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Writing dissertation chapter 5: the biggest mistake students make, published by steve tippins on june 4, 2020 june 4, 2020.
Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 04:50 am
Chapter 5 of your dissertation is different from all of the previous four chapters.
If you’re beginning to write Chapter 5 of your dissertation, you know that most of the writing you’ve done up until now was fairly formulaic. You’ve probably been following templates with strict requirements about what needs to be included in each section and subsection. Even in Chapter 5, many schools will give you a template. But don’t let that fool you.
Regardless of whether you receive a rubric for it, Chapter 5 of your dissertation is unique.
Your dissertation’s Chapter 5 is where you get to be more individualistic than in any other chapter and really “sing your song.” Why? It’s where you tell the reader what your results mean. Not just what they are, but what they mean. You tell them what they should take away from your study. You describe how your results can help others in the world or in the field.
The Most Common Mistake Students Make When Writing Chapter 5 of Their Dissertation
The biggest mistake students make when writing their dissertation’s Chapter 5 is not writing enough. In fact, students often submit an “implications” section that’s only a few paragraphs.
As a committee member , it’s hard to see someone who has spent a year on a research topic and written 100+ pages about it and then get to the implications in Chapter 5 and see two paragraphs. This begs the question, “You mean this is all you have to say?”
Don’t cheat yourself in Chapter 5. Really explain and tell the story of what your results mean.
This is where you get to bring out your intellectual curiosity and help others really understand what you did and why you did it, what it means, and why it’s important. Of course, you’ll need to do this all within the guidelines of what your university will allow you to do.
Normally Chapter 5 of a dissertation is about 15-20 pages. If it’s under ten pages, you’re really underselling your research. When you get to around 30-40 pages, your committee is going to wonder, “did all this come from your study?” or “couldn’t this have been said more succinctly?”
Tips for Writing Dissertation Chapter 5
Reference the Literature. If you’re stumped for things to write, look at what you said in Chapter 2 and tell the reader what your results mean in relation to what the researchers you quoted in Chapter 2 were talking about.l How you have added knowledge to the field?
Consider Your Defense. When you do the defense of your final document, Chapter 5 is where you end up at the end of your presentation. This is the last thing you talk about before you get to questions, and it’s where you may be able to answer questions before they come up.
Address Your Problem and Purpose. Don’t forget to remind the reader what your problem statement and research questions were at the beginning of Chapter 5. Explain how your results apply to the problem and purpose.
Back Everything Up. Also remember that even though it’s your chance to interpret and even express yourself, you still have to back everything up. Use quotes or data points from your results section and relate it to other research.
Use a Bird’s Eye View. This is where you can use graphics, charts, graphs, or other data that are much broader in scope than you might use elsewhere. In Chapter 4, for example, you’re going to use a graph that specifically relates to a statistical test you did. In Chapter 5, you might use one that’s broader in scope if it fits the flow of what you’re writing.
Tell a story. While other chapters might have been written in more of a compartmentalized style because of their formulaic nature, in Chapter 5 you’re really telling the story of your research. In line with that, the writing will need more of a flow.
Dissertation Chapter 5 Sample Template With Explanations
In the introduction, tell the reader what they’re going to learn in Chapter 5. Reiterate the problem and purpose statements and your research questions and, if appropriate, reference the results from Chapter 4.
This is where you tell people here’s what the results of your study mean and why they are important. It also acts as a summary or “summing up” of the data. “These people said this,” or “this statistic was significant.” Make sure to support what you say with the research findings and avoid drawing conclusions that are beyond the scope of the study results.
Then discuss the real-world application of your findings. For example, “This is an approach that could be used by schools to help autistic children have better learning outcomes,” or “this is a technique that investors can use to predict valuable stock market returns.” Again, make sure to stay within the scope of your study.
Place your study in context. Describe how the results respond to the study problem, align with the purpose, demonstrate significance, and contribute to the existing literature described in Chapter 2.
The recommendations section is where you get to say, “and if you want to take this further, here are some suggestions for ways that this could be broadened or enhanced.” Here are some examples of what these suggestions could look like:
- Different samples and populations
- Ways to get at any limitations you reported in your study
- Different approaches: qualitative if your study was quantitative, or quantitative if yours was qualitative, for example. Describe approaches that would be complementary to your study.
- Related research that you’re already working on. Sometimes researchers work on multiple complementary projects simultaneously. Occasionally, they’ll include another related study that they’re working on in their recommendations section. This establishes a clear path of knowledge.
- Practical, real-world suggestions. “Here are some recommendations for how this research could be used in the real world.”
The conclusion of Chapter 5 is where you get to wrap up your story. “And so, boys and girls, this is what all this came down to.” Okay, you might not want to phrase it like that. But that’s essentially what you’re doing.
