Common mistakes in results and discussion chapters
- Not labelling graphs correctly; not providing units in tables and/or graphs
- Only presenting figures and tables and not referring to them or describing them in the text.
- Presenting the same data in both tables and graphs (use the most appropriate form – not both).
- Only presenting the results and not evaluating or discussing them or relating them to other cited literature, legislation, protocols, etc. This means the project is descriptive and suggests that you do not understand the implications of your findings.
- Not relating the results to the original aim and objectives. You must evaluate the extent to which you have met your aim and objectives in your conclusions.
- Not discussing the implications of any findings.
Irrespective of whether your data are primary or secondary, quantitative or qualitative, you need to present a set of robust and appropriately analysed and evaluated results that can be clearly related to the initial objectives/hypotheses/questions you posed. You must then compare and contrast what your key findings are in terms of the broader literature (with cited references). This is critical and the part where most theses fall down. Without going back to the published literature to put your findings in context, there is no clear indication of their importance and originality. This is your opportunity to underline the contribution to understanding your research has made so it is important that you do this.
The results, analysis and discussion is the most important part of the thesis. Without adequate analysis and discussion, you will not achieve marks at merit level or above.