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How to Write an Impressive Thesis Results Section

writing thesis results

After collecting and analyzing your research data, it’s time to write the results section. This article explains how to write and organize the thesis results section, the differences in reporting qualitative and quantitative data, the differences in the thesis results section across different fields, and the best practices for tables and figures.

What is the thesis results section?

The thesis results section factually and concisely describes what was observed and measured during the study but does not interpret the findings. It presents the findings in a logical order.

What should the thesis results section include?

  • Include all relevant results as text, tables, or figures
  • Report the results of subject recruitment and data collection
  • For qualitative research, present the data from all statistical analyses, whether or not the results are significant
  • For quantitative research, present the data by coding or categorizing themes and topics
  • Present all secondary findings (e.g., subgroup analyses)
  • Include all results, even if they do not fit in with your assumptions or support your hypothesis

What should the thesis results section not include?

  • If the study involves the thematic analysis of an interview, don’t include complete transcripts of all interviews. Instead, add these as appendices
  • Don’t present raw data. These may be included in appendices
  • Don’t include background information (this should be in the introduction section )
  • Don’t speculate on the meaning of results that do not support your hypothesis. This will be addressed later in the discussion and conclusion sections.
  • Don’t repeat results that have been presented in tables and figures. Only highlight the pertinent points or elaborate on specific aspects

How should the thesis results section be organized?

The opening paragraph of the thesis results section should briefly restate the thesis question. Then, present the results objectively as text, figures, or tables.

Quantitative research presents the results from experiments and  statistical tests , usually in the form of tables and figures (graphs, diagrams, and images), with any pertinent findings emphasized in the text. The results are structured around the thesis question. Demographic data are usually presented first in this section.

For each statistical test used, the following information must be mentioned:

  • The type of analysis used (e.g., Mann–Whitney U test or multiple regression analysis)
  • A concise summary of each result, including  descriptive statistics   (e.g., means, medians, and modes) and  inferential statistics   (e.g., correlation, regression, and  p  values) and whether the results are significant
  • Any trends or differences identified through comparisons
  • How the findings relate to your research and if they support or contradict your hypothesis

Qualitative research   presents results around key themes or topics identified from your data analysis and explains how these themes evolved. The data are usually presented as text because it is hard to present the findings as figures.

For each theme presented, describe:

  • General trends or patterns observed
  • Significant or representative responses
  • Relevant quotations from your study subjects

Relevant characteristics about your study subjects

Differences among the results section in different fields of research

Nevertheless, results should be presented logically across all disciplines and reflect the thesis question and any hypotheses that were tested.

The presentation of results varies considerably across disciplines. For example, a thesis documenting how a particular population interprets a specific event and a thesis investigating customer service may both have collected data using interviews and analyzed it using similar methods. Still, the presentation of the results will vastly differ because they are answering different thesis questions. A science thesis may have used experiments to generate data, and these would be presented differently again, probably involving statistics. Nevertheless, results should be presented logically across all disciplines and reflect the thesis question and any  hypotheses that were tested.

Differences between reporting thesis results in the Sciences and the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) domains

In the Sciences domain (qualitative and experimental research), the results and discussion sections are considered separate entities, and the results from experiments and statistical tests are presented. In the HSS domain (qualitative research), the results and discussion sections may be combined.

There are two approaches to presenting results in the HSS field:

  • If you want to highlight important findings, first present a synopsis of the results and then explain the key findings.
  • If you have multiple results of equal significance, present one result and explain it. Then present another result and explain that, and so on. Conclude with an overall synopsis.

Best practices for using tables and figures

The use of figures and tables is highly encouraged because they provide a standalone overview of the research findings that are much easier to understand than wading through dry text mentioning one result after another. The text in the results section should not repeat the information presented in figures and tables. Instead, it should focus on the pertinent findings or elaborate on specific points.

Some popular software programs that can be used for the analysis and presentation of statistical data include  Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS ) ,  R software ,  MATLAB , Microsoft Excel,  Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) ,  GraphPad Prism , and  Minitab .

The easiest way to construct tables is to use the  Table function in Microsoft Word . Microsoft Excel can also be used; however, Word is the easier option.

General guidelines for figures and tables

  • Figures and tables must be interpretable independent from the text
  • Number tables and figures consecutively (in separate lists) in the order in which they are mentioned in the text
  • All tables and figures must be cited in the text
  • Provide clear, descriptive titles for all figures and tables
  • Include a legend to concisely describe what is presented in the figure or table

Figure guidelines

  • Label figures so that the reader can easily understand what is being shown
  • Use a consistent font type and font size for all labels in figure panels
  • All abbreviations used in the figure artwork should be defined in the figure legend

Table guidelines

  • All table columns should have a heading abbreviation used in tables should be defined in the table footnotes
  • All numbers and text presented in tables must correlate with the data presented in the manuscript body

Quantitative results example : Figure 3 presents the characteristics of unemployed subjects and their rate of criminal convictions. A statistically significant association was observed between unemployed people <20 years old, the male sex, and no household income.

writing thesis results

Qualitative results example: Table 5 shows the themes identified during the face-to-face interviews about the application that we developed to anonymously report corruption in the workplace. There was positive feedback on the app layout and ease of use. Concerns that emerged from the interviews included breaches of confidentiality and the inability to report incidents because of unstable cellphone network coverage.

Table 5. Themes and selected quotes from the evaluation of our app designed to anonymously report workplace corruption.

Tips for writing the thesis results section

  • Do not state that a difference was present between the two groups unless this can be supported by a significant  p-value .
  • Present the findings only . Do not comment or speculate on their interpretation.
  • Every result included  must have a corresponding method in the methods section. Conversely, all methods  must have associated results presented in the results section.
  • Do not explain commonly used methods. Instead, cite a reference.
  • Be consistent with the units of measurement used in your thesis study. If you start with kg, then use the same unit all throughout your thesis. Also, be consistent with the capitalization of units of measurement. For example, use either “ml” or “mL” for milliliters, but not both.
  • Never manipulate measurement outcomes, even if the result is unexpected. Remain objective.

Results vs. discussion vs. conclusion

Results are presented in three sections of your thesis: the results, discussion, and conclusion.

  • In the results section, the data are presented simply and objectively. No speculation or interpretation is given.
  • In the discussion section, the meaning of the results is interpreted and put into context (e.g., compared with other findings in the literature ), and its importance is assigned.
  • In the conclusion section, the results and the main conclusions are summarized.

A thesis is the most crucial document that you will write during your academic studies. For professional thesis editing and thesis proofreading services , visit Enago Thesis Editing for more information.

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Review Checklist

Have you  completed all data collection procedures and analyzed all results ?

Have you  included all results relevant to your thesis question, even if they do not support your hypothesis?

Have you reported the results  objectively , with no interpretation or speculation?

For quantitative research, have you included both  descriptive and  inferential statistical results and stated whether they support or contradict your hypothesis?

Have you used  tables and figures to present all results?

In your thesis body, have you presented only the pertinent results and elaborated on specific aspects that were presented in the tables and figures?

Are all tables and figures  correctly labeled and cited in numerical order in the text?

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  • How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples

How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples

Published on 27 October 2016 by Bas Swaen . Revised on 25 October 2022 by Tegan George.

A results section is where you report the main findings of the data collection and analysis you conducted for your thesis or dissertation . You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order. Don’t include subjective interpretations of why you found these results or what they mean – any evaluation should be saved for the discussion section .

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Table of contents

How to write a results section, reporting quantitative research results, reporting qualitative research results, results vs discussion vs conclusion, checklist: research results, frequently asked questions about results sections.

When conducting research, it’s important to report the results of your study prior to discussing your interpretations of it. This gives your reader a clear idea of exactly what you found and keeps the data itself separate from your subjective analysis.

Here are a few best practices:

  • Your results should always be written in the past tense.
  • While the length of this section depends on how much data you collected and analysed, it should be written as concisely as possible.
  • Only include results that are directly relevant to answering your research questions . Avoid speculative or interpretative words like ‘appears’ or ‘implies’.
  • If you have other results you’d like to include, consider adding them to an appendix or footnotes.
  • Always start out with your broadest results first, and then flow into your more granular (but still relevant) ones. Think of it like a shoe shop: first discuss the shoes as a whole, then the trainers, boots, sandals, etc.

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

If you conducted quantitative research , you’ll likely be working with the results of some sort of statistical analysis .

Your results section should report the results of any statistical tests you used to compare groups or assess relationships between variables . It should also state whether or not each hypothesis was supported.

The most logical way to structure quantitative results is to frame them around your research questions or hypotheses. For each question or hypothesis, share:

  • A reminder of the type of analysis you used (e.g., a two-sample t test or simple linear regression ). A more detailed description of your analysis should go in your methodology section.
  • A concise summary of each relevant result, both positive and negative. This can include any relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., means and standard deviations ) as well as inferential statistics (e.g., t scores, degrees of freedom , and p values ). Remember, these numbers are often placed in parentheses.
  • A brief statement of how each result relates to the question, or whether the hypothesis was supported. You can briefly mention any results that didn’t fit with your expectations and assumptions, but save any speculation on their meaning or consequences for your discussion  and conclusion.

A note on tables and figures

In quantitative research, it’s often helpful to include visual elements such as graphs, charts, and tables , but only if they are directly relevant to your results. Give these elements clear, descriptive titles and labels so that your reader can easily understand what is being shown. If you want to include any other visual elements that are more tangential in nature, consider adding a figure and table list .

As a rule of thumb:

  • Tables are used to communicate exact values, giving a concise overview of various results
  • Graphs and charts are used to visualise trends and relationships, giving an at-a-glance illustration of key findings

Don’t forget to also mention any tables and figures you used within the text of your results section. Summarise or elaborate on specific aspects you think your reader should know about rather than merely restating the same numbers already shown.

Example of using figures in the results section

Figure 1: Intention to donate to environmental organisations based on social distance from impact of environmental damage.

In qualitative research , your results might not all be directly related to specific hypotheses. In this case, you can structure your results section around key themes or topics that emerged from your analysis of the data.