Don’t try to add new information in the conclusion. Remember, it’s like a speech: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
Finishing Your Dissertation
Writing Chapter 5 and defending your dissertation is a big step towards getting your degree. Many students benefit from the support of a coach who is an experienced Dissertation Committee Chair at this point. A coach can conduct a mock defense with you in order to prepare you for the types of questions your committee will ask. Having answers to these questions can determine whether or not you pass your defense.
Check out my dissertation coaching services or contact me to book a free 30-minute consultation.
Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins
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How To Write The Discussion Chapter
The what, why & how explained simply (with examples).
By: Jenna Crossley (PhD Cand). Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | August 2021
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve reached the discussion chapter of your thesis or dissertation and are looking for a bit of guidance. Well, you’ve come to the right place ! In this post, we’ll unpack and demystify the typical discussion chapter in straightforward, easy to understand language, with loads of examples .
Overview: Dissertation Discussion Chapter
- What (exactly) the discussion chapter is
- What to include in your discussion chapter
- How to write up your discussion chapter
- A few tips and tricks to help you along the way
What exactly is the discussion chapter?
The discussion chapter is where you interpret and explain your results within your thesis or dissertation. This contrasts with the results chapter, where you merely present and describe the analysis findings (whether qualitative or quantitative ). In the discussion chapter, you elaborate on and evaluate your research findings, and discuss the significance and implications of your results.
In this chapter, you’ll situate your research findings in terms of your research questions or hypotheses and tie them back to previous studies and literature (which you would have covered in your literature review chapter). You’ll also have a look at how relevant and/or significant your findings are to your field of research, and you’ll argue for the conclusions that you draw from your analysis. Simply put, the discussion chapter is there for you to interact with and explain your research findings in a thorough and coherent manner.
What should I include in the discussion chapter?
First things first: in some studies, the results and discussion chapter are combined into one chapter . This depends on the type of study you conducted (i.e., the nature of the study and methodology adopted), as well as the standards set by the university. So, check in with your university regarding their norms and expectations before getting started. In this post, we’ll treat the two chapters as separate, as this is most common.
Basically, your discussion chapter should analyse , explore the meaning and identify the importance of the data you presented in your results chapter. In the discussion chapter, you’ll give your results some form of meaning by evaluating and interpreting them. This will help answer your research questions, achieve your research aims and support your overall conclusion (s). Therefore, you discussion chapter should focus on findings that are directly connected to your research aims and questions. Don’t waste precious time and word count on findings that are not central to the purpose of your research project.
As this chapter is a reflection of your results chapter, it’s vital that you don’t report any new findings . In other words, you can’t present claims here if you didn’t present the relevant data in the results chapter first. So, make sure that for every discussion point you raise in this chapter, you’ve covered the respective data analysis in the results chapter. If you haven’t, you’ll need to go back and adjust your results chapter accordingly.
If you’re struggling to get started, try writing down a bullet point list everything you found in your results chapter. From this, you can make a list of everything you need to cover in your discussion chapter. Also, make sure you revisit your research questions or hypotheses and incorporate the relevant discussion to address these. This will also help you to see how you can structure your chapter logically.
Need a helping hand?
How to write the discussion chapter
Now that you’ve got a clear idea of what the discussion chapter is and what it needs to include, let’s look at how you can go about structuring this critically important chapter. Broadly speaking, there are six core components that need to be included, and these can be treated as steps in the chapter writing process.
Step 1: Restate your research problem and research questions
The first step in writing up your discussion chapter is to remind your reader of your research problem , as well as your research aim(s) and research questions . If you have hypotheses, you can also briefly mention these. This “reminder” is very important because, after reading dozens of pages, the reader may have forgotten the original point of your research or been swayed in another direction. It’s also likely that some readers skip straight to your discussion chapter from the introduction chapter , so make sure that your research aims and research questions are clear.
Step 2: Summarise your key findings
Next, you’ll want to summarise your key findings from your results chapter. This may look different for qualitative and quantitative research , where qualitative research may report on themes and relationships, whereas quantitative research may touch on correlations and causal relationships. Regardless of the methodology, in this section you need to highlight the overall key findings in relation to your research questions.
Typically, this section only requires one or two paragraphs , depending on how many research questions you have. Aim to be concise here, as you will unpack these findings in more detail later in the chapter. For now, a few lines that directly address your research questions are all that you need.
Some examples of the kind of language you’d use here include:
- The data suggest that…
- The data support/oppose the theory that…
- The analysis identifies…
These are purely examples. What you present here will be completely dependent on your original research questions, so make sure that you are led by them .
Step 3: Interpret your results
Once you’ve restated your research problem and research question(s) and briefly presented your key findings, you can unpack your findings by interpreting your results. Remember: only include what you reported in your results section – don’t introduce new information.
From a structural perspective, it can be a wise approach to follow a similar structure in this chapter as you did in your results chapter. This would help improve readability and make it easier for your reader to follow your arguments. For example, if you structured you results discussion by qualitative themes, it may make sense to do the same here.
