How can you structure a good discussion section of PhD dissertation



The discussion section of your Ph.D. dissertation is the most crucial part of your research. After presenting your results, you will have to analyze your key findings in the discussion section. The discussion section is the crux of your entire research that justifies the significance of your research. It gives you a chance to demonstrate whether you successfully proved or disproved your research problem or hypothesis. So, every researcher needs to know about the fundamental techniques to structure the discussion section of a Ph.D. Dissertation. Keep reading this article, and we will tell you how to write the discussion section.

What is a discussion section?

The discussion section is that part of your dissertation where you will have to evaluate and interpret your results. You only present your research findings in the results section, but you do not analyze them. The discussion chapter allows you to elaborate on the results and further analyze them. The discussion section of your Ph.D. dissertation discusses the importance and future implications of your findings. If you cannot write on your own, you can hire Ph.D. dissertation writing services.

In the discussions section, you will have to contextualize your research findings in the light of research questions and stated hypotheses. Your findings will either refute or accept the hypothesis, and you will have to justify that. The discussion section is an opportunity to present your findings logically and coherently. Based on the discussions section, you will conclude and summarize your research. In a nutshell, a discussion section has the following features:

Inform the readers about the:

  • meaning of your results
  • significance of your findings
  • limitations of your results
  • future recommendations that might proceed from your research

Here are a few strategies to structure the discussion section of my Ph.D. Dissertation:

Elaborate on your Key Findings

You can start this chapter by restating your research problem, research questions, and hypothesis. In this section, you will have to summarize the key findings of your research. The key findings that are relevant to your initial objectives require further discussion. The discussion section does not necessarily have to present all of the results gathered in the research process. You only need to include those results that directly answer your primary research question. Language plays a key role in the discussion section. Make sure you use appropriate words in this chapter. You can use words like indicate, demonstrate, supports/contradicts, and suggests giving formal language to your discussion section:

It is also important to remember that the composition of the discussion depends upon your research methodology. For quantitative research design, you will have to establish correlations and causal relationships among the variables based on your key findings. Qualitative research studies involve thematically discussing your findings and looking for patterns and connections. But generally, the purpose is to summarize the overall findings of your research. The contextualization phase of your key findings with your research objectives should not be more than two paragraphs. You can elaborate in detail in the later section of this chapter.

Interpretation of findings

The next step involves interpreting your results after restarting your research objectives, research problem, and hypothesis. It is important to remember that you should avoid introducing new information in this section. It would be best to stick to the key findings contextualized in the first two paragraphs. The structure of the discussions section should resemble the structure of your results chapter. It is wise to do so because your reader will better understand your arguments. It will increase the comprehensibility of your research and give it a logical structure. You can structure this section based on your research objectives and research questions. The primary aim is to answer and elaborate on the research questions you formulated initially.

Comparison with the Literature

The next important thing to remember is to compare your key findings with the literature you reviewed for your dissertation. It is crucial to remember that research is a dialogue and foundation for new knowledge. Criticism is the defining hallmark of scholarship. So, even if the review literature contradicts your findings, it is still important to include them. It enhances your credibility as a researcher and impresses your readers that you are receptive to criticism. You can compare your key findings with the existing research and acknowledge the limitations of your study. It will be a prelude to future research. You can ask the following questions to compare your results with the existing studies:

  • What is the correlation between your research and the existing studies?
  • What's the reason behind the contradictions between your study’s results and the previous studies?
  • What is the contribution of your study’s findings to the larger body of knowledge?
  • What's other perspectives could you have employed to observe and explain your research problem or hypothesis?

Discuss the Limitations of your Research

The ability to absorb criticism is the hallmark of a scholar. No one is all-knowing, and we all have our limitations as human beings. So, it is essential to acknowledge the limitations of your study while writing the discussion section. The limitations do not only pertain to the key findings of your research. Limitations might encompass the scope of your research and the theoretical assumptions of your research. It is important to understand that acknowledging the limitations is not a self-defeating exercise. Humility and receptiveness to criticism increase your knowledge and inform you about your shortcomings. It allows you the opportunity to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It also serves as a prelude to future research. Hence, it is essential to register your contribution to the larger body of knowledge.


The discussion section of my Ph. The dissertation also has to provide recommendations and suggestions. In action-oriented research, your suggestions will have practical benefits. While providing recommendations, you will be benefitting the practitioners and policymakers about the practical implications of your research. It also includes providing recommendations for conducting future research.


The discussion section of my Ph.D. dissertation is an important part of the research process. It summarizes the key findings in the light of research questions. So, it is essential to spend a significant amount of time writing and structuring the discussion section.

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