For each theme, start with general observations about what the data showed. You can mention:

  • Recurring points of agreement or disagreement
  • Patterns and trends
  • Particularly significant snippets from individual responses

Next, clarify and support these points with direct quotations. Be sure to report any relevant demographic information about participants. Further information (such as full transcripts , if appropriate) can be included in an appendix .

‘I think that in role-playing games, there’s more attention to character design, to world design, because the whole story is important and more attention is paid to certain game elements […] so that perhaps you do need bigger teams of creative experts than in an average shooter or something.’

Responses suggest that video game consumers consider some types of games to have more artistic potential than others.

Your results section should objectively report your findings, presenting only brief observations in relation to each question, hypothesis, or theme.

It should not  speculate about the meaning of the results or attempt to answer your main research question . Detailed interpretation of your results is more suitable for your discussion section , while synthesis of your results into an overall answer to your main research question is best left for your conclusion .

I have completed my data collection and analyzed the results.

I have included all results that are relevant to my research questions.

I have concisely and objectively reported each result, including relevant descriptive statistics and inferential statistics .

I have stated whether each hypothesis was supported or refuted.

I have used tables and figures to illustrate my results where appropriate.

All tables and figures are correctly labelled and referred to in the text.

There is no subjective interpretation or speculation on the meaning of the results.

You've finished writing up your results! Use the other checklists to further improve your thesis.

The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.

In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:

  • The type of analysis used
  • Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported

In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:

  • Recurring patterns
  • Significant or representative individual responses
  • Relevant quotations from the data

Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.

Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

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How To Write The Results/Findings Chapter

For quantitative studies (dissertations & theses).

By: Derek Jansen (MBA). Expert Reviewed By: Kerryn Warren (PhD) | July 2021

So, you’ve completed your quantitative data analysis and it’s time to report on your findings. But where do you start? In this post, we’ll walk you through the results chapter (also called the findings or analysis chapter), step by step, so that you can craft this section of your dissertation or thesis with confidence. If you’re looking for information regarding the results chapter for qualitative studies, you can find that here .

The results & analysis section in a dissertation

Overview: Quantitative Results Chapter

  • What exactly the results/findings/analysis chapter is
  • What you need to include in your results chapter
  • How to structure your results chapter
  • A few tips and tricks for writing top-notch chapter

What exactly is the results chapter?

The results chapter (also referred to as the findings or analysis chapter) is one of the most important chapters of your dissertation or thesis because it shows the reader what you’ve found in terms of the quantitative data you’ve collected. It presents the data using a clear text narrative, supported by tables, graphs and charts. In doing so, it also highlights any potential issues (such as outliers or unusual findings) you’ve come across.

But how’s that different from the discussion chapter?

Well, in the results chapter, you only present your statistical findings. Only the numbers, so to speak – no more, no less. Contrasted to this, in the discussion chapter , you interpret your findings and link them to prior research (i.e. your literature review), as well as your research objectives and research questions . In other words, the results chapter presents and describes the data, while the discussion chapter interprets the data.

Let’s look at an example.

In your results chapter, you may have a plot that shows how respondents to a survey  responded: the numbers of respondents per category, for instance. You may also state whether this supports a hypothesis by using a p-value from a statistical test. But it is only in the discussion chapter where you will say why this is relevant or how it compares with the literature or the broader picture. So, in your results chapter, make sure that you don’t present anything other than the hard facts – this is not the place for subjectivity.

It’s worth mentioning that some universities prefer you to combine the results and discussion chapters. Even so, it is good practice to separate the results and discussion elements within the chapter, as this ensures your findings are fully described. Typically, though, the results and discussion chapters are split up in quantitative studies. If you’re unsure, chat with your research supervisor or chair to find out what their preference is.

The results and discussion chapter are typically split

What should you include in the results chapter?

Following your analysis, it’s likely you’ll have far more data than are necessary to include in your chapter. In all likelihood, you’ll have a mountain of SPSS or R output data, and it’s your job to decide what’s most relevant. You’ll need to cut through the noise and focus on the data that matters.

This doesn’t mean that those analyses were a waste of time – on the contrary, those analyses ensure that you have a good understanding of your dataset and how to interpret it. However, that doesn’t mean your reader or examiner needs to see the 165 histograms you created! Relevance is key.

How do I decide what’s relevant?

At this point, it can be difficult to strike a balance between what is and isn’t important. But the most important thing is to ensure your results reflect and align with the purpose of your study .  So, you need to revisit your research aims, objectives and research questions and use these as a litmus test for relevance. Make sure that you refer back to these constantly when writing up your chapter so that you stay on track.

There must be alignment between your research aims objectives and questions

As a general guide, your results chapter will typically include the following:

  • Some demographic data about your sample
  • Reliability tests (if you used measurement scales)
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics (if your research objectives and questions require these)
  • Hypothesis tests (again, if your research objectives and questions require these)

We’ll discuss each of these points in more detail in the next section.

Importantly, your results chapter needs to lay the foundation for your discussion chapter . This means that, in your results chapter, you need to include all the data that you will use as the basis for your interpretation in the discussion chapter.

For example, if you plan to highlight the strong relationship between Variable X and Variable Y in your discussion chapter, you need to present the respective analysis in your results chapter – perhaps a correlation or regression analysis.

Need a helping hand?

writing thesis results

How do I write the results chapter?

There are multiple steps involved in writing up the results chapter for your quantitative research. The exact number of steps applicable to you will vary from study to study and will depend on the nature of the research aims, objectives and research questions . However, we’ll outline the generic steps below.

Step 1 – Revisit your research questions

The first step in writing your results chapter is to revisit your research objectives and research questions . These will be (or at least, should be!) the driving force behind your results and discussion chapters, so you need to review them and then ask yourself which statistical analyses and tests (from your mountain of data) would specifically help you address these . For each research objective and research question, list the specific piece (or pieces) of analysis that address it.

At this stage, it’s also useful to think about the key points that you want to raise in your discussion chapter and note these down so that you have a clear reminder of which data points and analyses you want to highlight in the results chapter. Again, list your points and then list the specific piece of analysis that addresses each point. 

Next, you should draw up a rough outline of how you plan to structure your chapter . Which analyses and statistical tests will you present and in what order? We’ll discuss the “standard structure” in more detail later, but it’s worth mentioning now that it’s always useful to draw up a rough outline before you start writing (this advice applies to any chapter).

Step 2 – Craft an overview introduction

As with all chapters in your dissertation or thesis, you should start your quantitative results chapter by providing a brief overview of what you’ll do in the chapter and why . For example, you’d explain that you will start by presenting demographic data to understand the representativeness of the sample, before moving onto X, Y and Z.

This section shouldn’t be lengthy – a paragraph or two maximum. Also, it’s a good idea to weave the research questions into this section so that there’s a golden thread that runs through the document.

Your chapter must have a golden thread

Step 3 – Present the sample demographic data

The first set of data that you’ll present is an overview of the sample demographics – in other words, the demographics of your respondents.

For example:

  • What age range are they?
  • How is gender distributed?
  • How is ethnicity distributed?
  • What areas do the participants live in?

The purpose of this is to assess how representative the sample is of the broader population. This is important for the sake of the generalisability of the results. If your sample is not representative of the population, you will not be able to generalise your findings. This is not necessarily the end of the world, but it is a limitation you’ll need to acknowledge.

Of course, to make this representativeness assessment, you’ll need to have a clear view of the demographics of the population. So, make sure that you design your survey to capture the correct demographic information that you will compare your sample to.

But what if I’m not interested in generalisability?

Well, even if your purpose is not necessarily to extrapolate your findings to the broader population, understanding your sample will allow you to interpret your findings appropriately, considering who responded. In other words, it will help you contextualise your findings . For example, if 80% of your sample was aged over 65, this may be a significant contextual factor to consider when interpreting the data. Therefore, it’s important to understand and present the demographic data.

Communicate the data

 Step 4 – Review composite measures and the data “shape”.

Before you undertake any statistical analysis, you’ll need to do some checks to ensure that your data are suitable for the analysis methods and techniques you plan to use. If you try to analyse data that doesn’t meet the assumptions of a specific statistical technique, your results will be largely meaningless. Therefore, you may need to show that the methods and techniques you’ll use are “allowed”.

Most commonly, there are two areas you need to pay attention to:

#1: Composite measures

The first is when you have multiple scale-based measures that combine to capture one construct – this is called a composite measure .  For example, you may have four Likert scale-based measures that (should) all measure the same thing, but in different ways. In other words, in a survey, these four scales should all receive similar ratings. This is called “ internal consistency ”.

Internal consistency is not guaranteed though (especially if you developed the measures yourself), so you need to assess the reliability of each composite measure using a test. Typically, Cronbach’s Alpha is a common test used to assess internal consistency – i.e., to show that the items you’re combining are more or less saying the same thing. A high alpha score means that your measure is internally consistent. A low alpha score means you may need to consider scrapping one or more of the measures.

#2: Data shape

The second matter that you should address early on in your results chapter is data shape. In other words, you need to assess whether the data in your set are symmetrical (i.e. normally distributed) or not, as this will directly impact what type of analyses you can use. For many common inferential tests such as T-tests or ANOVAs (we’ll discuss these a bit later), your data needs to be normally distributed. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust your strategy and use alternative tests.

To assess the shape of the data, you’ll usually assess a variety of descriptive statistics (such as the mean, median and skewness), which is what we’ll look at next.

Descriptive statistics

Step 5 – Present the descriptive statistics

Now that you’ve laid the foundation by discussing the representativeness of your sample, as well as the reliability of your measures and the shape of your data, you can get started with the actual statistical analysis. The first step is to present the descriptive statistics for your variables.

