion section in a thesis contains interpretations and explanations of your thesis results. This section explains results in the context of your thesis objectives, sheds more light on implications, and helps writers suggest recommendations.
A discussion section in your thesis helps you support your conclusion and forms a strong basis for future research. Follow the steps in this guide to write a complete, concise, and informative discussion in your thesis.
How to Write Discussion in Thesis
You must follow two steps to write a perfect discussion section in your thesis – drafting and structuring. Let’s see all vital details of each step and how to complete them:
It is almost impossible to write the discussion section in your thesis without first preparing a draft. You can prepare the draft for your discussion with these steps:
- Write an outline clearly stating your argument and how your results support it
- Make your argument stronger by outlining how your results fit in to your thesis
- Look through your literature review for any citation with findings in line with or against your argument; include a citation from such review(s) in your draft
- Highlight all limitations to your research
- Summarize the relevance and implications of findings from your research
- Recommend practical applications of findings from your research
- Suggest further research likely to build on your research findings or solve limitation problems
The draft makes your discussion section easier to form. You can now move to the next phase to complete your thesis.
The structuring phase involves these steps:
- Restate your thesis research question and hypothesis statements from the introduction
- Use your findings to back answers to your thesis question(s)
- Give details about how your findings fit in with current literature
- Identify studies that are in line with your findings or against them. You can either explain possible reasons the study aligns with your findings or stands against them; you can’t use both in one discussion section
- Outline unexpected findings, if any, and elaborate on what may have caused the different results. Your supervisor(s) might request a thorough review of your research method and data to avoid such an entry in your discussion section.
- Identify limitations to the study and how they could have affected the validity of findings you made
- Make a summary of theoretical implications and practical applications of findings made
- Suggest areas where more research could be necessary
How to Make Recommendations Based on Your Discussion Section
You can add recommendations in the discussion section or conclusion part of your thesis. The section should include:
- A complete address of questions related to the thesis that were not answered by your research findings
- Suggestions for a logical progression of the thesis using valid ideas backed by previous studies if necessary
- Suggestion for future work on the thesis based on limitations identified or unanswered questions
Tips to Write a Perfect Discussion Section
Follow these tips to create a stellar discussion section in your thesis:
Your discussion section should ensure consistency by using the same terms and tense in your introduction. Some readers might skip your introduction to the discussion section, so consistency ensures they see all vital details.
Look at discussion sections from older theses and dissertations
Your university’s library should have a collection of old theses completed by former students.
Look through the discussion section of these old works to discover how others structured their thesis. Also use the current school guidelines for thesis writing to ensure you don’t follow an outdated template.
Avoid absolute terms in interpreting your results
Absolute terms in your discussion section are unacceptable and could make you lose important scores during assessment. Here’s a brief list of terms you should not use in presenting your discussion section and appropriate words underneath:
The results prove
The results suggest
These findings show
These findings indicate
The analysis confirms
The analysis points to
A thesis is highly unlikely to prove scientific fact, especially when few researchers with limited resources and experience conduct it. Humility in language is essential to impress your assessors and suggest your findings may not be absolute.
Make no assumptions
Don’t assume that your readers are all professors or academics when you’re putting your discussion section together. Present your data and findings in a simple form to ensure everyone can understand your research with ease.
Use proper formatting for all headings in your thesis
The discussion section in your thesis should be easy to find, so proper formatting is essential. Use structured formatting throughout your thesis to ensure readers can navigate between all sections with ease.
In what tense should I write the discussion section of a thesis?
You should use the present tense to state your interpretation in the discussion section. Reference to earlier studies related to your discussion section should appear in past tense.
Is the discussion section different from the results section of a thesis?
The discussion section is different from your thesis results section. Discussion sections interpret findings and place them in context while results sections only report findings objectively.
Can I merge the discussion and conclusion sections of a thesis together?
No, you cannot merge the discussion section with any other part of a thesis. The discussion section interprets your thesis results and places these findings in line with your reviewed literature.
However, the conclusion section highlights main points in the discussion section and sets a basis to make recommendations.
Writing a correct discussion section guarantees full marks after assessment of your thesis. You need to leverage the information provided above to maximize your discussion section with vital details.
Always remember to avoid using absolute terms to interpret results in your discussion section. Also endeavor to remain consistent with other sections of your thesis, avoid assumptions, and use structured formatting for your headings. Following the right steps ensures your discussion section stays in line with guidelines and guarantees you excellent grades!