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Discussion

You will need to remind the reader of the purpose of the research and the research questions from the introduction and discuss how the research has or has not answered the research questions. Remember this is the chapter where you have most opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual skills. You need to be self-critical so consider how reliable and valid the findings are. What have you learnt from doing the research and what would you do differently if you could repeat it? Can you really generalise about the population based on the data that you have gathered from your sample? Have you made any sweeping statements or exaggerated claims that could be challenged in your oral presentation? The chapter should have the following sections (based on Rudestam and Newton, 1992 p. 121): -

  1. An overview of the significant findings of the study
  2. A consideration of the findings in light of existing research studies
  3. A careful examination of findings that fail to support or only partially support your hypotheses
  4. Limitations of the study that may affect the validity or generalisation of the results