For scaled data, this usually includes statistics such as:

  • The mean – this is simply the mathematical average of a range of numbers.
  • The median – this is the midpoint in a range of numbers when the numbers are arranged in order.
  • The mode – this is the most commonly repeated number in the data set.
  • Standard deviation – this metric indicates how dispersed a range of numbers is. In other words, how close all the numbers are to the mean (the average).
  • Skewness – this indicates how symmetrical a range of numbers is. In other words, do they tend to cluster into a smooth bell curve shape in the middle of the graph (this is called a normal or parametric distribution), or do they lean to the left or right (this is called a non-normal or non-parametric distribution).
  • Kurtosis – this metric indicates whether the data are heavily or lightly-tailed, relative to the normal distribution. In other words, how peaked or flat the distribution is.

A large table that indicates all the above for multiple variables can be a very effective way to present your data economically. You can also use colour coding to help make the data more easily digestible.

For categorical data, where you show the percentage of people who chose or fit into a category, for instance, you can either just plain describe the percentages or numbers of people who responded to something or use graphs and charts (such as bar graphs and pie charts) to present your data in this section of the chapter.

When using figures, make sure that you label them simply and clearly , so that your reader can easily understand them. There’s nothing more frustrating than a graph that’s missing axis labels! Keep in mind that although you’ll be presenting charts and graphs, your text content needs to present a clear narrative that can stand on its own. In other words, don’t rely purely on your figures and tables to convey your key points: highlight the crucial trends and values in the text. Figures and tables should complement the writing, not carry it .

Depending on your research aims, objectives and research questions, you may stop your analysis at this point (i.e. descriptive statistics). However, if your study requires inferential statistics, then it’s time to deep dive into those .

Dive into the inferential statistics

Step 6 – Present the inferential statistics

Inferential statistics are used to make generalisations about a population , whereas descriptive statistics focus purely on the sample . Inferential statistical techniques, broadly speaking, can be broken down into two groups .

First, there are those that compare measurements between groups , such as t-tests (which measure differences between two groups) and ANOVAs (which measure differences between multiple groups). Second, there are techniques that assess the relationships between variables , such as correlation analysis and regression analysis. Within each of these, some tests can be used for normally distributed (parametric) data and some tests are designed specifically for use on non-parametric data.

There are a seemingly endless number of tests that you can use to crunch your data, so it’s easy to run down a rabbit hole and end up with piles of test data. Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure that you adopt the tests and techniques that allow you to achieve your research objectives and answer your research questions .

In this section of the results chapter, you should try to make use of figures and visual components as effectively as possible. For example, if you present a correlation table, use colour coding to highlight the significance of the correlation values, or scatterplots to visually demonstrate what the trend is. The easier you make it for your reader to digest your findings, the more effectively you’ll be able to make your arguments in the next chapter.

make it easy for your reader to understand your quantitative results

Step 7 – Test your hypotheses

If your study requires it, the next stage is hypothesis testing. A hypothesis is a statement , often indicating a difference between groups or relationship between variables, that can be supported or rejected by a statistical test. However, not all studies will involve hypotheses (again, it depends on the research objectives), so don’t feel like you “must” present and test hypotheses just because you’re undertaking quantitative research.

The basic process for hypothesis testing is as follows:

  • Specify your null hypothesis (for example, “The chemical psilocybin has no effect on time perception).
  • Specify your alternative hypothesis (e.g., “The chemical psilocybin has an effect on time perception)
  • Set your significance level (this is usually 0.05)
  • Calculate your statistics and find your p-value (e.g., p=0.01)
  • Draw your conclusions (e.g., “The chemical psilocybin does have an effect on time perception”)

Finally, if the aim of your study is to develop and test a conceptual framework , this is the time to present it, following the testing of your hypotheses. While you don’t need to develop or discuss these findings further in the results chapter, indicating whether the tests (and their p-values) support or reject the hypotheses is crucial.

Step 8 – Provide a chapter summary

To wrap up your results chapter and transition to the discussion chapter, you should provide a brief summary of the key findings . “Brief” is the keyword here – much like the chapter introduction, this shouldn’t be lengthy – a paragraph or two maximum. Highlight the findings most relevant to your research objectives and research questions, and wrap it up.

Some final thoughts, tips and tricks

Now that you’ve got the essentials down, here are a few tips and tricks to make your quantitative results chapter shine:

  • When writing your results chapter, report your findings in the past tense . You’re talking about what you’ve found in your data, not what you are currently looking for or trying to find.
  • Structure your results chapter systematically and sequentially . If you had two experiments where findings from the one generated inputs into the other, report on them in order.
  • Make your own tables and graphs rather than copying and pasting them from statistical analysis programmes like SPSS. Check out the DataIsBeautiful reddit for some inspiration.
  • Once you’re done writing, review your work to make sure that you have provided enough information to answer your research questions , but also that you didn’t include superfluous information.

If you’ve got any questions about writing up the quantitative results chapter, please leave a comment below. If you’d like 1-on-1 assistance with your quantitative analysis and discussion, check out our hands-on coaching service , or book a free consultation with a friendly coach.

writing thesis results

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This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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How to write the results chapter in a qualitative thesis

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Writing up results

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The results section in an empirical thesis describes your findings that can be used to answer your research question, or confirm, partially confirm, or disprove your hypotheses. It functions as a stepping-stone to the discussion and may be combined with your discussion section, or have elements of discussion included.

In the results section, you present your findings in figures (graphs and diagrams), tables and written text. Figures and tables present the complete findings in numerical, visual or graphical terms, while the written text helps the reader to focus on the most important aspects of the results and to interpret them.

Generally, there are four stages to a results section.

  • Background information so that the reader can place your results in the context of other research.
  • Tables and/or figures presenting your results. These are located and identified through numbers (for example, ‘Table 1’) and captions.
  • Text accompanying and referring to the tables or figures, describing the aspects of the results you are focusing on.
  • Comments on the results. For example, generalisations arising from the results, explanations of possible reasons for the results or a comparison of the results with other studies.

Sometimes results can be presented together, with an accompanying general comment. Other times each result requires its own comment.

As well as presenting your findings, the results section forms a basis for the discussion. The discussion is a set of arguments about the relevance, usefulness and possibilities or limitations of your findings. In the discussion you may have to explain the significance of your research, explain unexpected outcomes, refer to previous research, give examples, relate your results to your hypothesis, and make recommendations.

Not all of the elements above are included in all theses – there is considerable variation among different disciplines, particularly in the humanities.

This material was developed by the Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning), which offers workshops, face-to-face consultations and resources to support your learning. Find out more about how they can help you develop your communication, research and study skills .

See our handout on Writing a thesis proposal (pdf, 341KB) .

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Writing your Dissertation:  Results and Discussion

When writing a dissertation or thesis, the results and discussion sections can be both the most interesting as well as the most challenging sections to write.

You may choose to write these sections separately, or combine them into a single chapter, depending on your university’s guidelines and your own preferences.

There are advantages to both approaches.

Writing the results and discussion as separate sections allows you to focus first on what results you obtained and set out clearly what happened in your experiments and/or investigations without worrying about their implications.This can focus your mind on what the results actually show and help you to sort them in your head.

However, many people find it easier to combine the results with their implications as the two are closely connected.

Check your university’s requirements carefully before combining the results and discussions sections as some specify that they must be kept separate.

Results Section

The Results section should set out your key experimental results, including any statistical analysis and whether or not the results of these are significant.

You should cover any literature supporting your interpretation of significance. It does not have to include everything you did, particularly for a doctorate dissertation. However, for an undergraduate or master's thesis, you will probably find that you need to include most of your work.

You should write your results section in the past tense: you are describing what you have done in the past.

Every result included MUST have a method set out in the methods section. Check back to make sure that you have included all the relevant methods.

Conversely, every method should also have some results given so, if you choose to exclude certain experiments from the results, make sure that you remove mention of the method as well.

If you are unsure whether to include certain results, go back to your research questions and decide whether the results are relevant to them. It doesn’t matter whether they are supportive or not, it’s about relevance. If they are relevant, you should include them.

Having decided what to include, next decide what order to use. You could choose chronological, which should follow the methods, or in order from most to least important in the answering of your research questions, or by research question and/or hypothesis.

You also need to consider how best to present your results: tables, figures, graphs, or text. Try to use a variety of different methods of presentation, and consider your reader: 20 pages of dense tables are hard to understand, as are five pages of graphs, but a single table and well-chosen graph that illustrate your overall findings will make things much clearer.

Make sure that each table and figure has a number and a title. Number tables and figures in separate lists, but consecutively by the order in which you mention them in the text. If you have more than about two or three, it’s often helpful to provide lists of tables and figures alongside the table of contents at the start of your dissertation.

Summarise your results in the text, drawing on the figures and tables to illustrate your points.

The text and figures should be complementary, not repeat the same information. You should refer to every table or figure in the text. Any that you don’t feel the need to refer to can safely be moved to an appendix, or even removed.

Make sure that you including information about the size and direction of any changes, including percentage change if appropriate. Statistical tests should include details of p values or confidence intervals and limits.

While you don’t need to include all your primary evidence in this section, you should as a matter of good practice make it available in an appendix, to which you should refer at the relevant point.

For example:

Details of all the interview participants can be found in Appendix A, with transcripts of each interview in Appendix B.

You will, almost inevitably, find that you need to include some slight discussion of your results during this section. This discussion should evaluate the quality of the results and their reliability, but not stray too far into discussion of how far your results support your hypothesis and/or answer your research questions, as that is for the discussion section.

See our pages: Analysing Qualitative Data and Simple Statistical Analysis for more information on analysing your results.

Discussion Section

This section has four purposes, it should:

  • Interpret and explain your results
  • Answer your research question
  • Justify your approach
  • Critically evaluate your study

The discussion section therefore needs to review your findings in the context of the literature and the existing knowledge about the subject.

You also need to demonstrate that you understand the limitations of your research and the implications of your findings for policy and practice. This section should be written in the present tense.

The Discussion section needs to follow from your results and relate back to your literature review . Make sure that everything you discuss is covered in the results section.

Some universities require a separate section on recommendations for policy and practice and/or for future research, while others allow you to include this in your discussion, so check the guidelines carefully.

Starting the Task

Most people are likely to write this section best by preparing an outline, setting out the broad thrust of the argument, and how your results support it.