Alternatively, you may structure this chapter by research questions, or based on an overarching theoretical framework that your study revolved around. Every study is different, so you’ll need to assess what structure works best for you.
When interpreting your results, you’ll want to assess how your findings compare to those of the existing research (from your literature review chapter). Even if your findings contrast with the existing research, you need to include these in your discussion. In fact, those contrasts are often the most interesting findings . In this case, you’d want to think about why you didn’t find what you were expecting in your data and what the significance of this contrast is.
Here are a few questions to help guide your discussion:
- How do your results relate with those of previous studies ?
- If you get results that differ from those of previous studies, why may this be the case?
- What do your results contribute to your field of research?
- What other explanations could there be for your findings?
When interpreting your findings, be careful not to draw conclusions that aren’t substantiated . Every claim you make needs to be backed up with evidence or findings from the data (and that data needs to be presented in the previous chapter – results). This can look different for different studies; qualitative data may require quotes as evidence, whereas quantitative data would use statistical methods and tests. Whatever the case, every claim you make needs to be strongly backed up.
Step 4: Acknowledge the limitations of your study
The fourth step in writing up your discussion chapter is to acknowledge the limitations of the study. These limitations can cover any part of your study , from the scope or theoretical basis to the analysis method(s) or sample. For example, you may find that you collected data from a very small sample with unique characteristics, which would mean that you are unable to generalise your results to the broader population.
For some students, discussing the limitations of their work can feel a little bit self-defeating . This is a misconception, as a core indicator of high-quality research is its ability to accurately identify its weaknesses. In other words, accurately stating the limitations of your work is a strength, not a weakness . All that said, be careful not to undermine your own research. Tell the reader what limitations exist and what improvements could be made, but also remind them of the value of your study despite its limitations.
Step 5: Make recommendations for implementation and future research
Now that you’ve unpacked your findings and acknowledge the limitations thereof, the next thing you’ll need to do is reflect on your study in terms of two factors:
- The practical application of your findings
- Suggestions for future research
The first thing to discuss is how your findings can be used in the real world – in other words, what contribution can they make to the field or industry? Where are these contributions applicable, how and why? For example, if your research is on communication in health settings, in what ways can your findings be applied to the context of a hospital or medical clinic? Make sure that you spell this out for your reader in practical terms, but also be realistic and make sure that any applications are feasible.
The next discussion point is the opportunity for future research . In other words, how can other studies build on what you’ve found and also improve the findings by overcoming some of the limitations in your study (which you discussed a little earlier). In doing this, you’ll want to investigate whether your results fit in with findings of previous research, and if not, why this may be the case. For example, are there any factors that you didn’t consider in your study? What future research can be done to remedy this? When you write up your suggestions, make sure that you don’t just say that more research is needed on the topic, also comment on how the research can build on your study.
Step 6: Provide a concluding summary
Finally, you’ve reached your final stretch. In this section, you’ll want to provide a brief recap of the key findings – in other words, the findings that directly address your research questions . Basically, your conclusion should tell the reader what your study has found, and what they need to take away from reading your report.
When writing up your concluding summary, bear in mind that some readers may skip straight to this section from the beginning of the chapter. So, make sure that this section flows well from and has a strong connection to the opening section of the chapter.
Tips and tricks for an A-grade discussion chapter
Now that you know what the discussion chapter is , what to include and exclude , and how to structure it , here are some tips and suggestions to help you craft a quality discussion chapter.
- When you write up your discussion chapter, make sure that you keep it consistent with your introduction chapter , as some readers will skip from the introduction chapter directly to the discussion chapter. Your discussion should use the same tense as your introduction, and it should also make use of the same key terms.
- Don’t make assumptions about your readers. As a writer, you have hands-on experience with the data and so it can be easy to present it in an over-simplified manner. Make sure that you spell out your findings and interpretations for the intelligent layman.
- Have a look at other theses and dissertations from your institution, especially the discussion sections. This will help you to understand the standards and conventions of your university, and you’ll also get a good idea of how others have structured their discussion chapters. You can also check out our chapter template .
- Avoid using absolute terms such as “These results prove that…”, rather make use of terms such as “suggest” or “indicate”, where you could say, “These results suggest that…” or “These results indicate…”. It is highly unlikely that a dissertation or thesis will scientifically prove something (due to a variety of resource constraints), so be humble in your language.
- Use well-structured and consistently formatted headings to ensure that your reader can easily navigate between sections, and so that your chapter flows logically and coherently.
If you have any questions or thoughts regarding this post, feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you’re looking for one-on-one help with your discussion chapter (or thesis in general), consider booking a free consultation with one of our highly experienced Grad Coaches to discuss how we can help you.
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Thank you this is helpful!
This is very helpful to me… Thanks a lot for sharing this with us 😊
This has been very helpful indeed. Thank you.
