Research results of a thesis

Once you have finished the research and analysis, you can start working on the results section of your three-year or master degree thesis. Here you will expose the main results of your research, trying to answer the questions about it and checking your hypotheses.

Different types of research may involve the use of different tools, including observation, surveys or interviews of various kinds; even theoretical research is often used. The structure of this section will depend very much on the type of research undertaken but, generally, we proceed by following common points.

This article will be a sort of guide on how to present the results of one’s own research, quantitative (surveys) or qualitative (interviews) as it is. The following illustrated steps refer specifically to the chapter to illustrate the results of your research.

Results of a quantitative research (surveys)

Step 1 – Enter the search

Explain that the survey was completed by a sufficient number of people and that the results could be analyzed.

Step 2 – Display the results efficiently

The simplest way to present the results is starting from all the sub-questions or hypotheses you formulated before starting the research (presented in previous chapters of the thesis). Your various discoveries in relation to these aspects will allow you to answer the main question of your three-year or master’s thesis.

Step 3 – Discuss the results

As for the sub-questions, briefly discuss (with one or two sentences) the results related to each question and make the necessary observations. But don’t reveal too much, try not to answer directly to the main question and don’t draw too many conclusions (this will happen only in the chapter of the conclusion).

It applies the same procedure to the hypotheses but, in this case, it indicates if a hypothesis turned out to be correct or not.

Step 4 – Add additional tables or figures (optional)

You can insert tables or figures (like graphics), but only if they reflect the results of the search and give added value to what you are trying to explain. Make sure to refer to the graphs throughout the text to let the reader understand how they relate to what you are explaining.

It is not necessary to explain each figure or table in detail; the reader should be able to decipher them independently. You can help them do this by creating clear figures or tables, which follow a logical thread and choosing sufficiently descriptive titles.

Step 5 – Recheck the chapter a second time

Check the results achieved to make sure they are correctly connected to your questions and assumptions. If some results are not, delete them completely or add them to an appendix.

Example of the results section: Comment of a quantitative survey

The first hypothesis was verified by regression analysis, in which the intention to make a donation was the dependent variable and the social distance the independent variable. The result of the analysis (see Table 5) shows that the social distance has a weak link with the intention of making a donation (b * = 18, p = .05), making it an important predictor of the intention to donate; as social distance increases, the intention to make a donation also increases. Consequently, the H1 hypothesis has not been confirmed. On the contrary, this result suggests a significant influence in the opposite direction.

Results of a qualitative research (interviews)

Step 1 – Enter the search

For example, indicate how many interviews you conducted and explained how you transcribed and the information collected.

Step 2 – Display the results efficiently

If your three-year or master’s thesis includes sub-questions and specific hypotheses, you can definitely start discussing the results. Answering these questions and verifying your hypotheses is an important step to answer the main question (which I will discuss in detail in the conclusion).

In qualitative research, specific questions or hypotheses are not always asked in interviews. In this case, it is better to discuss the results obtained starting from the list of topics (or questionnaire) used for the interviews. These topics reflect the issues you are studying and, consequently, are related to the main question.

Step 3 – Discuss the results

Highlight the results for each sub-question, hypothesis or topic and explain why they are relevant. You can clarify and support your observations with quotations from the interviews (as long as they are related to the topic).

You should also include a brief explanation (one or two sentences) to indicate precisely what the results obtained in relation to that particular sub-question, hypothesis or topic mean. A brief conclusion could be considered – but remember that the central body of the conclusions must be discussed in the chapter of the conclusions.

Step 4 – Recheck the chapter a second time

Check that the results presented are linked to the sub-questions, hypotheses or topics of the three-year or master thesis.

Other results (such as the complete transcript of the interviews) can be added in an appendix.

What is the difference between the chapter on research results and the conclusion?

The chapter of the results of the three-year or master degree thesis presents brief observations for each sub-question, hypothesis or topic (as in examples 1 and 2). In any case, the observations should not be longer than a couple of lines. Make sure you don’t discuss the main question of your thesis in detail.

This is where the conclusion comes into play. The results of sub-questions, hypotheses and arguments are all grouped and deepened in the conclusion. Together they will form the answer to the main research question.

  • Checklist resultatenhoofdstuk
  • Your search is complete and you have analyzed the results.
  • Only the results concerning the sub-questions, hypotheses or topics of the research are discussed.
  • The results are accompanied by tables, figures or citations (when necessary).
  • An observation is made for each sub-question, hypothesis or topic of the research.
  • In case hypotheses were formulated, they are validated or rejected.
  • The results are not analyzed in depth to answer the main research question (this will be discussed in the conclusion).