You may find techniques like mind mapping are helpful in making a first outline; check out our page: Creative Thinking for some ideas about how to think through your ideas. You should start by referring back to your research questions, discuss your results, then set them into the context of the literature, and then into broader theory.

This is likely to be one of the longest sections of your dissertation, and it’s a good idea to break it down into chunks with sub-headings to help your reader to navigate through the detail.

Fleshing Out the Detail

Once you have your outline in front of you, you can start to map out how your results fit into the outline.

This will help you to see whether your results are over-focused in one area, which is why writing up your research as you go along can be a helpful process. For each theme or area, you should discuss how the results help to answer your research question, and whether the results are consistent with your expectations and the literature.

The Importance of Understanding Differences

If your results are controversial and/or unexpected, you should set them fully in context and explain why you think that you obtained them.

Your explanations may include issues such as a non-representative sample for convenience purposes, a response rate skewed towards those with a particular experience, or your own involvement as a participant for sociological research.

You do not need to be apologetic about these, because you made a choice about them, which you should have justified in the methodology section. However, you do need to evaluate your own results against others’ findings, especially if they are different. A full understanding of the limitations of your research is part of a good discussion section.

At this stage, you may want to revisit your literature review, unless you submitted it as a separate submission earlier, and revise it to draw out those studies which have proven more relevant.

Conclude by summarising the implications of your findings in brief, and explain why they are important for researchers and in practice, and provide some suggestions for further work.

You may also wish to make some recommendations for practice. As before, this may be a separate section, or included in your discussion.

The results and discussion, including conclusion and recommendations, are probably the most substantial sections of your dissertation. Once completed, you can begin to relax slightly: you are on to the last stages of writing!

Continue to: Dissertation: Conclusion and Extras Writing your Methodology

See also: Writing a Literature Review Writing a Research Proposal Academic Referencing What Is the Importance of Using a Plagiarism Checker to Check Your Thesis?

writing thesis results

Writing the Dissertation - Guides for Success: The Results and Discussion

  • Writing the Dissertation Homepage
  • Overview and Planning
  • The Literature Review
  • The Methodology
  • The Results and Discussion
  • The Conclusion
  • The Abstract
  • The Difference
  • What to Avoid

Overview of writing the results and discussion

The results and discussion follow on from the methods or methodology chapter of the dissertation. This creates a natural transition from how you designed your study, to what your study reveals, highlighting your own contribution to the research area.

Disciplinary differences

Please note: this guide is not specific to any one discipline. The results and discussion can vary depending on the nature of the research and the expectations of the school or department, so please adapt the following advice to meet the demands of your project and department. Consult your supervisor for further guidance; you can also peruse our  Writing Across Subjects guide .

Guide contents

As part of the Writing the Dissertation series, this guide covers the most common conventions of the results and discussion chapters, giving you the necessary knowledge, tips and guidance needed to impress your markers! The sections are organised as follows:

  • The Difference  - Breaks down the distinctions between the results and discussion chapters.
  • Results  - Provides a walk-through of common characteristics of the results chapter.
  • Discussion - Provides a walk-through of how to approach writing your discussion chapter, including structure.
  • What to Avoid  - Covers a few frequent mistakes you'll want to...avoid!
  • FAQs  - Guidance on first- vs. third-person, limitations and more.
  • Checklist  - Includes a summary of key points and a self-evaluation checklist.

Training and tools

  • The Academic Skills team has recorded a Writing the Dissertation workshop series to help you with each section of a standard dissertation, including a video on writing the results and discussion   (embedded below).
  • The dissertation planner tool can help you think through the timeline for planning, research, drafting and editing.
  • iSolutions offers training and a Word template to help you digitally format and structure your dissertation.

Introduction

The results of your study are often followed by a separate chapter of discussion. This is certainly the case with scientific writing. Some dissertations, however, might incorporate both the results and discussion in one chapter. This depends on the nature of your dissertation and the conventions within your school or department. Always follow the guidelines given to you and ask your supervisor for further guidance.

As part of the Writing the Dissertation series, this guide covers the essentials of writing your results and discussion, giving you the necesary knowledge, tips and guidance needed to leave a positive impression on your markers! This guide covers the results and discussion as separate – although interrelated – chapters, as you'll see in the next two tabs. However, you can easily adapt the guidance to suit one single chapter – keep an eye out for some hints on how to do this throughout the guide.

Results or discussion - what's the difference?

To understand what the results and discussion sections are about, we need to clearly define the difference between the two.

The results should provide a clear account of the findings . This is written in a dry and direct manner, simply highlighting the findings as they appear once processed. It’s expected to have tables and graphics, where relevant, to contextualise and illustrate the data.

Rather than simply stating the findings of the study, the discussion interprets the findings  to offer a more nuanced understanding of the research. The discussion is similar to the second half of the conclusion because it’s where you consider and formulate a response to the question, ‘what do we now know that we didn’t before?’ (see our Writing the Conclusion   guide for more). The discussion achieves this by answering the research questions and responding to any hypotheses proposed. With this in mind, the discussion should be the most insightful chapter or section of your dissertation because it provides the most original insight.

Across the next two tabs of this guide, we will look at the results and discussion chapters separately in more detail.

Writing the results

The results chapter should provide a direct and factual account of the data collected without any interpretation or interrogation of the findings. As this might suggest, the results chapter can be slightly monotonous, particularly for quantitative data. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you present your results in a clear and direct manner as it provides the necessary detail for your subsequent discussion.

Note: If you’re writing your results and discussion as one chapter, then you can either:

1) write them as distinctly separate sections in the same chapter, with the discussion following on from the results, or...

2) integrate the two throughout by presenting a subset of the results and then discussing that subset in further detail.

Next, we'll explore some of the most important factors to consider when writing your results chapter.

How you structure your results chapter depends on the design and purpose of your study. Here are some possible options for structuring your results chapter (adapted from Glatthorn and Joyner, 2005):

  • Chronological – depending on the nature of the study, it might be important to present your results in order of how you collected the data, such as a pretest-posttest design.
  • Research method – if you’ve used a mixed-methods approach, you could isolate each research method and instrument employed in the study.
  • Research question and/or hypotheses – you could structure your results around your research questions and/or hypotheses, providing you have more than one. However, keep in mind that the results on their own don’t necessarily answer the questions or respond to the hypotheses in a definitive manner. You need to interpret the findings in the discussion chapter to gain a more rounded understanding.
  • Variable – you could isolate each variable in your study (where relevant) and specify how and whether the results changed.

Tables and figures

For your results, you are expected to convert your data into tables and figures, particularly when dealing with quantitative data. Making use of tables and figures is a way of contextualising your results within the study. It also helps to visually reinforce your written account of the data. However, make sure you’re only using tables and figures to supplement , rather than replace, your written account of the results (see the 'What to avoid' tab for more on this).

Figures and tables need to be numbered in order of when they appear in the dissertation, and they should be capitalised. You also need to make direct reference to them in the text, which you can do (with some variation) in one of the following ways:

Figure 1 shows…

The results of the test (see Figure 1) demonstrate…

The actual figures and tables themselves also need to be accompanied by a caption that briefly outlines what is displayed. For example:

Table 1. Variables of the regression model

Table captions normally appear above the table, whilst figures or other such graphical forms appear below, although it’s worth confirming this with your supervisor as the formatting can change depending on the school or discipline. The style guide used for writing in your subject area (e.g., Harvard, MLA, APA, OSCOLA) often dictates correct formatting of tables, graphs and figures, so have a look at your style guide for additional support.

Using quotations

If your qualitative data comes from interviews and focus groups, your data will largely consist of quotations from participants. When presenting this data, you should identify and group the most common and interesting responses and then quote two or three relevant examples to illustrate this point. Here’s a brief example from a qualitative study on the habits of online food shoppers:

Regardless of whether or not participants regularly engage in online food shopping, all but two respondents commented, in some form, on the convenience of online food shopping:

"It’s about convenience for me. I’m at work all week and the weekend doesn’t allow much time for food shopping, so knowing it can be ordered and then delivered in 24 hours is great for me” (Participant A).

"It fits around my schedule, which is important for me and my family” (Participant D).

"In the past, I’ve always gone food shopping after work, which has always been a hassle. Online food shopping, however, frees up some of my time” (Participant E).

As shown in this example, each quotation is attributed to a particular participant, although their anonymity is protected. The details used to identify participants can depend on the relevance of certain factors to the research. For instance, age or gender could be included.

Writing the discussion

The discussion chapter is where “you critically examine your own results in the light of the previous state of the subject as outlined in the background, and make judgments as to what has been learnt in your work” (Evans et al., 2014: 12). Whilst the results chapter is strictly factual, reporting on the data on a surface level, the discussion is rooted in analysis and interpretation , allowing you and your reader to delve beneath the surface.

Next, we will review some of the most important factors to consider when writing your discussion chapter.

Like the results, there is no single way to structure your discussion chapter. As always, it depends on the nature of your dissertation and whether you’re dealing with qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods research. It’s good to be consistent with the results chapter, so you could structure your discussion chapter, where possible, in the same way as your results.

When it comes to structure, it’s particularly important that you guide your reader through the various points, subtopics or themes of your discussion. You should do this by structuring sections of your discussion, which might incorporate three or four paragraphs around the same theme or issue, in a three-part way that mirrors the typical three-part essay structure of introduction, main body and conclusion.

Cycle of introduction (topic sentence), to main body (analysis), to conclusion (takeaways). Graphic at right shows cycle repeating 3, 5, and 4 times for subtopics A, B, and C.

Figure 1: The three-part cycle that embodies a typical essay structure and reflects how you structure themes or subtopics in your discussion.

This is your topic sentence where you clearly state the focus of this paragraph/section. It’s often a fairly short, declarative statement in order to grab the reader’s attention, and it should be clearly related to your research purpose, such as responding to a research question.

This constitutes your analysis where you explore the theme or focus, outlined in the topic sentence, in further detail by interrogating why this particular theme or finding emerged and the significance of this data. This is also where you bring in the relevant secondary literature.

