The Discussion section of a Research Report does a lot. It will restate the hypotheses that were being investigated as it describes the findings of the research. Please note that the statistics are reported in the Results section, so they are not typically repeated here. The findings are described in written terms, not numerical ones. It will also refer back to earlier research (some of which might have originally been mentioned in the Introduction section) and attempt to explain whether the current findings support earlier or research or not.
The Discussion will then go on to point out possible weaknesses or flaws in the current research, sources of error, etc. It will also suggest possible improvements on the current research that might be done if it were to be repeated, as well as next logical steps in the research.
> For your Discussion section:
Begin with a restatement of the purpose of the present study and the hypotheses.
Briefly restate the results.
Mention whether the hypotheses were supported.
Do not repeat all the numerical statistics that appear in the Results section.
Example opening paragraph (using the example analyses presented in the sample Results downloaddocument):
The researcher hypothesized that as optimism increases consumption of chocolate increases. It was also hypothesized that self-identified men would have a higher consumption of chocolate than self-identified women or non-binary individuals and that chocolate consumption would increase as age increases. The correlation found between consumption of chocolate and optimism was as expected: if one were higher, the other would be higher as well. With respect to gender, results indicated that individuals who identify as men had a significantly higher rate of consumption when compared to those who identify as women or non-binary. However, the results indicated that the hypothesis regarding age and chocolate consumption was incorrect: there was no relationship between age and chocolate consumption.
Then, relate your results to the work of others (this will involve the inclusion of references/citations to the work of these other researchers, most of whom will have been discussed in the Introduction); explain how your study fits into the existing structure of knowledge in the area.
Students may talk about the research studies they discussed in their Introduction section and how the current findings relate to those studies.
Next, discuss the limitations of the study, especially factors that affect the generalization of the results. Talk about the improvements that could be made to the study.
Typically, one would want to report 1 to 3 limitations. This project was designed with several limitations, so you are expected to discuss at least three limitations.
If there was no statistical significance for one or more of your hypotheses, discuss issues with the methods of the study that may have led to the non-significant findings.
Remember that there may be nothing wrong with the study if the results are not statistically significant it may be that there is no relationship between the two variables.
If the results are different from what was expected, discuss whether limitations or errors may have led to the unexpected findings (erroneous hypothesis, methodological issues, etc.).
Finally, suggest further research that could be done.
The minimum length for the Discussion section is 650 words.
Points will be deducted if the Discussion has fewer than 650 words.
The word limit of 650 words is VERY low shooting for the minimum amount of effort is likely to result in a minimum level grade If you would prefer to be directed to a better target number, I would recommend at least 800 words, or more.
This word-minimum does not include the Title page, References section, or quoted material.
When writing the Discussion section, use the following style and format guidelines:
Use the formatting guidelines outlined in the APA Publication Manual, 7th edition
Continue to practice including a title page for a professional paper, with running head and page numbers. These are not required in this assignment, but will be required in the final project submission.
Refrain from using quotations except when absolutely necessary. Putting things in your own words, paraphrasing, illustrates understanding and mastery, quoting material generally only illustrates that one can cut and paste.
Paraphrased material must still be identified with a citation to its source
Use college-level writing style and grammar
Use the same font you used in the Introduction, Method, and Results sections
Save your work regularly
The file must be in Microsoft Word (.docx or .doc) format when submitted to the dropbox.
When a student is ready to submit their assignment, upload the saved Microsoft Word document (.docx or .doc) to the Project Discussion dropbox in Canvas.
This assignment must be completed and submitted individually as indicated in the course syllabus. Let the instructor know if there are any questiocixns or concerns about this assignment.
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