Goal of the Interpretation of the Findings section:
Situating Your Results in Context of What is Already Known
Up until now, your role in dissertation writing has been to describe, explain, frame, and analyze what others have done. While your critical analysis was imperative in chapter 2 you never shared your personal opinion. In Chapter 4 you objectively presented the results of your study with no comment on what the results may mean. However, in this section of chapter 5, you get to comment directly about the results of your study. The Interpretation of the Findings section is a critical section—and in my opinion—the most fun to write. Very few people read dissertations from cover to cover, but this is a section that will likely be read more than any other.
Remember the gaps you worked to carefully to frame back in chapter 2? Now its time to situate your study results in with the current literature. What insight does your study bring? How does your study confirm, disconfirm, or extend the knowledge of what’s in the literature?
Preparing to write Interpretations of the Findings.
- Make a list of the major findings of the study; per research question (or data source depending on how you want to discuss the findings) from chapter 4
- Review the gaps you described in chapter 2