This is the evaluative stage of the cycle where you explicitly return back to the topic sentence and tell the reader what this means in terms of answering the relevant research question and establishing new knowledge. It could be a single sentence, or a short paragraph, and it doesn’t strictly need to appear at the end of every section or theme. Instead, some prefer to bring the main themes together towards the end of the discussion in a single paragraph or two. Either way, it’s imperative that you evaluate the significance of your discussion and tell the reader what this means.

A note on the three-part structure

This is often how you’re taught to construct a paragraph, but the themes and ideas you engage with at dissertation level are going to extend beyond the confines of a short paragraph. Therefore, this is a structure to guide how you write about particular themes or patterns in your discussion. Think of this structure like a cycle that you can engage in its smallest form to shape a paragraph; in a slightly larger form to shape a subsection of a chapter; and in its largest form to shape the entire chapter. You can 'level up' the same basic structure to accommodate a deeper breadth of thinking and critical engagement.

Using secondary literature

Your discussion chapter should return to the relevant literature (previously identified in your literature review ) in order to contextualise and deepen your reader’s understanding of the findings. This might help to strengthen your findings, or you might find contradictory evidence that serves to counter your results. In the case of the latter, it’s important that you consider why this might be and the implications for this. It’s through your incorporation of secondary literature that you can consider the question, ‘What do we now know that we didn’t before?’

Limitations

You may have included a limitations section in your methodology chapter (see our Writing the Methodology guide ), but it’s also common to have one in your discussion chapter. The difference here is that your limitations are directly associated with your results and the capacity to interpret and analyse those results.

Think of it this way: the limitations in your methodology refer to the issues identified before conducting the research, whilst the limitations in your discussion refer to the issues that emerged after conducting the research. For example, you might only be able to identify a limitation about the external validity or generalisability of your research once you have processed and analysed the data. Try not to overstress the limitations of your work – doing so can undermine the work you’ve done – and try to contextualise them, perhaps by relating them to certain limitations of other studies.

Recommendations

It’s often good to follow your limitations with some recommendations for future research. This creates a neat linearity from what didn’t work, or what could be improved, to how other researchers could address these issues in the future. This helps to reposition your limitations in a positive way by offering an action-oriented response. Try to limit the amount of recommendations you discuss – too many can bring the end of your discussion to a rather negative end as you’re ultimately focusing on what should be done, rather than what you have done. You also don’t need to repeat the recommendations in your conclusion if you’ve included them here.

What to avoid

This portion of the guide will cover some common missteps you should try to avoid in writing your results and discussion.

Over-reliance on tables and figures

It’s very common to produce visual representations of data, such as graphs and tables, and to use these representations in your results chapter. However, the use of these figures should not entirely replace your written account of the data. You don’t need to specify every detail in the data set, but you should provide some written account of what the data shows, drawing your reader’s attention to the most important elements of the data. The figures should support your account and help to contextualise your results. Simply stating, ‘look at Table 1’, without any further detail is not sufficient. Writers often try to do this as a way of saving words, but your markers will know!

Ignoring unexpected or contradictory data

Research can be a complex process with ups and downs, surprises and anomalies. Don’t be tempted to ignore any data that doesn’t meet your expectations, or that perhaps you’re struggling to explain. Failing to report on data for these, and other such reasons, is a problem because it undermines your credibility as a researcher, which inevitably undermines your research in the process. You have to do your best to provide some reason to such data. For instance, there might be some methodological reason behind a particular trend in the data.

Including raw data

You don’t need to include any raw data in your results chapter – raw data meaning unprocessed data that hasn’t undergone any calculations or other such refinement. This can overwhelm your reader and obscure the clarity of the research. You can include raw data in an appendix, providing you feel it’s necessary.

Presenting new results in the discussion

You shouldn’t be stating original findings for the first time in the discussion chapter. The findings of your study should first appear in your results before elaborating on them in the discussion.

Overstressing the significance of your research

It’s important that you clarify what your research demonstrates so you can highlight your own contribution to the research field. However, don’t overstress or inflate the significance of your results. It’s always difficult to provide definitive answers in academic research, especially with qualitative data. You should be confident and authoritative where possible, but don’t claim to reach the absolute truth when perhaps other conclusions could be reached. Where necessary, you should use hedging (see definition) to slightly soften the tone and register of your language.

Definition: Hedging refers to 'the act of expressing your attitude or ideas in tentative or cautious ways' (Singh and Lukkarila, 2017: 101). It’s mostly achieved through a number of verbs or adverbs, such as ‘suggest’ or ‘seemingly.’

Q: What’s the difference between the results and discussion?

A: The results chapter is a factual account of the data collected, whilst the discussion considers the implications of these findings by relating them to relevant literature and answering your research question(s). See the tab 'The Differences' in this guide for more detail.

Q: Should the discussion include recommendations for future research?

A: Your dissertation should include some recommendations for future research, but it can vary where it appears. Recommendations are often featured towards the end of the discussion chapter, but they also regularly appear in the conclusion chapter (see our Writing the Conclusion guide   for more). It simply depends on your dissertation and the conventions of your school or department. It’s worth consulting any specific guidance that you’ve been given, or asking your supervisor directly.

Q: Should the discussion include the limitations of the study?

A: Like the answer above, you should engage with the limitations of your study, but it might appear in the discussion of some dissertations, or the conclusion of others. Consider the narrative flow and whether it makes sense to include the limitations in your discussion chapter, or your conclusion. You should also consult any discipline-specific guidance you’ve been given, or ask your supervisor for more. Be mindful that this is slightly different to the limitations outlined in the methodology or methods chapter (see our Writing the Methodology guide vs. the 'Discussion' tab of this guide).

Q: Should the results and discussion be in the first-person or third?

A: It’s important to be consistent , so you should use whatever you’ve been using throughout your dissertation. Third-person is more commonly accepted, but certain disciplines are happy with the use of first-person. Just remember that the first-person pronoun can be a distracting, but powerful device, so use it sparingly. Consult your lecturer for discipline-specific guidance.

Q: Is there a difference between the discussion and the conclusion of a dissertation?

A: Yes, there is a difference. The discussion chapter is a detailed consideration of how your findings answer your research questions. This includes the use of secondary literature to help contextualise your discussion. Rather than considering the findings in detail, the conclusion briefly summarises and synthesises the main findings of your study before bringing the dissertation to a close. Both are similar, particularly in the way they ‘broaden out’ to consider the wider implications of the research. They are, however, their own distinct chapters, unless otherwise stated by your supervisor.

The results and discussion chapters (or chapter) constitute a large part of your dissertation as it’s here where your original contribution is foregrounded and discussed in detail. Remember, the results chapter simply reports on the data collected, whilst the discussion is where you consider your research questions and/or hypothesis in more detail by interpreting and interrogating the data. You can integrate both into a single chapter and weave the interpretation of your findings throughout the chapter, although it’s common for both the results and discussion to appear as separate chapters. Consult your supervisor for further guidance.

Here’s a final checklist for writing your results and discussion. Remember that not all of these points will be relevant for you, so make sure you cover whatever’s appropriate for your dissertation. The asterisk (*) indicates any content that might not be relevant for your dissertation. To download a copy of the checklist to save and edit, please use the Word document, below.

  • Results and discussion self-evaluation checklist

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  • Last Updated: Feb 22, 2024 3:43 PM
  • URL: https://library.soton.ac.uk/writing_the_dissertation

Welcome to Student Learning Te Taiako

Writing the results chapter.

The results section describes the data that you gathered and the outcomes of the analysis of that data.

In this section, you will typically find:

  • graphs, tables, and charts supported by written descriptions and made identifiable by a title or legend ​
  • key findings emphasized—qualitative research often includes historical sources or interview excerpts, while quantitative research will often include measurements or observations from experiments
  • in-text citations are infrequent or absent.

This chapter of your thesis lays the foundations for your Discussion chapter where you can elaborate on the implications of your results for theory or practice in your discipline.

Presenting your data will involve making decisions about what is most important for your reader to understand about how you have addressed your research questions. Make decisions about what specific data to present in this section by thinking back to your research question or your research aims.

You might think of the metaphor of the carpenter who has more than enough wood to build with but will only succeed by selecting what is most suitable for the particular task:

“[Data] is a resource you can use to support the claims you want to make. Carpenters don’t try to use all the wood in the woodshed to make a particular table. They don’t see the variety of materials they have available as a problem to be solved... Think of the abundance of your data in the same way.” —from Inframethodology

Video resource

The video below details the features of a good results chapter and the process that goes into preparing it.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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Writing a scientific paper.

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  • INTRODUCTION

Writing a "good" results section

Figures and Captions in Lab Reports

"Results Checklist" from: How to Write a Good Scientific Paper. Chris A. Mack. SPIE. 2018.

Additional tips for results sections.

  • LITERATURE CITED
  • Bibliography of guides to scientific writing and presenting
  • Peer Review
  • Presentations
  • Lab Report Writing Guides on the Web

This is the core of the paper. Don't start the results sections with methods you left out of the Materials and Methods section. You need to give an overall description of the experiments and present the data you found.