This is actually really helpful, I just stumbled upon it. Very happy that I found it, thank you.
Me too! I was kinda lost on how to approach my discussion chapter. How helpful! Thanks a lot!
This is really good and explicit. Thanks
Thank you, this blog has been such a help.
Thank you. This is very helpful.
Thanks a lot for this helpful blog. Really, it supported me in writing my discussion chapter while I was totally unaware about its structure and method of writing.
Syed Firoz Ahmad PhD, Research Scholar
I agree so much. This blog was god sent. It assisted me so much while I was totally clueless about the context and the know-how. Now I am fully aware of what I am to do and how I am to do it.
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Truly, your article was much benefited when i structured my discussion chapter.
Thank you very much!!!
This is helpful for me in writing my research discussion component. I have to copy this text on Microsoft word cause of my weakness that I cannot be able to read the text on screen a long time. So many thanks for this articles.
This was helpful
Thanks Jenna, well explained.
Thank you! This is super helpful.
Thanks very much. I have appreciated the six steps on writing the Discussion chapter which are (i) Restating the research problem and questions (ii) Summarising the key findings (iii) Interpreting the results linked to relating to previous results in positive and negative ways; explaining whay different or same and contribution to field of research and expalnation of findings (iv) Acknowledgeing limitations (v) Recommendations for implementation and future resaerch and finally (vi) Providing a conscluding summary
My two questions are: 1. On step 1 and 2 can it be the overall or you restate and sumamrise on each findings based on the reaerch question? 2. On 4 and 5 do you do the acknowlledgement , recommendations on each research finding or overall. This is not clear from your expalanattion.
This post is very useful. I’m wondering whether practical implications must be introduced in the Discussion section or in the Conclusion section?
Sigh, I never knew a 20 min video could have literally save my life like this. I found this at the right time!!!! Everything I need to know in one video thanks a mil ! OMGG and that 6 step!!!!!! was the cherry on top the cake!!!!!!!!!
Thanks alot.., I have gained much
This piece is very helpful on how to go about my discussion section. I can always recommend GradCoach research guides for colleagues.
Many thanks for this resource. It has been very helpful to me. I was finding it hard to even write the first sentence. Much appreciated.
Thanks so much. Very helpful to know what is included in the discussion section
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it is very helpfull article, and i will recommend it to my fellow students. Thank you.
Superlative! More grease to your elbows.
Powerful, thank you for sharing.
Wow! Just wow! God bless the day I stumbled upon you guys’ YouTube videos! It’s been truly life changing and anxiety about my report that is due in less than a month has subsided significantly!
Simplified explanation. Well done.
The presentation is enlightening. Thank you very much.
Thanks for the support and guidance
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Chapter 5: Conclusion, Interpretation and Discussion
The following chapter concludes this report. A summary of the research is presented, and findings of the study are discussed and interpreted. The significance of this research in the immediate context of El Gallo and in the field of low-income housing is examined. Recommendations for further research end the chapter.
The scope of the following conclusions is limited to the context and historical characteristics of El Gallo. Thus, applied to other situations, these conclusions may yield incorrect assumptions. Still, these conclusions are relevant to the process of dwelling evolution in progressive development projects.
5.1 Summary of Research
This study observed the process of dwelling evolution in progressive development projects. The literature review was concentrated on the process of progressive development occurring in planned sponsored projects. It was found that, based on observations of the informal settlement process, progressive development under different contextual conditions was not questioned, and its benefits were taken for granted. Studies in the area were reduced to the period of improvement up to the time when the dwelling was physically consolidated. Longer term evaluation of progressive development projects were not found.
Research was undertaken on a 27-year-old progressive development project in Venezuela. The intention was to observe the process of dwelling evolution and the kind of housing that was being produced under progressive urban development projects on a long-term basis. The case study showed dwellings built with different initial levels of user-participation. Dwelling evolution was observed in a survey sample using parameters relevant to the case study (i.e., area increase, dwelling spatial growth and plot occupation, and changes in the functional structure).
Survey dwellings followed identifiable patterns of evolution in size, spatial structure and use-layout. Patterns were affected by aspects of the surrounding context and by aspects inherent to characteristics of the initial dwelling. Consequently, different dwelling groups showed different processes of progressive development.
5.2 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings.
As progressive developments, dwellings at El Gallo were able to adopt new and diverse roles along their whole process of evolution. In this section, relevant issues of the process of dwelling evolution observed at El Gallo are discussed. The first concerns the role of the non-permanent structure in the context of El Gallo as a sponsored progressive development project. The second comments on the process of dwelling evolution that followed the construction of the permanent structure.
