Structuring your Discussion
In your Discussion, you give an in-depth analysis of how your study differs from or adds to existing research, and what the implications of this are. You’ll want to cover these sections:
Summary of your study aim and findings
In the first few sentences of your Discussion, you’ll typically recap what your study was about and what you found. Summarize your key findings, but don’t restate results in detail - that’s what the Results section is for. Find a few example summaries here.
Comparison of your study to existing literature
Next, explain how your results compare to those of other studies that you cited in your work. Do they contradict them, or offer a new perspective or approach? Were there unexpected findings? If there are differences, explain where these may come from; think of the methodology (instruments, participants, conditions, etc.) or analysis (scoring method, statistics, etc.). Find a few examples of such comparisons here.
Strengths or limitations of your study
The implications of your study
Next, what do your results or findings mean? Are there practical implications or theoretical insights? Your study might, for example:
- bridge a gap in the field
- raise a new question
- disprove prior studies
- introduce or verify a method or model
- provide practical implications