  • Factual statements supported by evidence. Short and sweet without excess words
  • Present representative data rather than endlessly repetitive data
  • Discuss variables only if they had an effect (positive or negative)
  • Use meaningful statistics
  • Avoid redundancy. If it is in the tables or captions you may not need to repeat it

A short article by Dr. Brett Couch and Dr. Deena Wassenberg, Biology Program, University of Minnesota

  • Present the results of the paper, in logical order, using tables and graphs as necessary.
  • Explain the results and show how they help to answer the research questions posed in the Introduction. Evidence does not explain itself; the results must be presented and then explained. 
  • Avoid: presenting results that are never discussed;  presenting results in chronological order rather than logical order; ignoring results that do not support the conclusions; 
  • Number tables and figures separately beginning with 1 (i.e. Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, etc.).
  • Do not attempt to evaluate the results in this section. Report only what you found; hold all discussion of the significance of the results for the Discussion section.
  • It is not necessary to describe every step of your statistical analyses. Scientists understand all about null hypotheses, rejection rules, and so forth and do not need to be reminded of them. Just say something like, "Honeybees did not use the flowers in proportion to their availability (X2 = 7.9, p<0.05, d.f.= 4, chi-square test)." Likewise, cite tables and figures without describing in detail how the data were manipulated. Explanations of this sort should appear in a legend or caption written on the same page as the figure or table.
  • You must refer in the text to each figure or table you include in your paper.
  • Tables generally should report summary-level data, such as means ± standard deviations, rather than all your raw data.  A long list of all your individual observations will mean much less than a few concise, easy-to-read tables or figures that bring out the main findings of your study.  
  • Only use a figure (graph) when the data lend themselves to a good visual representation.  Avoid using figures that show too many variables or trends at once, because they can be hard to understand.

From:  https://writingcenter.gmu.edu/guides/imrad-results-discussion

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Guide on How to Write the Results Section of a Dissertation

dissertation results writing

The dissertation results chapter can be written once data has been collected and analyzed. In this section, the main findings of the research are reported and their relation to hypotheses or research questions are observed briefly. This chapter is among the most crucial parts of a study. It is here that statistical analysis is accurately performed, findings reported and explained, and assumptions examined. After this analysis, results are presented in a manner that shows non-support or support of the stated hypothesis.

Writing a thesis results section requires statistical expertise to present and defend the findings effectively. What’s more, the core findings should be presented logically without interpretation or bias from the writer. This section should set up the read for evaluation or interpretation of the findings in the discussion chapter .

When writing the thesis results chapter, the author should break down the findings into simple sentences. Essentially, this section should tell readers what the author found in the research.

What to Include in the Dissertation Results Chapter

The results chapter of a dissertation should include the core findings of a study. Essentially, only the findings of a specific study should be included in this section. These include:

  • Data presented in graphs, tables, charts, and figures
  • Data collection recruitment, collection, and/or participants
  • Secondary findings like subgroup analyses and secondary outcomes
  • Contextual data analysis and explanation of the meaning
  • Information that corresponds to research questions

It’s crucial to consider the scope of your research when writing up dissertation results. That’s because a study with many variables or a broader scope can yield different results. In that case, only the most relevant results should be stated. Any data that doesn’t present direct outcomes or findings of a study should not be included in this section.

What are the Five Chapters of a Dissertation?

Traditionally, a dissertation has five major chapters. The results section is one of the most important chapters because it summarizes and presents the collected and analyzed data. The major chapters of this paper are:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

The methodology section can vary depending on whether the author conducted qualitative research or quantitative research or a mixed study. However, the methodology section is also very important because the used methods can influence how the gathered results will be presented. For instance, you can use a questionnaire to gather information. If you don’t know how to analyze questionnaire results dissertation paper might not impress your readers. Therefore, choose your research methods wisely to make writing the findings or results section easier.

How to Write a Dissertation Results Chapter

Every research project is unique. As such, learners should not take a one-size-fits-all approach when writing results for a dissertation. The layout and content of this chapter should be determined by your research area, study design, and the chosen methodologies. Also, consider the target journal guidelines and editors.

But, when writing the results section dissertation authors can follow certain steps, especially for scientific studies. Those steps are as follows.

  • Check the Target Journal’s Instructions or GuidelinesDifferent journals outline the requirements, instructions, or guidelines that authors should follow when writing the findings or results section. A journal can also provide a dissertation results section example to guide authors. It’s crucial that you note the content length limitations, scope, and aims that the journal requires dissertation authors to consider.
  • Consider How Your Results Relate to the Catalogue and Requirements of the JournalConsider your findings or experimental results that are relevant to the research objectives or questions. Include even the findings that don’t support your hypothesis or are unexpected. Also, catalog the findings of your research using subheadings to clarify and streamline your report. That way, you can avoid peripheral and excessive details and make your findings easy to understand.It’s important to decide on the results structure. For instance, you can match the hypothesis or research questions to the results. You can also arrange them the way they are ordered in your Methods section. Alternatively, use the importance hierarchy or chronological order. Most importantly, consider your evidence, audience, and objectives of the study when deciding on the dissertation structure for the results section.
  • Design Tables and Figures for Illustrating Your DataNumber your figures and tables in the order that you use to mention them in main the paper text. Make sure that your figures have self-explanatory information. Also, include the necessary information, such as definitions in the design to make the findings data easy to understand. Essentially, readers should understand your tables and figures without reading the text.Additionally, make your figures and tables the focal point of this section. Ensure that they tell an informative and clear story about the study without repetition. However, always remember that figures should enhance and clarify your text, not replace it.

Checklist for the Results Chapter

Once you have written this section, go through it carefully to ensure the following:

  • All findings that are relevant to the research questions have been included.
  • Each result has been reported objectively and concisely, including relevant inferential statistics and descriptive statistics.
  • You have stated whether the study findings refuted or supported every hypothesis.
  • You have used figures and tables to illustrate your results appropriately.
  • All figures and tables are referred to and labeled correctly in the text.
  • The presented results do not include speculations or subjective interpretation

You may come across many tips on how to write the results section of a dissertation. However, the most important tip is to ensure that the results that you present in this section are relevant to your study questions or hypotheses. If this sounds too complicated, you can ask us “ do my thesis for me “, and we’ll take care of it. Anyways, you have to remember that relevance is the most important thing regardless of whether the results support or do not support the hypotheses. Also, decide on the order to use when presenting the results of your study. This is very important because it makes it easier for your readers to understand them. Including figures, tables, and graphs makes the information in this section easier to understand.

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Home » Thesis – Structure, Example and Writing Guide

Thesis – Structure, Example and Writing Guide

Table of contents.

Thesis

Definition:

Thesis is a scholarly document that presents a student’s original research and findings on a particular topic or question. It is usually written as a requirement for a graduate degree program and is intended to demonstrate the student’s mastery of the subject matter and their ability to conduct independent research.

History of Thesis

The concept of a thesis can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it was used as a way for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular subject. However, the modern form of the thesis as a scholarly document used to earn a degree is a relatively recent development.

The origin of the modern thesis can be traced back to medieval universities in Europe. During this time, students were required to present a “disputation” in which they would defend a particular thesis in front of their peers and faculty members. These disputations served as a way to demonstrate the student’s mastery of the subject matter and were often the final requirement for earning a degree.

In the 17th century, the concept of the thesis was formalized further with the creation of the modern research university. Students were now required to complete a research project and present their findings in a written document, which would serve as the basis for their degree.

The modern thesis as we know it today has evolved over time, with different disciplines and institutions adopting their own standards and formats. However, the basic elements of a thesis – original research, a clear research question, a thorough review of the literature, and a well-argued conclusion – remain the same.

Structure of Thesis

The structure of a thesis may vary slightly depending on the specific requirements of the institution, department, or field of study, but generally, it follows a specific format.

Here’s a breakdown of the structure of a thesis:

This is the first page of the thesis that includes the title of the thesis, the name of the author, the name of the institution, the department, the date, and any other relevant information required by the institution.

This is a brief summary of the thesis that provides an overview of the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions.

This page provides a list of all the chapters and sections in the thesis and their page numbers.

Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of the research question, the context of the research, and the purpose of the study. The introduction should also outline the methodology and the scope of the research.

Literature Review

This chapter provides a critical analysis of the relevant literature on the research topic. It should demonstrate the gap in the existing knowledge and justify the need for the research.

Methodology

This chapter provides a detailed description of the research methods used to gather and analyze data. It should explain the research design, the sampling method, data collection techniques, and data analysis procedures.

This chapter presents the findings of the research. It should include tables, graphs, and charts to illustrate the results.

This chapter interprets the results and relates them to the research question. It should explain the significance of the findings and their implications for the research topic.

This chapter summarizes the key findings and the main conclusions of the research. It should also provide recommendations for future research.

This section provides a list of all the sources cited in the thesis. The citation style may vary depending on the requirements of the institution or the field of study.

This section includes any additional material that supports the research, such as raw data, survey questionnaires, or other relevant documents.

How to write Thesis

Here are some steps to help you write a thesis:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step in writing a thesis is to choose a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. You should also consider the scope of the topic and the availability of resources for research.
  • Develop a Research Question: Once you have chosen a topic, you need to develop a research question that you will answer in your thesis. The research question should be specific, clear, and feasible.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: Before you start your research, you need to conduct a literature review to identify the existing knowledge and gaps in the field. This will help you refine your research question and develop a research methodology.
  • Develop a Research Methodology: Once you have refined your research question, you need to develop a research methodology that includes the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis procedures.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: After developing your research methodology, you need to collect and analyze data. This may involve conducting surveys, interviews, experiments, or analyzing existing data.
  • Write the Thesis: Once you have analyzed the data, you need to write the thesis. The thesis should follow a specific structure that includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.
  • Edit and Proofread: After completing the thesis, you need to edit and proofread it carefully. You should also have someone else review it to ensure that it is clear, concise, and free of errors.
  • Submit the Thesis: Finally, you need to submit the thesis to your academic advisor or committee for review and evaluation.

Example of Thesis

Example of Thesis template for Students:

Title of Thesis

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

Chapter 4: Results

Chapter 5: Discussion

Chapter 6: Conclusion

References:

Appendices:

Note: That’s just a basic template, but it should give you an idea of the structure and content that a typical thesis might include. Be sure to consult with your department or supervisor for any specific formatting requirements they may have. Good luck with your thesis!