In principle, non-permanent structures at El Gallo were similar to ranchos built in informal settlements. Ranchos at El Gallo served as primary shelters while more basic household priorities were met (i.e., services and infrastructure were provided, sources of income were found and generated, and even a favourable social environment was developed among neighbours). However, the majority of tin shacks were neither considerably increased nor upgraded with better materials even when they were used for long periods of time. This fact, together with the sudden change in the pace of development caused by the construction of a very complete permanent dwelling and subsequent removal of the rancho, had no connection with the gradual process of shack replacement observed in invasion settlements of Ciudad Guayana during this study (Portela, M. 1992). Neither did this process have a relationship with the system of "piecemeal construction" described by several housing researchers as characteristic of low-income dwellers.
The shanties were... housing in process of improvement. In particular the piecemeal system of building afforded great advantages to those who, like most of the poor in developing societies, have great variations in income from month to month (Peattie L. 1982:132).
Under El Gallo conditions of land security, ranchos did not show consolidation, and revealed their transient character because they were eventually substituted by permanent structures. The non-permanent structure revealed the primary household's aspiration for a minimum satisfactory habitable area. However, besides basic shelter during the initial stage, ranchos served to the purposes of capital accumulation that eventually allowed households to buy a basic unit according to official standards, or building a bigger, more complete first permanent structure. The size of ranchos reflected households' aspirations for the permanent dwelling, that is,smaller ranchos were substituted by basic units of the housing programs. Instead larger ranchos were substituted by large self-produced dwellings.
It is difficult to ascertain why ranchos were removed when they could have been kept as part of the dwelling, as in fact did a minority of households (2 cases). Is a fact that the temporary materials of ranchos contributed to their deterioration that ended with the total removal of the rancho. However, an idea that may have contributed to the demolition of the rancho was the household's adoption of the planner's belief that ranchos were a bad but necessary step on the way to obtaining permanent housing. Thus, once the permanent dwelling was built, the price households paid to gain credibility (i.e., that this stage was reached) was the demolition of the rancho itself. This interpretation can be specially true for Ciudad Guayana, where dwellings of certain quality such as those of El Gallo were seen as "casas" or houses. Instead, structures of similar quality in the hills of cities such as Caracas were still considered ranchos. In the long run, informal settlements obtained the largest benefits from this process because they gained far more official tolerance and social credibility (i.e., that shacks were actually temporary means of residence towards good-quality housing).
Those who lived in smaller ranchos improved their spatial conditions by moving to the small basic dwellings. Those who occupied bigger ranchos built bigger dwellings by themselves. Still, some households built their dwellings without going through the rancho stage. Self-produced dwellings followed the formal models either to gain the government's credibility of user commitment to build "good" government-like housing, or because households believed so. Imitation of the formal models, however, varied according to the builder's interpretation. For instance, the pattern of the detached dwelling was adopted, but often one of the side yards was reduced to a physical separation between the dwelling and the plot separation wall. More effective interpretations involved enlarging the front porch or using the central circulation axis to allow easy extension in the future.
The building approach of the permanent structure influenced the process of evolution that followed. Basic units built by the housing agencies had a compact, complete layout with higher standards of construction; however, aspects of the design, such as internal dimensions, were inadequate for household criteria, and the layout was not well adapted. Dwellings built according to provided plans and specificationshad similar problems, but households enlarged spaces and modified layouts when they were building the units. The level of construction standards was also reduced since the lateral façades of some dwellings were unfinished. Dwellings built totally by self-help means were the largest permanent structures. Aspects of the design of the first permanent structure allowed easy extension of the dwelling towards open areas of the plot. More user participation was reflected in straight-forward processes of evolution without internal modifications, and fewer stages to reach the current houseform.
5.3 Significance of the Study
While this study acknowledges again the effectiveness of progressive development in the housing system, it shows how dwelling evolution in progressive development projects can have different characteristics produced by internal and external interventions. Usually, projects are designed and launched to reproduce certain desirable outcomes and meet specific expectations. However, conditions prevailing in these projects and sometimes strategies that are introduced to "improve," "speed up" or make more "efficient" the process of evolution can affect the outcome in many different ways. This study showed how contextual characteristics of El Gallo, as well as the design and level of user participation in the initial permanent dwelling, affected successive stages of progressive development. However, it is important to recognize that are other issues beyond the spatial aspects that are intrinsically related with the evolution of the dwellings and that were not included within the scope of these particular research (i.e., household's changes in income, size, and age or gender structure).
The findings at El Gallo add modestly to the body of knowledge of literature on progressive development. Progressive Urban Development Units, UMUPs , have been the main housing strategy in Ciudad Guayana these last years, and they are likely to keep being used. Simple facts such as knowing the characteristics of the additions and modifications that households make to their dwellings over time can be the basis for more assertive actions supporting or enforcing progressive development activities. Understanding the process of dwelling evolution in low-income developments would be an effective way to help the process that, in the case of Ciudad Guayana, zonings and bylaws have been unable to regulate.
