How to Write a Findings or Results Section

It is sometimes acceptable to include a results or findings section as part of the discussion chapter in a dissertation. You should, however, consult your course supervisor for clarification on how your university’s faculty or department wants these chapters to be handled. In any event, you should create two separate sections if both are to be placed in the one chapter. Create a section for your results or findings and another for discussion on what you have found.   

When writing the introduction for this chapter, it is important to say how results or findings are going to be presented. In the first place you should present any statistical information and other results data in a concise manner, and these should be divided into sub-headings provided this is allowed under the rules of your university. And, remember, any existing statistics and other data of lesser importance should be placed in appendices at the end of your paper. 

In your paper you should refer to results of both a positive and a negative nature, but do not interpret these until you reach the next chapter. Put yourself in the place of a barrister who is presenting facts to a jury. Your aim should be to provide enough detail to enable your readers to judge for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions. It is advisable not to be dictatorial in this respect. 

It is advisable to present the most important findings in topic sentences at the start of each new paragraph. Describe the type of results or findings these are, but do not elaborate on their significance or otherwise. Let your readers consider what you have found and develop their own opinions.   

Try not to worry unduly if your findings or results section seems short. Make observations about these by all means, but do not try to interpret or explain them in this part. Leave this task to the discussion section.   

Your aim should be to make your results or findings section as easy as possible for readers to follow. Therefore, avoid the temptation to engage in a long and convoluted discussion with yourself about what your findings mean. Restrict your writing to concise and clearly presented observation. Some would argue that a results or findings section is the easiest part of a dissertation. If any areas prove problematic, consult your course tutor or a statistician from the relevant department at your university.

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