Application of Thesis

Thesis is an important academic document that serves several purposes. Here are some of the applications of thesis:

  • Academic Requirement: A thesis is a requirement for many academic programs, especially at the graduate level. It is an essential component of the evaluation process and demonstrates the student’s ability to conduct original research and contribute to the knowledge in their field.
  • Career Advancement: A thesis can also help in career advancement. Employers often value candidates who have completed a thesis as it demonstrates their research skills, critical thinking abilities, and their dedication to their field of study.
  • Publication : A thesis can serve as a basis for future publications in academic journals, books, or conference proceedings. It provides the researcher with an opportunity to present their research to a wider audience and contribute to the body of knowledge in their field.
  • Personal Development: Writing a thesis is a challenging task that requires time, dedication, and perseverance. It provides the student with an opportunity to develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills that are essential for their personal and professional development.
  • Impact on Society: The findings of a thesis can have an impact on society by addressing important issues, providing insights into complex problems, and contributing to the development of policies and practices.

Purpose of Thesis

The purpose of a thesis is to present original research findings in a clear and organized manner. It is a formal document that demonstrates a student’s ability to conduct independent research and contribute to the knowledge in their field of study. The primary purposes of a thesis are:

  • To Contribute to Knowledge: The main purpose of a thesis is to contribute to the knowledge in a particular field of study. By conducting original research and presenting their findings, the student adds new insights and perspectives to the existing body of knowledge.
  • To Demonstrate Research Skills: A thesis is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate their research skills. This includes the ability to formulate a research question, design a research methodology, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions based on their findings.
  • To Develop Critical Thinking: Writing a thesis requires critical thinking and analysis. The student must evaluate existing literature and identify gaps in the field, as well as develop and defend their own ideas.
  • To Provide Evidence of Competence : A thesis provides evidence of the student’s competence in their field of study. It demonstrates their ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems, and their ability to communicate their ideas effectively.
  • To Facilitate Career Advancement : Completing a thesis can help the student advance their career by demonstrating their research skills and dedication to their field of study. It can also provide a basis for future publications, presentations, or research projects.

When to Write Thesis

The timing for writing a thesis depends on the specific requirements of the academic program or institution. In most cases, the opportunity to write a thesis is typically offered at the graduate level, but there may be exceptions.

Generally, students should plan to write their thesis during the final year of their graduate program. This allows sufficient time for conducting research, analyzing data, and writing the thesis. It is important to start planning the thesis early and to identify a research topic and research advisor as soon as possible.

In some cases, students may be able to write a thesis as part of an undergraduate program or as an independent research project outside of an academic program. In such cases, it is important to consult with faculty advisors or mentors to ensure that the research is appropriately designed and executed.

It is important to note that the process of writing a thesis can be time-consuming and requires a significant amount of effort and dedication. It is important to plan accordingly and to allocate sufficient time for conducting research, analyzing data, and writing the thesis.

Characteristics of Thesis

The characteristics of a thesis vary depending on the specific academic program or institution. However, some general characteristics of a thesis include:

  • Originality : A thesis should present original research findings or insights. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct independent research and contribute to the knowledge in their field of study.
  • Clarity : A thesis should be clear and concise. It should present the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions in a logical and organized manner. It should also be well-written, with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Research-Based: A thesis should be based on rigorous research, which involves collecting and analyzing data from various sources. The research should be well-designed, with appropriate research methods and techniques.
  • Evidence-Based : A thesis should be based on evidence, which means that all claims made in the thesis should be supported by data or literature. The evidence should be properly cited using appropriate citation styles.
  • Critical Thinking: A thesis should demonstrate the student’s ability to critically analyze and evaluate information. It should present the student’s own ideas and arguments, and engage with existing literature in the field.
  • Academic Style : A thesis should adhere to the conventions of academic writing. It should be well-structured, with clear headings and subheadings, and should use appropriate academic language.

Advantages of Thesis

There are several advantages to writing a thesis, including:

  • Development of Research Skills: Writing a thesis requires extensive research and analytical skills. It helps to develop the student’s research skills, including the ability to formulate research questions, design and execute research methodologies, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions based on their findings.
  • Contribution to Knowledge: Writing a thesis provides an opportunity for the student to contribute to the knowledge in their field of study. By conducting original research, they can add new insights and perspectives to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Preparation for Future Research: Completing a thesis prepares the student for future research projects. It provides them with the necessary skills to design and execute research methodologies, analyze data, and draw conclusions based on their findings.
  • Career Advancement: Writing a thesis can help to advance the student’s career. It demonstrates their research skills and dedication to their field of study, and provides a basis for future publications, presentations, or research projects.
  • Personal Growth: Completing a thesis can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. It can help the student to develop self-confidence, independence, and a sense of accomplishment.

Limitations of Thesis

There are also some limitations to writing a thesis, including:

  • Time and Resources: Writing a thesis requires a significant amount of time and resources. It can be a time-consuming and expensive process, as it may involve conducting original research, analyzing data, and producing a lengthy document.
  • Narrow Focus: A thesis is typically focused on a specific research question or topic, which may limit the student’s exposure to other areas within their field of study.
  • Limited Audience: A thesis is usually only read by a small number of people, such as the student’s thesis advisor and committee members. This limits the potential impact of the research findings.
  • Lack of Real-World Application : Some thesis topics may be highly theoretical or academic in nature, which may limit their practical application in the real world.
  • Pressure and Stress : Writing a thesis can be a stressful and pressure-filled experience, as it may involve meeting strict deadlines, conducting original research, and producing a high-quality document.
  • Potential for Isolation: Writing a thesis can be a solitary experience, as the student may spend a significant amount of time working independently on their research and writing.

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How to Write a Results Section for a Dissertation or Research Paper: Guide & Examples

Dissertation Results

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A results section is a crucial part of a research paper or dissertation, where you analyze your major findings. This section goes beyond simply presenting study outcomes. You should also include a comprehensive statistical analysis and interpret the collected data in detail.

Without dissertation research results, it is impossible to imagine a scientific work. Your task here is to present your study findings. What are qualitative or quantitative indicators? How to use tables and diagrams? How to describe data? Our article answers all these questions and many more. So, read further to discover how to analyze and describe your research indexes or contact or professionals for dissertation help from StudyCrumb.

What Is a Results Section of Dissertation?

The results section of a dissertation is a data statement from your research. Here you should present the main findings of your study to your readers. This section aims to show information objectively, systematically, concisely. It is allowed using text supplemented with illustrations.  In general, this section's length is not limited but should include all necessary data. Interpretations or conclusions should not be included in this section. Therefore, in theory, this is one of your shortest sections. But it can also be one of the most challenging sections.  The introduction presents a research topic and answers the question "why?". The Methods section explains the data collection process and answers "how?". Meanwhile, the result section shows actual data gained from experiments and tells "what?" Thus, this part plays a critical role in highlighting study's relevance. This chapter gives reader study relevance with novelty. So, you should figure out how to write it correctly. Here are main tasks that you should keep in mind while writing:

  • Results answer the question "What was found in your research?"
  • Results contain only your study's outcome. They do not include comments or interpretations.
  • Results must always be presented accurately & objectively.
  • Tables & figures are used to draw readers' attention. But the same data should never be presented in the form of a table and a figure. Don't repeat anything from a table also in text.

Dissertation: Results vs Discussion vs Conclusion

Results and discussion sections of a dissertation are often confused among researchers. Sometimes both these parts are mixed up with a conclusion for thesis . Figured out what is covered in each of these important chapters. Your readers should see that you notice how different they are. A clear understanding of differences will help you write your dissertation more effectively. 5 differences between Results VS Discussion VS Conclusion:

Wanna figure out the actual difference between discussion vs conclusion? Check out our helpful articles about Dissertation Discussion or Dissertation Conclusion.

Present Your Findings When Writing Results Section of Dissertation

Now it's time to understand how to arrange the results section of the dissertation. First, present most general findings, then narrow it down to a more specific one. Describe both qualitative & quantitative results. For example, imagine you are comparing the behavior of hamsters and mice. First, say a few words about the behavioral type of mammals that you studied. Then, mention rodents in general. At end, describe specific species of animals you carried out an experiment on.

Qualitative Results Section in Dissertation

In your dissertation results section, qualitative data may not be directly related to specific sub-questions or hypotheses. You can structure this chapter around main issues that arise when analyzing data. For each question, make a general observation of what data show. For example, you may recall recurring agreements or differences, patterns, trends. Personal answers are the basis of your research. Clarify and support these views with direct quotes. Add more information to the thesis appendix if it's needed.

Quantitative Results Section in a Dissertation

The easiest way to write a quantitative dissertation results section is to build it around a sub-question or hypothesis of your research. For each subquery, provide relevant results and include statistical analysis . Then briefly evaluate importance & reliability. Notice how each result relates to the problem or whether it supports the hypothesis. Focus on key trends, differences, and relationships between data. But don't speculate about their meaning or consequences. This should be put in the discussion vs conclusion section. Suppose your results are not directly related to answering your questions. Maybe there is additional information that helps readers understand how you collect data. In that case, you can include them in the appendix. It is often helpful to include visual elements such as graphs, charts, and tables. But only if they accurately support your results and add value.

Tables and Figures in Results Section in Dissertation

We recommend you use tables or figures in the dissertation results section correctly. Such interpretation can effectively present complex data concisely and visually. It allows readers to quickly gain a statistical overview. On the contrary, poorly designed graphs can confuse readers. That will reduce the effectiveness of your article.  Here are our recommendations that help you understand how to use tables and figures:

  • Make sure tables and figures are self-explanatory. Sometimes, your readers may look at tables and figures before reading the entire text. So they should make sense as separate elements.
  • Do not repeat the content of tables and figures in text. Text can be used to highlight key points from tables and figures. But do not repeat every element.
  • Make sure that values ​​or information in tables and text are consistent. Make sure that abbreviations, group names, interpretations are the same as in text.
  • Use clear, informative titles for tables and figures. Do not leave any table or figure without a title or legend. Otherwise, readers will not be able to understand data's meaning. Also, make sure column names, labels, figures are understandable.
  • Check accuracy of data presented in tables and figures. Always double-check tables and figures to make sure numbers converge.
  • Tables should not contain redundant information. Make sure tables in the article are not too crowded. If you need to provide extensive data, use Appendixes.
  • Make sure images are clear. Make sure images and all parts of drawings are precise. Lettering should be in a standard font and legible against the background of the picture.
  • Ask for permission to use illustrations. If you use illustrations, be sure to ask copyright holders and indicate them.