5.4 Recommendations for Further Research
Long term assessments are particularly constrained by the availability and reliability of recorded data. The frequency, and often the methodology, in which censuses and surveys are made do not always suit the purposes of this kind of research. Household interviews are very important, but they may become troubled by informant's limited memories and the continuity of the household in the dwelling. Aerial documentation, if available, represents one of the most reliable sources to observe physical change. Nevertheless, a careful and detailed process of observation of aerial data becomes very time consuming. For similar studies, a first phase in which the housing diversity is identified in the aerial data according to the selected criteria, would allow to reduce the number of detailed survey samples needed, thus considerably reducing the time of data collection.
In the context of Ciudad Guayana, further studies of the non-permanent dwelling in recent UMUPs would reveal new insights into the function of these structures in progressive development projects. This would be essential especially if any kind of initial aid is to be provided. On the other hand, following the growth of progressive developments is necessary if services and infrastructure are, as they are now, the responsibility of the local government. Identifying the producers of physical evolution -- i.e., the drivers and catalysts of change -- would be an important step for further research. An interesting step within this trend could be to ascertain the extent in which other household processes -- family growth, income increase and economic stability, household aging, changes in the household composition (single- to multi- family), etc., affect the process of dwelling evolution.
In the context of low-income housing, the process of progressive development needs further understanding. As in Ciudad Guayana, progressive development is likely to be the main housing strategy for other developing countries in the near future. Local authorities would do well to follow the evolution of settlements and to identify real household needs, and the consequences of public and/or private interventions in low-income settlements. Perhaps the most important learning of this study is that the experience of El Gallo acknowledges again the dynamic participation of the low-income households under different conditions, and still leaves wide room for a positive participation for the many other actors in the evolving urban entity.
. Notes for Chapter V
1 Dodge reports that some settlers of Ciudad Guayana kept the rancho and rented it to poorer families (Dodge,C. 1968:220). This attitude has been more common in other progressive development projects. The Dandora site and services also encouraged the construction of temporary shacks while the permanent dwelling was built. However, non-permanent structures remained to be rented or used as storage areas even after the permanent dwelling was built (McCarney, P.L. 1987:90).
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- Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates
Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates
Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process . It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to your field.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)
In the final product, you can also provide a chapter outline for your readers. This is a short paragraph at the end of your introduction to inform readers about the organizational structure of your thesis or dissertation. This chapter outline is also known as a reading guide or summary outline.
Table of contents
How to outline your thesis or dissertation, dissertation and thesis outline templates, chapter outline example, sample sentences for your chapter outline, sample verbs for variation in your chapter outline, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis and dissertation outlines.
While there are some inter-institutional differences, many outlines proceed in a fairly similar fashion.
- Working Title
- “Elevator pitch” of your work (often written last).
- Introduce your area of study, sharing details about your research question, problem statement , and hypotheses . Situate your research within an existing paradigm or conceptual or theoretical framework .
- Subdivide as you see fit into main topics and sub-topics.
- Describe your research methods (e.g., your scope , population , and data collection ).
- Present your research findings and share about your data analysis methods.
- Answer the research question in a concise way.
- Interpret your findings, discuss potential limitations of your own research and speculate about future implications or related opportunities.
For a more detailed overview of chapters and other elements, be sure to check out our article on the structure of a dissertation or download our template .
To help you get started, we’ve created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format. It’s easy adapt it to your own requirements.
Download Word template Download Google Docs template
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing the same words or sentence constructions, which can make your work monotonous and repetitive for your readers. Consider utilizing some of the alternative constructions presented below.
Example 1: Passive construction
The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise.
Example 2: IS-AV construction
You can also present your information using the “IS-AV” (inanimate subject with an active verb ) construction.
A chapter is an inanimate object, so it is not capable of taking an action itself (e.g., presenting or discussing). However, the meaning of the sentence is still easily understandable, so the IS-AV construction can be a good way to add variety to your text.
Example 3: The “I” construction
Another option is to use the “I” construction, which is often recommended by style manuals (e.g., APA Style and Chicago style ). However, depending on your field of study, this construction is not always considered professional or academic. Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure.
Example 4: Mix-and-match
To truly make the most of these options, consider mixing and matching the passive voice , IS-AV construction , and “I” construction .This can help the flow of your argument and improve the readability of your text.
As you draft the chapter outline, you may also find yourself frequently repeating the same words, such as “discuss,” “present,” “prove,” or “show.” Consider branching out to add richness and nuance to your writing. Here are some examples of synonyms you can use.
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When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
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George, T. (2023, November 21). Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/dissertation-thesis-outline/
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Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5
Table of contents, introduction.
This article tells what a budding researcher must include in Chapter 5-the Summary. It also includes the tense of the verb and the semantic markers, which are predominantly used in writing the summary, conclusions, and recommendations.
For others, writing Chapter 5 is the easiest part of thesis writing, but there are groups of students who would like to know more about it. If you are one of them, this article on how to write chapter 5 of your thesis is purposely written for you.
