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Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Results Chapter of your Dissertation

Oct 1, 2023 | 0 comments

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Oct 1, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

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The results chapter of a dissertation is of utmost importance as it presents the findings obtained from the research study. It serves as a critical section that showcases the outcomes of your research and provides evidence to support your hypotheses or research questions. The results chapter plays a crucial role in demonstrating the validity and reliability of your research.

Avoiding common mistakes in the results chapter is crucial to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of your study. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Presenting Incomplete or Inaccurate Results: It is essential to provide complete and accurate results, including all relevant data and findings from your research.

2. Failing to Interpret the Results: Merely presenting the results without proper interpretation can confuse readers and hinder their understanding of the study’s implications.

3. Overemphasizing or Underemphasizing Results: It is crucial to present the results objectively and avoid exaggerating or minimizing their significance.

4. Not Providing Sufficient Detail or Context: Results should be accompanied by sufficient details and context to help readers grasp the importance and relevance of the findings.

5. Ignoring Negative or Unexpected Results: Negative or unexpected results should not be disregarded but acknowledged and discussed in the research context.

6. Omitting Relevant Statistics or Data Analysis Techniques: Ensure that you include appropriate statistics and data analysis techniques to support your findings and enhance the credibility of your research.

7. Mixing Results with Discussion: It is essential to keep the results separate from the discussion section to maintain clarity and organization in your dissertation.

To avoid these common mistakes, consider following these tips when writing the results chapter:

1. Plan and Organize Your Results Section: Create a clear outline and structure for presenting your results to maintain coherence and logical flow.

2. Verify the Accuracy and Completeness of Your Results: Double-check your data and ensure that all relevant results are included accurately.

3. Interpret and Explain Your Results: Provide a comprehensive interpretation of your findings, explaining their implications and significance for your research.

4. Provide Sufficient Detail and Context: Contextualize your results by including relevant background information, methodology details, and explanations of analytical procedures.

5. Address Negative or Unexpected Results: Acknowledge and discuss any negative or unexpected results, offering possible explanations or exploring their implications.

6. Use Appropriate Statistics and Data Analysis Techniques: Employ suitable statistical methods and data analysis techniques to strengthen the validity and reliability of your results.

7. Keep Results and Discussion Separate: Maintain a clear distinction


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Before we delve into the ‘Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Results Chapter of your Dissertation,’ consider watching this informative video titled ‘Dissertation Results Chapter: 7 Costly Mistakes To AVOID’ for valuable insights.

Importance of the Results Chapter

The Results Chapter holds great significance in a dissertation, emphasizing the importance of the findings. It presents the research study’s outcomes concisely and clearly, allowing readers to understand and evaluate its significance. This chapter plays a crucial role by providing factual evidence and supporting the research objectives.

Researchers can conclude and make recommendations based on the collected data within the Results Chapter. Quantitative descriptors like percentages are utilized to accurately represent the results and their implications. By starting sentences with the same part of speech in list constructions, the information is organized and easy to follow. The use of plural nouns reflects the comprehensive nature of the research and its multiple findings.

To enhance the effectiveness of the Results Chapter, researchers need to avoid including unrelated or context-free information. Instead, they should focus on presenting factual assertions and numerical details, which provide a comprehensive understanding of the research outcomes.


Why is the Results Chapter Important in a Dissertation?

The results chapter is crucial in a dissertation as it plays a vital role in presenting important insights and findings from the research. Here are some reasons explaining the significance of the results chapter in a dissertation:

  • Validates the research: The results chapter plays a key role in validating the study and highlighting the importance of the research question by presenting the research outcomes.
  • Provides evidence: By presenting empirical evidence that supports or refutes the hypotheses or research questions, the results chapter establishes a solid foundation for the conclusions drawn.
  • Contributes to knowledge: The results chapter contributes to the existing body of knowledge by presenting new information, discoveries, or trends that enhance the field of study.
  • Allows replication: The chapter enables other researchers to replicate the study and verify the findings by providing detailed results, promoting transparency and scientific rigor.
  • Offers insights for future research: Identifying areas for further exploration or suggesting potential avenues for investigation, the results chapter provides valuable insights for future research.


Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Results Chapter


Mistake 1: Presenting Incomplete or Inaccurate Results

One of the common mistakes researchers make is presenting incomplete or inaccurate results, which can undermine the credibility and validity of their research. To avoid this mistake, it is important to ensure that all relevant data and information are collected and included to present a comprehensive and accurate representation of the findings.

