Writing Chapter 5: Discussion and Recommendations

Last Updated on December 13, 2020 by Ayla Myrick

Open this chapter by reminding the reader of the purpose of the study.

Methods and Procedures

Summarize the approach.

Major Findings

Summarize the Chapter 4: Results.


Refer to the hypotheses, objectives, or questions. Assess the meaning of the results by evaluating and interpreting. Speculation should be reasonable, firmly justified, and subject to test. This is the hardest part to write because committees may challenge the interpretation of the data in the Defense.  List the primary research questions from Chapter 1 and answer them with the results. Cite several studies from Chapter 2 for comparison and contrast with the results.


The conclusions relate directly to the research questions or objectives. They represent the contribution to the knowledge. They also relate directly to the significance of the study, which is always, in some way, to improve the human condition. These are the major generalizations, the answer to the problem(s) revealed in Chapters 1 and 2. For the first time in the dissertation, the researcher can state a personal opinion when the collected data support it.


These can take two forms: recommendations for further study, or recommendations for change, or both. Each recommendation should trace directly to a conclusion.


These will follow the specific format of an individual style guide, such as APA, Chicago, or other. Every name and year in the body of the text should be repeated in the list of references with no exceptions.


In a qualitative or quantitative, if the study involves an organization, a letter of permission to conduct the study is required from the appropriate administrator at the organization.  In a qualitative study, a letter of invitation and consent form from all adult participants is included, and a letter of permission from parents if minors are involved. Data collection instruments are included.  Some institutions require a vita at the end.

Our consultants can assist students to find the meaning of the information they have collected and to present it in a manner that can be defended.

Ayla Myrick
More in this Series << Writing Chapter 4: The Results of Your Research Study