Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusions
In an unlabeled introduction without a separate heading. Reiterate the purpose and nature of the study. Summarize key findings detailed in Chapter 4 with specific reference to research questions. Exclude literature citations, quotations from literature or data, and graphics such as tables and figures in the introduction. If needed, refer the reader back to the tables and figures in Chapter 4. Avoid using “The chapter…” or anything similar.
Findings, Interpretations, and Conclusions
Describe ways the findings confirm, disconfirm, or extend knowledge in the discipline by comparing them with what has been found in the peer-reviewed literature described in Chapter 2. Analyze and interpret the findings in the context of the theoretical framework and make clear what the findings mean. Defend how interpretations, inferences, and conclusions did not exceed the data, findings, and scope of the study. Present conclusions within the boundaries of the study avoiding opinions, biases, and prior knowledge. Focus on the most important conclusions.
Describe the limitations of the study with particular attention to transferability, credibility, dependability, confirmability, or internal and external validity depending on methodology. See checklists of chosen methodology for specifics.
Shift to a more global perspective of findings and data analysis from Chapter 4. Describe recommendations for further research ground in the study. Recommend changes in policies and practices supported by the results for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. Provide advice as a researcher using “should” statements that are practical and research-based and not rhetorical and based on common knowledge.
Implications for Leadership
In this section, describe the potential impact for positive social change at the appropriate level (individual, family, organization, and societal/policy). Identify and describe actions or change stakeholders and leaders may implement based on your findings and results.
Restate the key points of your findings, reflect on new knowledge, and capture the critical outcomes of the study. Provide a short summary of the implications of the study, and capture the critical outcomes of your study.
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