It is also crucial to double-check the data for any errors or inconsistencies to guarantee their accuracy. In addition, researchers should refrain from cherry-picking results or selectively presenting data that supports their hypothesis while ignoring contradictory findings. Instead, positive and negative results should be presented to provide a balanced view of the research.

An important aspect of presenting results is clearly labeling and explaining any limitations or constraints that may have affected the completeness or accuracy of the findings. To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the results, it is advisable to consult with advisors or peers before finalizing the dissertation.


Mistake 2: Failing to Interpret the Results

Failing to interpret the results is a common mistake in the results chapter of a dissertation. It is crucial to present the raw data and findings and analyze and explain the results. By neglecting to interpret the results, readers may struggle to understand the significance of the findings and how they contribute to the overall research question.

To avoid Mistake 2: Failing to Interpret the Results, it is important to clearly explain the implications of the results and how they align with the research objectives. This can be done by providing a detailed discussion of the patterns, trends, and relationships observed in the data. Use the results as evidence to support your arguments and provide context for the conclusions drawn.

It is crucial to consider alternative explanations for the results and address any limitations or inconsistencies that may have arisen during the research process. This demonstrates critical thinking and a thorough understanding of the subject matter.


Mistake 3: Overemphasizing or Underemphasizing Results

Overemphasizing or underemphasizing results in the results chapter of a dissertation can lead to a distorted understanding of the research findings. Excessively highlighting positive or significant results while ignoring limitations or other important findings is a common mistake that can occur when overemphasizing results.

Conversely, underemphasizing results involves downplaying or failing to properly discuss significant findings, which reduces their impact and significance. Making this mistake can result in a biased or incomplete representation of the research findings, undermining the study’s validity and credibility.

To avoid overemphasizing or underemphasizing results, researchers should objectively present and discuss all findings, irrespective of their significance or alignment with the hypothesis. Providing a balanced perspective, researchers should acknowledge both positive and negative results, offering explanations or interpretations for unexpected findings. This approach ensures transparency and enables readers to comprehend the full scope and implications of the research results.

Mistake 4: Not Providing Sufficient Detail or Context

Not providing sufficient detail or context in the results chapter of a dissertation is a mistake that should be avoided to ensure the success and validity of the study. Incorporating a clear and comprehensive explanation of the findings is crucial, allowing readers to fully understand and interpret the results. Making factual assertions and presenting specific numerical details are necessary to better understand the research outcomes.

By offering relevant information and background knowledge, the results can be contextualized, avoiding confusion or misleading interpretations. The results chapter serves not only as a presentation of data but also as a platform to showcase the depth of analysis conducted and the rigor of the research. By avoiding the mistake of not providing sufficient detail or context, the results chapter of a dissertation can effectively communicate the research findings and contribute significantly to the overall impact of the study.

Mistake 5: Ignoring Negative or Unexpected Results

Ignoring negative or unexpected results, especially in a research study, can be a serious mistake. By failing to acknowledge their existence, dismissing their importance, or avoiding discussions about their implications, valuable insights can be missed out on. Furthermore, not taking the opportunity to learn from these results can hinder progress and limit advancements in the field. It is essential to carefully analyze and consider negative or unexpected results, as they can lead to further discoveries and improvements in the research methodology. Moreover, highlighting the value of these results in contributing to the overall understanding of the research topic is crucial. Additionally, a comprehensive research analysis must address potential limitations or challenges associated with negative or unexpected results.

Mistake 6: Omitting Relevant Statistics or Data Analysis Techniques

One common mistake is omitting relevant statistics or data analysis techniques in your results chapter. Collect and organize all the necessary data to support your research findings.

Using appropriate statistical methods and analysis techniques to analyze the data is important. Include descriptive statistics, such as mean, median, and standard deviation, to clearly understand the data. Present your findings using graphical representations, such as charts, graphs, or tables, to make it easier for readers to comprehend the results.

Don’t overlook any statistical outliers or unexpected results that may significantly impact your research.

Explain the data analysis techniques you used in detail, including any assumptions made and any limitations. Avoid making the mistake of omitting any relevant statistical tests that are necessary to validate your research findings.

