PhD Survival Guide: How to start the discussion chapter
I think it was when I started writing the discussion chapter that I could actually see the light at the end of the long, long, long PhD Tunnel.
Here are my tips for starting:
1) Read other theses- Read some other PhD student theses and focus on their discussion chapter to get a feel for what other people put in this chapter. Everyone structures the discussion slightly differently, so reading a few different examples is important.
2) Plan out the sections of your discussion chapter- This way you know what to include and can focus on writing one section at a time. I wrote out all my headings and subheadings before I started writing.
3) Discuss the plan with your supervisor- Run the plan past your supervisor(s) before you start. You want to ensure you are including all the relevant information while also not including too much!
4) Pen & Paper- Start writing the sections of your discussion chapter using pen and paper (old school, I know) and without your thesis in front of you. You should be able to write down the key findings, strengths, limitations, and future directions without looking over the other chapters. You have lived and breathed your thesis for years and you need to trust that you know it. Writing the discussion chapter blind is a great way to practice for your Viva. Obviously after you have completed the draft paragraphs you can check these against your thesis.