What to Write in Chapter 5
1. write the summary.
Your summary in Chapter 5 may include:
- objectives of the study.
- statement of the problem.
- sampling procedures.
- method/s of research employed.
- statistical treatment/s applied, or hypotheses tested, if there is any; and
If you notice, all the parts mentioned above are already included in your Chapters 1- 4. So, the challenge is on how you are going to write and present it in Chapter 5 briefly.
First, you must go directly to the point of highlighting the main points. There is no need to explain the details thoroughly. You must avoid copying and pasting what you have written in the previous chapters. Just KISS (keep it short and simple)!
Then, write sentences in simple past and always use passive voice construction rather than the active voice. You must also be familiar with the different semantic markers .
When I was enrolled in Academic Writing in my master’s degree, I learned that there are semantic markers which can be used in order not to repeat the same words or phrases such as additionally, also, further, in addition to, moreover, contrary to, with regard to, as regards, however, finally, during the past ___ years, from 1996 to 2006, after 10 years, as shown in, as presented in, consequently, nevertheless, in fact, on the other hand, subsequently and nonetheless.
Next, you may use the following guide questions to check that you have not missed anything in writing the summary:
- What is the objective of the study?;
- Who/what is the focus of the study?;
- Where and when was the investigation conducted?;
- What method of research was used?;
- How were the research data gathered?;
- How were the respondents chosen?;
- What were the statistical tools applied to treat the collected data?; and
- Based on the data presented and analyzed, what findings can you summarize?
Finally, organize the summary of the results of your study according to the way the questions are sequenced in the statement of the problem.
2. Write the Conclusion or Conclusions
Once you have written the summary in Chapter 5, draw out a conclusion from each finding or result. It can be done per question, or you may arrange the questions per topic or sub-topic if there is any. But if your research is quantitative, answer the research question directly and tell if the hypothesis is rejected or accepted based on the findings.
As to grammar, make sure that you use the present tense of the verb because it comprises a general statement of the theory or the principle newly derived from the present study. So, don’t be confused because, in your summary, you use past tense, while in conclusion; you use the present tense.
3. Write the Recommendations
The recommendations must contain practical suggestions that will improve the situation or solve the problem investigated in the study.
First, it must be logical, specific, attainable, and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic which is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers.
But never recommend anything that is not part of your study or not being mentioned in your findings.
First, it must be logical, specific, attainable, and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic that is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers.
Recommend nothing that is not part of your research or not being mentioned in your findings.
However, there are universities, especially in the Philippines, that require a specific thesis format to be followed by students. Thus, as a student, you must conform to the prescribed form of your college or university.
Nordquist, R. n.d. Imperative Mood. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from https://www.thoughtco.com/imperative-mood-grammar-1691151
© 2014 July 29 M. G. Alvior | Updated 2024 January 10
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About the author, mary g. alvior, phd.
Dr. Mary Gillesania Alvior has PhD in Curriculum Development from West Visayas State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching English from De La Salle University, Manila as Commission on Higher Education (CHED) scholar. As academic advisor, she helps learners succeed in their academic careers by providing them the necessary skills and tips in order to survive in this wobbling financial environment. In 2014, she got involved in the establishment of a language institute in the Middle East, particularly in the use of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Then she went to Thailand and became a lecturer in the international college and handled English and Graduate Education courses. From 2017 to 2021, she became the Focal Person for the Establishment of a Medical School, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Materials Development Office (CIMDO), Head of BAC Secretariat, Quality Management System (QMS) Leader, and TWG member of the Procurement for Medical Equipment. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Project Management Committee for the Establishment of the Medical School. In spite of numerous tasks, she is into data privacy, quality management system, and space industry.
can you please make a summary about “Centella Asiatica with virgin Coconut Oil as Ointment”?
I am still having problem in organizing my summary and conclusion (my topic is dress code in public schools. to be more specific, at the Voinjama Public School. Can you help me with a sample?
This is very helpful especially the grammar part. It really jumped start my writing effort… really want to finish my study with style.
I just pray you are okay. Thanks for responding to the questions, I have also learnt a lot.
Hello, Daryl. Thank you so much. About your request, I will find time to write about it. I got so busy the past months.
Precise and direct to the point ,, Thanks maam Mary.
Thanks very much for this all importing information on how to write chapter five in thesis writing. It gives me more insight as to how to develop the chapter five perfectly.
Hello maam my PhD research purely a qualitative study on community based organization of slum ..i used 3 tool case study , participant observation and FGDs to analyse role, impact, challenge and aspiration of CBOs . i used tabular form (matrix to analyse ) did not use any software..
PLEASE HELP/GUIDE ME WHAT SHOULD I WRITE in my Chapter 5 .. your help is very much crucial as i have to submit thesis this weekend KULDEEP
I’m so sorry, Kuldeep. I wish you are done with your doctorate research. It is been a year then. I got sick and had a lot of work to do. God bless!