Explain how you derived your conclusions from the data analysis, ensuring the reader can follow your reasoning. Provide a comprehensive overview of the findings, highlighting the key statistical results that support your research objectives.

Mistake 7: Mixing Results with Discussion

When writing the Results chapter of a dissertation, it is crucial to avoid the mistake of mixing results with discussion. This can lead to confusion and a lack of clarity in presenting the findings. Mixing results with discussion can hinder the reader’s understanding of the data and its implications.

Instead, it is essential to distinguish between the two sections clearly. The Results section should solely focus on presenting the raw data without any interpretation or analysis. It should provide a clear and concise summary of the findings, using factual assertions to convey the information effectively.

Keeping the Results and Discussion sections separate allows for a logical flow in your dissertation. This separation enables readers to understand the data before delving into its interpretation and analysis. It ensures that the information is structured and organized, making it easier for the audience to follow.

To avoid the mistake of mixing results with discussion, it is recommended to plan and organize your Results section carefully. Ensure you present the data clearly and coherently, providing sufficient detail and context. Save the interpretation and analysis of the data for the Discussion section, where you can fully explore the implications and significance of the results.


How to Avoid Common Mistakes in the Results Chapter


Tip 1: Plan and Organize Your Results Section

To ensure a well-organized and effective results section in your dissertation, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by planning and organizing the main points or findings you want to present in your results section.
  2. Organize your results logically, such as by research question or objective.
  3. Label each result or finding clearly, using headings or subheadings to guide the reader.
  4. Include relevant tables, charts, or graphs to represent your data visually.
  5. Provide accurate and specific details about your results, including numerical data and statistical significance.
  6. Use clear and concise language to describe any patterns, trends, or relationships that emerge from your results.
  7. Ensure that your results section is focused solely on presenting the results without mixing in any discussion or interpretation.


Tip 2: Verify the Accuracy and Completeness of Your Results

When it comes to verifying the accuracy and completeness of your results in the Results Chapter of your dissertation, it is important to follow these steps:

  1. Double-check all data entries and calculations to ensure accuracy.
  2. Compare your results with your research objectives and hypotheses to ensure they align.
  3. Ensure that you have included all necessary data and results in your analysis.
  4. Review your methodology and research design to confirm you collected all relevant data.
  5. Check for any inconsistencies or outliers in your results that may require further investigation.
  6. Verify that you have provided sufficient evidence and examples to support your findings.
  7. Consult with your advisor or peers for feedback and suggestions on your results.


Tip 3: Interpret and Explain Your Results

Begin by clearly interpreting and explaining your results. Avoid technical jargon and ensure the reader can easily understand the main points. Next, explain the significance of your results about your research question or objectives. Discuss how your findings contribute to your field’s existing body of knowledge.

Highlight any patterns, trends, or relationships that emerged from your data. Use visuals such as graphs or tables to support your explanations. Offer possible explanations or interpretations for your results. Consider alternative explanations and address any limitations or constraints of your study that may have influenced the outcomes.

Connect your findings back to your research objectives and hypothesis. Discuss whether your results support or contradict your initial expectations. Address any unexpected or contradictory results. Be transparent about any inconsistencies and provide potential reasons for these discrepancies.

Consider the broader implications of your findings. Discuss how your results may impact future research, policies, or practices in your field.


Tip 4: Provide Sufficient Detail and Context

To provide sufficient detail and context in the Results Chapter of your dissertation, follow these steps:

  1. Include all relevant data: Ensure you present all the necessary data and findings in your results section. This includes any statistical analyses, measurements, and observations related to your research question.
  2. Provide clear descriptions: Clearly describe the methods you used to collect the data, the variables you measured, and any calculations or formulas used. This will help readers understand the context of your results and how they were obtained.
  3. Give numerical details: Avoid using vague terms like “a lot” or “many” and instead provide specific numerical details. Use percentages, ratios, or other quantitative descriptors to accurately convey your results’ magnitude.
  4. Offer comparisons and references: Provide comparisons to existing literature or benchmark data, if applicable. This will give the context of your results and allow readers to understand how your findings relate to previous studies or established standards.
  5. Explain any unexpected or inconsistent results: If your results deviate from what was predicted or if there are inconsistencies within your data, provide a clear explanation. This could include discussing potential sources of error, study limitations, or alternative interpretations.
  6. Present visuals and tables: Use graphs, charts, and tables to represent your findings visually. These visual aids can help readers better understand complex data and relationships.
  7. Link back to research objectives: Constantly refer to your research objectives or questions throughout the results chapter. This will keep your discussion focused and ensure you provide sufficient detail and context relevant to your study’s goals.

