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Dissertation findings Chapter

How do you present your findings (qualitative)?

When crafting your findings, the first thing you want to think about is how you will organize your findings. Your findings represent the story you are going to tell in response to the research questions you have answered. Thus, you will want to organize that story in a way that makes sense to you and will make sense to your reader. You want to think about how you will present the findings so that they are compelling and responsive to the research question(s) you answered. These questions may not be the questions you set out to answer but they will definitely be the questions you answered. You may discover that the best way to organize the findings is first by research question and second by theme. There may be other formats that are better for telling your story. Once you have decided how you want to organize the findings, you will start the chapter by reminding your reader of the research questions. You will need to differentiate between is presenting raw data and using data as evidence or examples to support the findings you have identified. Here are some points to consider:
  • Your findings should provide sufficient evidence from your data to support the conclusions you have made. Evidence takes the form of quotations from interviews and excerpts from observations and documents.
  • Ethically you have to make sure you have confidence in your findings and account for counter-evidence (evidence that contradicts your primary finding) and not report something that does not have sufficient evidence to back it up.
  • Your findings should be related back to your conceptual framework.
  • Your findings should be in response to the problem presented (as defined by the research questions) and should be the “solution” or “answer” to those questions.
  • You should focus on data that enables you to answer your research questions, not simply on offering raw data.
  • Qualitative research presents “best examples” of raw data to demonstrate an analytic point, not simply to display data.
  • Numbers (descriptive statistics) help your reader understand how prevalent or typical a finding is. Numbers are helpful and should not be avoided simply because this is a qualitative dissertation.
Example Martinez-Kellar Dissertation, p. 140-144 (Individual Leader Element: Leader Creativity)
Source: dissertationedd.usc.edu
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