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ResMAP: Discussion / Critical Analysis / Limitations

Mapping the research journey for Post Graduate and Doctoral Researchers

Useful links

Discussing Findings

A link to the Discussing Findings section in the University of Manchester's Phrasebank.

Discussion / Critical Analysis / Limitations

It is at this stage that you need to state whether your literature review supports or refutes what you have found.

You will need to critically evaluate your own research to show your understanding of your methodology.

Don’t forget to refer to arguments that you presented in previous parts of your dissertation as this will show your overall understanding of your research process.

It is important to create a compelling argument for your findings, particularly if they contradict previous work in the field or are counterintuitive. 

Your discussion should include an introduction then progress through in a logical manner.

You may want to present and discuss your findings according to your research process or by questions set out in your introduction and literature review or by research methods; identifying the significant resulting data and what was learnt from it.

It is important to indicate any weaknesses in your research and any methodological problems. Were these anticipated or did they arise during your research process?

Reflect on what happened and what could have been done differently. It may be useful to refer to any reflective diary or learning log you have kept throughout the process to remind you of the key details.