Discussion chapter - help!


Hi all
Just looking for a bit of reassurance on my discussion chapter. I'm crawling along with it and I don't really know how to say what my findings are or what they mean - it just feels like a big confusing mess still! I thought by this stage I would be crystal clear as to the point of my thesis but it really doesn't feel like it. I also thought I'd be feeling relief at almost being over the last hurdle, but it's seeming a bit insurmountable at the moment. Just wondered if anyone else has been through similar and if you had any words of advice??


I'm having similar issues, but I feel like I've said everything I need to say (with a little repetition) in about 1700 words and I feel like it should be longer... I've been searching the web for advice and basically found that there are lots of different styles and lengths and as long as it suits your thesis it's fine. I've never heard of anyone getting many corrections on their discussion section hah. Maybe you need to step back from it for a day and go back to it, or give yourself a deadline. Mine all poured out in an hour when I knew I had to write it =)


Hi socpol,

Can I ask if your study is qualitative or quantitative in nature? I can't comment on the latter, but in terms of the former, Lofland and Lofland (2005) suggest a 60/40% ratio for the findings and discussion, respectively.



Thanks both for your responses. I've just got to the point where I've given up on trying to think about it, and am writing, albeit painfully slowly! I'm hoping it will take shape as it goes though. RLD, it's qual - but about half my thesis (50000) is on findings, so don't think I'll manage that ratio! Looking at approx. 10000 words for discussion. My deadline is pretty close now, so thinking it will have to do!


If your thesis format doesn’t include a separate discussion in your data chapters, then your discussion chapter will need to be adequate enough to represent your findings, especially if you are discussing them in context to the literature.


I should have added that it is important to compare your findings to other studies in your discussion for two reasons: 1) it allows you to make a good case for originality and contribution to knowledge; and 2) you will have an actual thesis rather than a technical report.