Tip 5: Address Negative or Unexpected Results

When addressing negative or unexpected results in your dissertation’s results chapter, follow these tips to handle them effectively:

  1. Acknowledge and describe the negative or unexpected results obtained.
  2. Provide an objective analysis and interpretation of these results.
  3. Examine potential reasons for the unexpected results and consider alternative explanations.
  4. Discuss the implications and significance of the negative or unexpected results, particularly within the context of your research question or hypothesis.
  5. Address the limitations or constraints that may have contributed to these negative or unexpected results.
  6. Suggest areas for further exploration or future research that could contribute to a better understanding of the unexpected results.
  7. Emphasize your research’s overall importance and validity, even in light of negative or unexpected results.


Tip 6: Use Appropriate Statistics and Data Analysis Techniques

When conducting data analysis and presenting the results in a dissertation, it is crucial to utilize appropriate statistics and data analysis techniques to ensure your findings’ accuracy, reliability, and effective communication. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Select the statistical tests or techniques most suitable for analyzing your data. This may involve descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, regression analysis, or correlation analysis.
  • Before applying any statistical method, it is important to understand the underlying assumptions to ensure the validity and significance of the results.
  • Double-check the accuracy and completeness of the data you gather and input. Ensure it is entered correctly into the statistical software or tool you use.
  • Apply the selected statistical methods to analyze your data. Calculate the relevant measures, run the tests, and interpret the results accordingly.
  • Once you obtain the statistical outputs, interpret them within the context of your research question and objectives. Present the findings objectively and provide a clear explanation of their meaning.
  • Consider any limitations or potential sources of error in your data or analysis. Discuss how these limitations may impact the reliability of your results.
  • Utilize suitable visualizations, such as graphs or charts, to present your findings. This will enhance accessibility and understanding of the results.
  • Validate your statistical analysis by cross-checking it with other relevant statistical methods or techniques. This will ensure the robustness and accuracy of your findings.

Tip 7: Keep Results and Discussion Separate

  1. Start the Results chapter by presenting all of your findings and data. Use clear and concise language to describe your results.
  2. Provide relevant graphs, tables, or charts to represent your data visually. This will make it easier for readers to understand your findings.
  3. After presenting your results, move on to the Discussion chapter. In this section, analyze and interpret your findings based on your research objectives.
  4. Explain the significance and implications of your results about existing literature and theories. This will help readers understand the broader context of your research.
  5. Avoid mixing your results with your interpretations and discussions. Keep them separate to maintain clarity and avoid confusion.
  6. Consider the limitations of your study and acknowledge any potential biases or shortcomings in your findings. This demonstrates a critical approach to your research.
  7. End the Results chapter with a conclusion summarizing the key findings and their implications. This will provide a smooth transition into the next chapter of your dissertation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing the Results section of my dissertation?

Some common mistakes to avoid in the Results section include including all data, using text to describe everything, repeating data included in figures/tables/legends, discussing different data in an unorganized fashion, writing long explanations, and using exact numbers that are meaningless out of context.

How can I avoid these mistakes in the Results section of my dissertation?

To avoid these mistakes, selecting only relevant information, using visual formats for better understanding, complementing text with graphical information, organizing information in a logical order, keeping descriptions concise, and using comparison-oriented numbers to highlight trends.

Should I number the figures and tables in the Results section of my dissertation?

Yes, it is important to number figures and tables consecutively in the order they are mentioned in the Results section. This helps in providing a clear and consistent visual structure for the readers.

How should I label figures and other images in the Results section?

The Results section should clearly and appropriately label all figures and other images. This ensures that readers can easily understand the content and context of the visuals.

Are there any formatting guidelines for the Results section in a journal manuscript?

Yes, when preparing a journal manuscript, it is important to follow the guidelines provided by the target journal. These guidelines usually include specific instructions on formatting, separating results and discussion sections, and labeling figures and tables.

What is the significance of using the past tense in the Results section of a research paper?

Using the past tense in the Results section is important as it emphasizes that the research has already been conducted and the data has been collected. It clearly distinguishes between the findings and the ongoing research or future work.

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