Tips on How to Write a Results Section

We have prepared several tips on how to write the results section of the dissertation!  Present data collected during study objectively, logically, and concisely. Highlight most important results and organize them into specific sections. It is an excellent way to show that you have covered all the descriptive information you need. Correct usage of visual elements effectively helps your readers with understanding. So, follow main 3 rules for writing this part:

  • State only actual results. Leave explanations and comments for Discussion.
  • Use text, tables, and pictures to orderly highlight key results.
  • Make sure that contents of tables and figures are not repeated in text.

In case you have questions about a  conceptual framework in research , you will find a blog dedicated to this issue in our database.

What to Avoid When Writing the Results Section of a Dissertation

Here we will discuss how NOT to write the results section of a dissertation. Or simply, what points to avoid:

  • Do not make your research too complicated. Your paper, tables, and graphs should be clearly marked and follow order. So that they can exist independently without further explanation.
  • Do not include raw data. Remember, you are summarizing relevant results, not reporting them in detail. This chapter should briefly summarize your findings. Avoid complete introduction to each number and calculation.
  • Do not contradict errors or false results. Explain these errors and contradictions in conclusions. This often happens when different research methods have been used.
  • Do not write a conclusion or discussion. Instead, this part should contain summaries of findings.
  • Do not tend to include explanations and inferences from results. Such an approach can make this chapter subjective, unclear, and confusing to the reader.
  • Do not forget about novelty. Its lack is one of the main reasons for the paper's rejection.

Dissertation Results Section Example

Let's take a look at some good results section of dissertation examples. Remember that this part shows fundamental research you've done in detail. So, it has to be clear and concise, as you can see in the sample.

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Final Thoughts on Writing Results Section of Dissertation

When writing a results section of a dissertation, highlight your achievements by data. The main chapter's task is to convince the reader of conclusions' validity of your research. You should not overload text with too detailed information. Never use words whose meanings you do not understand. Also, oversimplification may seem unconvincing for readers. But on the other hand, writing this part can even be fun. You can directly see your study results, which you'll interpret later. So keep going, and we wish you courage!

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How Companies Should Weigh In on a Controversy

  • David M. Bersoff,
  • Sandra J. Sucher,
  • Peter Tufano

writing thesis results

Executives need guidance about managing their organizations’ engagement with societal issues—including hot-button topics such as gender, climate, and racial discrimination. Success in this realm does not mean avoiding public controversy or achieving unanimous support among key stakeholders, the authors write. Rather, it results from adhering to certain processes and strategies, which they have derived from recent global survey research along with examples from managerial best practice.

They offer an approach that is anchored in data but sensitive to values and context. It can be helpful in figuring out which issues to address and how; in ameliorating disappointment among stakeholders; and in managing any potential blowback.

Data can tell you what your various stakeholders care about, they write, but judgment is necessary to act in careful consideration of conflicting preferences while being consistent with your company’s values.

A better approach to stakeholder management

Idea in Brief

The challenge.

Given today’s widespread social and political polarization, executives need better guidance as they navigate hot-button topics such as gender, climate, and racial discrimination.

The Insight

Success at handling these subjects does not mean avoiding public controversy or achieving unanimous support among key stakeholders.

Executives can take stands on issues and skillfully address both internal and external pushback if they acquire a more sophisticated understanding of their stakeholders’ concerns.

On April 1, 2023, just as the March Madness college basketball tournament was getting underway, the transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney uploaded a sponsored post to Instagram to promote Bud Light. The backlash was immediate and cut deep. The beer brand was condemned by social conservatives across the United States, who launched a boycott.

  • DB David M. Bersoff is the head of research at the Edelman Trust Institute, a think tank dedicated to advancing the study of trust in society.
  • Sandra J. Sucher is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. She is the coauthor of The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, and Regain It (PublicAffairs 2021).
  • PT Peter Tufano is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School , senior advisor to Harvard’s Salata Institue for Climate and Sustainability, and a former dean of Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

writing thesis results

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Results Section

    Revised on July 18, 2023. A results section is where you report the main findings of the data collection and analysis you conducted for your thesis or dissertation. You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order.

  2. How to Write an Impressive Thesis Results Section

    September 4, 2022 | Read time: 7 min How to Write an Impressive Thesis Results Section After collecting and analyzing your research data, it's time to write the results section.

  3. How to Write a Results Section

    A results section is where you report the main findings of the data collection and analysis you conducted for your thesis or dissertation. You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order.

  4. Dissertation Results & Findings Chapter (Qualitative)

    The results chapter in a dissertation or thesis (or any formal academic research piece) is where you objectively and neutrally present the findings of your qualitative analysis (or analyses if you used multiple qualitative analysis methods ).

  5. Dissertation Results/Findings Chapter (Quantitative)

    What exactly is the results chapter? The results chapter (also referred to as the findings or analysis chapter) is one of the most important chapters of your dissertation or thesis because it shows the reader what you've found in terms of the quantitative data you've collected.

  6. How to Write a Dissertation Results Section

    The results section is where you report the main findings of your research. Watch this video to learn how to report your results concisely and objectively in a logical order, and what to...

  7. What goes in the results section of a dissertation?

    The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively. In quantitative research, for each question or hypothesis, state: The type of analysis used Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported

  8. Writing up results

    1. Overview and planning 2. Theses including publications 3. Originality 4. Structuring your thesis 5. Literature reviews 6. Writing up results 7. Interpreting results 8. Resources Writing up results

  9. PDF Results Section for Research Papers

    The results section of a research paper tells the reader what you found, while the discussion section tells the reader what your findings mean. The results section should present the facts in an academic and unbiased manner, avoiding any attempt at analyzing or interpreting the data. Think of the results section as setting the stage for the ...

  10. Dissertation Writing: Results and Discussion

    You should write your results section in the past tense: you are describing what you have done in the past. Warning! Every result included MUST have a method set out in the methods section. Check back to make sure that you have included all the relevant methods.

  11. The Results and Discussion

    Guide contents. As part of the Writing the Dissertation series, this guide covers the most common conventions of the results and discussion chapters, giving you the necessary knowledge, tips and guidance needed to impress your markers! The sections are organised as follows: The Difference - Breaks down the distinctions between the results and discussion chapters.

  12. What Is a Thesis?

    What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree.

  13. Writing the results chapter

    The results section describes the data that you gathered and the outcomes of the analysis of that data. In this section, you will typically find: graphs, tables, and charts supported by written descriptions and made identifiable by a title or legend

  14. PDF Conclusions

    Harvard College Writing Center 1 Conclusions ... brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled. So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection ... has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the "behavioral mediation ...

  15. PDF Writing Your Thesis Methods and Results

    First, a quick Soc 128 recap! Reliability (whether you can consistently achieve these results) If others conducted the study, would they obtain the same results? Also, if your sample were different (but of the same theoretical or empirical category), would you obtain the same results? Validity

  16. PDF Thesis

    Harvard College Writing Center 1 Thesis Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim.

  17. How to write the Results and Discussion

    Don't repeat results. Order simple to complex (building to conclusion); or may state conclusion first. Conclusion should be consistent with study objectives/research question. Explain how the results answer the question under study. Emphasize what is new, different, or important about your results.

  18. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  19. RESULTS

    Chris A. Mack. SPIE. 2018. Present the results of the paper, in logical order, using tables and graphs as necessary. Explain the results and show how they help to answer the research questions posed in the Introduction. Evidence does not explain itself; the results must be presented and then explained. Avoid: presenting results that are never ...

  20. Guide on How to Write the Results Section of a Dissertation

    Writing a thesis results section requires statistical expertise to present and defend the findings effectively. What's more, the core findings should be presented logically without interpretation or bias from the writer. This section should set up the read for evaluation or interpretation of the findings in the discussion chapter.

  21. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 8 Thesis Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is

  22. Research Results Section

    Research results refer to the findings and conclusions derived from a systematic investigation or study conducted to answer a specific question or hypothesis. These results are typically presented in a written report or paper and can include various forms of data such as numerical data, qualitative data, statistics, charts, graphs, and visual aids.

  23. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  24. Thesis

    Write the Thesis: Once you have analyzed the data, you need to write the thesis. The thesis should follow a specific structure that includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references. ... Chapter 4: Results [The results chapter presents the findings of your research, using tables, charts ...

  25. How to Write a Thesis: A Guide for Master's Students

    The results and implications, such as the negative and positive aspects of your main topic and the broader context of your research Tip #5: Write the Literature Review ... When writing thesis statements, it is necessary to consider how bias will affect your writing and your reader. Being 100% objective is an admirable goal, but it is impossible ...

  26. How to Write a Results Section: Definition, Tips & Examples

    The easiest way to write a quantitative dissertation results section is to build it around a sub-question or hypothesis of your research. For each subquery, provide relevant results and include statistical analysis. Then briefly evaluate importance & reliability. Notice how each result relates to the problem or whether it supports the hypothesis.

  27. Summarize With AI: A Comprehensive Guide

    The wording of your AI prompt is crucial to getting the results you need. ... obvious application for AI summarization is helping you write a thesis statement for a research paper or other academic writing. A thesis statement is a succinct sentence that encapsulates the entire point of your paper, usually placed in the introduction as a way to ...

  28. What Are AI Text Generators? 8 Best Tools To Improve Writing

    Robot typing on keyboard. AI text generators. getty. Writer's block might be a thing of the past thanks to a wide variety of AI text generators that can research works, help find the right ...

  29. How Companies Should Weigh In on a Controversy

    The Challenge. Given today's widespread social and political polarization, executives need better guidance as they navigate hot-button topics such as gender, climate, and racial discrimination.

  30. Lunch Learning Seminar: Modelling the experience of writing a thesis

    The artistic aspects become particularly clear methodologically, in the practices of collecting, understanding and analyzing research data. I have also made use of artistic skills to concretize and deepen my understanding of the process being a doctoral student, of thesis-writing and of how research takes shape as a profession.