How to Present Dissertation Findings

How to present dissertation findings

Congratulations. You’ve written your dissertation. But how should you present your findings to create a clear path to your discoveries? You've conducted your research, analyzed your findings and written your results. You're tired and the last thing you want to do is keep writing.

Before you pat yourself on the back, you must acknowledge that the most demanding writing of your dissertation still lies ahead: your discussion, the section where you tie up the elements of your research into a cogent narrative. Don’t rush because the finish line is within sight. Take a deep breath, for this is the time to closely inspect your work as if it were new to you.

Don’t just restate your results. Set the stage and explain why people should pay attention to what your findings represent. Start with a clear, one-paragraph summary of your study's key findings and put them into context and how they relate to previous work. If your results uncover new truths, explain why your new implications should inspire the reader to actually care about your findings.

Instead of getting mired by being overly comprehensive in covering all the bases, this moment of illumination must make clear the simple truths of your discovery. Marketing people refer to this as the A-ha moment.

Feel free to acknowledge speculation; it is part and parcel of a dissertation. Don’t fear addressing your study's limitations. Confidence with a touch of humility is the order of the day. Your findings should speak to the fruitful journey undertaken in pursuit of answers to the research questions you proposed. They must clearly be in response to the problem presented and answer those questions. Make sure they are relevant and reinforce your premise.

Have confidence in your findings through satisfactory evidence from data which supports your conclusions and is backed up with relevant quotations from previous observations and documents. Suggest follow-up studies, but not at the expense of what you have presented. In conclusion, restate your key points in an irrefutable manner. It’s your baby. It even carries your name.

Need help? It’s available through Northcentral University’s discipline-specific dissertation process developed specifically for our students. Many universities have a comprehensive examination before starting the dissertation process. At NCU, you will instead develop a prospectus. This is directly linked to your dissertation and serves to connect your coursework, your dissertation, and your career aspirations more clearly.

For more information on how to write a dissertation, visit