Discussion – 2-3 pages
• Re-state your research question (including the variables you are using) and hypothesis/es.
• Mention what is new/different about this study and how it adds to existing research, if relevant
• Explain the findings you identified in your Results section and whether they support or do not support your hypothesis (remember – hypotheses are not proven!).
• Discuss the similarity (or lack thereof) of results to previous research. You will likely be
referring to studies you reviewed in your Introduction. You may introduce a new study or two only if it helps to explain an unexpected finding. Don’t forget to cite these studies again.
• If your findings do not support your hypothesis and are inconsistent with previous research,
provide possible reasons (may be related to limitations; if so, make that point very clear; however, you really should focus on describing differences between your study and previous studies that may account of your insignificant findings).
• You do not have to discuss your secondary/exploratory analysis unless you want to do so.
• Discuss at least 2 limitations of your study – clearly describe why they are a problem for this particular study and offer possible solutions, which may be related to future directions (you do not need to mention strengths of the study).
• Conclude the Discussion with 2-3 sentences that succinctly summarize the study, offer implications (i.e., meaning of the findings) for practices, theories, knowledge, and suggest future directions for this research topic.