Hello ma’am, can I ask about in what part the recommendation in chapter 1 reflect the recommendation in chapter5? Thanks.
Sorry, Aly. This is very late. Take your statement of the problem. the results for the statement of the problem will be the basis for your recommendation.
You are welcome, Prince. God bless to your research endeavor.
Thank you very much very insightful.
Eric, you are welcome. I wish you are able to finish your work.
how to write a recommendation, my title is common causes of financial problem. Hope you can help me…
Hello, Jolven. Your recommendation must be based on your findings. So, if that is your title, and you found that the common causes are the ——-, then write a recommendation based on the causes.
Thanks a lot, Mimimi.
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How to Write Chapter 4 Dissertation?| A Complete Guide
Sociology Dissertation Examples
Writing a dissertation can be an overwhelming task. There are so many steps that it can be a bit hectic to keep track of them all!
If you're currently in the process of completing your dissertation, then you know that Chapter 5 is one of the most important parts. In this blog post, we will provide a detailed guide on whatever you need to know about Chapter 5 of your dissertation.
What is Chapter 5?
In dissertation, chapter 5 is the conclusion chapter. In chapter 5, you will summarize your research findings and draw conclusions. This chapter should also include future implications for further research related to your topic.
Overview of Chapter 5
The fifth chapter is where you report on your research findings. It means discussing both qualitative and quantitative data collected during your study. You should also include any trends or patterns in the data that may apply to your conclusions.
It’s important to discuss any unexpected results that may have arisen during your study as well as any limitations of the research methodology employed. Finally, this chapter should also provide an analysis of the implications of your work for future research.
Important Things to Consider While Writing Chapter 5
The conclusion chapter should not be too long or too short. It should be long enough to summarize the key findings and contributions of the research adequately but not so long that it becomes repetitive or overly detailed. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a length of around 10% of the total dissertation word count.
To get detailed insight into how long your dissertation should be, you can visit this link:
How long should my dissertation be?
In the concluding chapter, it's important to emphasize the significance of the research. It means highlighting not just what was discovered but why it matters. What are the implications of the research for the field or society as a whole? How does it advance knowledge or solve a practical problem? By answering these questions, the writer can help the reader understand the broader impact of the research.
In chapter 5 dissertation’s tone should be sophisticated and professional. However, it's also important to strike a balance between being objective and enthusiastic. While it's important to avoid making unsupported claims or over-hyping the significance of the research, it's also okay to express some excitement about the findings and their potential implications.
In addition to summarizing the research, the conclusion chapter is also a good place to reflect on the process of conducting the research.
- What were some of the challenges or surprises that arose during the study?
- What did the researcher learn about the topic, the methods, or themselves?
This kind of reflection can add depth and context to the dissertation.
It's important to ensure that the conclusion chapter is well-organized and easy to follow. That means using clear headings, transitional phrases, and summary statements to guide the reader through the key points. It's also important to avoid introducing new information or arguments in the conclusion chapter, as this can confuse the reader and undermine the coherence of the overall dissertation.
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Effective ways to write chapter 5 in dissertation.
To write an effective conclusion chapter, the following steps should be considered:
1. Recapitulate the Research Questions or Objectives
Begin by restating the research questions or objectives addressed in the dissertation. It helps to ensure that the reader is reminded of the research's focus and the dissertation's purpose.
2. Summarize the Findings
Provide a summary of the key findings of the research. Highlight the analysis's main points, and ensure that you provide a clear and concise summary of the results. You can discuss the relevance of the findings to the research questions and objectives.
3. Discuss the Contributions of the Study
It is where you discuss the impact of your research on the field. Highlight the originality and significance of your findings, and explain how they contribute to the current knowledge in the field. You can also suggest how your research can be built upon by future studies.
4. Address the Limitations of the Study
Every study has limitations, and it is essential to acknowledge them in your conclusion chapter. Discuss any weaknesses or limitations of your study, and explain how they may have affected your findings. It helps to ensure that the reader has a complete understanding of the research and its potential shortcomings.
5. Offer Recommendations for Future Research
This is an opportunity to suggest areas that require further investigation. Highlight the gaps in the research, and suggest how future studies can address them. It can help to guide future researchers in their work and ensure that the field continues to progress.
Writing a dissertation is hectic, no doubt! But if you break it down into manageable pieces like chapters, it becomes much easier to stay on top of everything needed for completion. In this blog post, we provided a detailed guide on what you need to know about writing Chapter 5 – the conclusion section – which includes summarizing all previous sections and discussing any future implications for further research related to your topic.
Check out these resources below to get more academic assistance:
- How to Write a Reflection Paper: Guidelines with Examples
- Dissertation Acknowledgements Done Right: A Guide on How to Write Acknowledgement for Dissertation
- A Comprehensive Guide on How to Write an Introduction Paragraph. Five plus Examples
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