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How to Write the Dissertation or Thesis Results  Section – Guide with Examples

Published by at February 1st, 2023 , Revised On February 1, 2024

Start writing the results section of your dissertation when your research data has been gathered and analysed. The results section of a dissertation or thesis can be the most engaging and difficult to write.

But don’t worry!  Because in this guide, we have explained about writing and organising the result section of your thesis, presenting primary and secondary data differently, structuring the results of the thesis differently for various subjects, and best practices for tables and figures are all covered in this article.

Results Section

The result section of a thesis discusses in factual and concise language what was seen and measured during the investigation but does not analyse the conclusions. It rationally arranges the findings of your research.

Findings/Results Example

Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

The sample consisted of 500 participants, with an equal number of males and females. The age range was between 18 and 35, with an average age of 25. Most of the participants reported using social media on a daily basis, with Instagram being the most commonly used platform.

The findings indicate a significant negative relationship between social media use and mental health.
Participants who reported using social media more frequently also reported higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, those who reported spending more time on social media also reported experiencing more negative social comparisons and feelings of inadequacy. The findings suggest that certain social media platforms are more likely to affect mental health negatively.

Specifically, participants who reported using image-based platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat were likelier to report negative mental health outcomes than those who reported using text-based platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. The findings also reveal interesting gender differences in social media use and mental health.

Females reported using social media more frequently than males and were more likely to report negative mental health outcomes. Additionally, females reported experiencing more negative social comparisons on social media than males.

What you Should Include in the Result Section of your Thesis

  • Add all pertinent findings as text, tables, or figures.
  • Report the outcomes of subject acquisition and data gathering.
  • Present the data from all statistical analyses in qualitative research, regardless of whether the findings are significant.
  • Present the data by classifying or categorising themes and subjects for quantitative research.
  • Present all supporting evidence (e.g., subgroup analyses)
  • Include all findings, even those that contradict your presumptions or your premise.

What you Should not Include in the Result Section of your Thesis

  • Do not include whole transcripts of all interviews if the study incorporates theme analysis of an interview. Instead, include them as appendices.
  • Do not include background information (this should be in the introduction section)
  • Don’t discuss the significance of data that contradicts your theory. This will be addressed in the discussion and conclusion sections later on.
  • Do not restate findings that have already been reported in tables and figures. Focus only on the relevant topics or elaborate on key features.

How to Organise your Result Section

The thesis question should be briefly restated in the first paragraph of the thesis outcomes section. Present the findings next in text, graphics, or tables in an objective manner.

The results of experiments and statistical tests are presented in quantitative research, typically as tables and figures (graphs, diagrams, and pictures), with any important findings highlighted in the text. The thesis question serves as the framework for the findings. In this section, demographic information is typically presented first.

The following data must be supplied for each statistical test used:

  • The type of analysis used
  • A concise summary of each result, including descriptive statistics and inferential statistics and whether the results are significant
  • Any trends or differences identified through comparisons
  • How do the findings relate to your research and if they support or contradict your hypothesis

With the use of qualitative research, you may describe the development of the major themes or subjects that your data analysis revealed. Since it is challenging to portray the results as figures, the data are typically presented as text.

  • Describe each of the themes presented.
  • General patterns or tendencies noticed
  • Statistically significant or typical reactions
  • Quotations from your research disciplines that are pertinent
  • Relevant characteristics of your study subjects

Different Result Sections for Different Areas of Research

Findings must be coherently presented across all disciplines, reflect the research question, and support any tested hypotheses.

The way that results are presented varies greatly between fields. For instance, a thesis looking into customer service might have used interviews to gather data and analyse that data, similar to a thesis looking into how a particular population interprets a particular event. The results will still be presented very differently because they address different thesis-related concerns.

It is possible for a science thesis to have employed experiments to produce data, and this data would then be presented in a different way, most often including statistics. Nevertheless, findings must be coherently presented across all disciplines, reflect the research question, and support any tested hypotheses.

Differences Between the Results Section of the Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences fields

The results and discussion sections are regarded as different entities in the Sciences realm (qualitative and experimental research), and the results of experiments and statistical tests are provided. It is possible to integrate the results and discussion sections in the HSS domain (qualitative research).

In the humanities and social science field, there are two methods for presenting results:

  1. If you wish to draw attention to key findings, first give a summary of the findings before outlining them.
  2. If you have several results that are equally important, only offer one and explain it. Present a different outcome next, explain it, and so on. Finish with a summary of the whole thing.

Best Way to Add Figures and Tables

Figures and tables offer a comprehensive overview of the research findings that are far simpler to understand than slogging through dense text describing one result after another. This is why the usage of figures and tables is strongly advised. The information supplied in figures and tables shouldn’t be repeated in the results section text. It should instead highlight the important findings or go into greater detail on certain points.

Other important guide: Writing a Dissertation or Research Proposal

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), R software, MATLAB, Microsoft Excel, Statistical Analysis Software (SAS), GraphPad Prism, and Minitab are a few well-known software tools that can be used for the analysis and presentation of statistical data.
Utilising Microsoft Word’s Table tool is the simplest approach to creating tables. Additionally, Microsoft Excel is also available to help you through it.

Also read: List of Abbreviations

Guidelines to Add Tables and Figures

  • Figures and tables need to be understandable without the text.
  • Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively (in separate lists) in the order that they appear in the text.
  • Each table and graph must include a citation.
  • Give each figure and table a clear, meaningful caption.
  • Add a legend to clearly explain the information shown in the figure or table.

Read more articles: Writing a Literature Review – Step-by-Step Guide

Guidelines for Tables

  • The heading abbreviation used in tables must be defined in the footnotes for each table column.
  • Table data must match up with all numbers and language in the main body of the document.

Guidelines for Figures

  • Figures should be labelled so that the reader can quickly grasp what is being displayed.
  • Consistently use the same font style and size for all labels in figure panels.
  • The figure legend should contain definitions for any acronyms used in the figure artwork.

Useful content link: Steps of Writing a Dissertation or Thesis Introduction

Some useful tips:

  1. Just present the findings. Don’t speculate or make any remarks or interpret it.
  2. The methods section must contain a method for each result that was included. On the other hand, outcomes for each method must be included in the results section.
  3. Don’t describe tried-and-true techniques. Cite a source in its place.
  4. Be consistent in the measurement units you utilise for your thesis investigation. Use the same unit throughout your argument if you begin with kg. Consistency is also important when capitalising units of measurement.
  5. Even if the conclusion is surprising, never modify measurement results.

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The Difference in Results, Discussion and Conclusion

Your thesis has three sections that present the results: the results, the discussion, and the conclusion.

The data are given clearly and unbiasedly in the findings section. There isn’t any inference or interpretation made.

The significance of the results is determined in the discussion section, which also interprets and contextualises them (e.g., by comparing them to other findings in the literature).

The key conclusions and the results are discussed in the conclusion section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Present findings objectively and concisely, using tables or charts.

2) Organize results based on research questions or hypotheses.

3) Explain the significance of each finding and relate them to previous research.

4) Avoid interpretation or speculation, focusing solely on data.

5) Provide clear references to the methodologies used.

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