A lot of scholars have anxiety about the discussion chapter, so you aren’t alone if you do so.
A discussion chapter is largely the space where the researcher tries to examine the findings after having covered up the previous chapters and try to make judgement about the learning from the entire research.
When a researcher sits to do the discussion, there are two main concerns where the scholars largely struggle and face challenges. The first one is about being able to express the ideas more creatively and the second concern is about making knowledge claims. In the entire thesis, apart from the discussion chapter everything involves analytical thinking. Here at the discussion stage, the author needs to go into the imagination mode which of course means all together switching gears and that becomes a challenge. The other challenge is all about having the confidence to claim a finding to be true on the basis of your research. It does appear risky but a more thorough research brings down the level of doubt.
With these two challenges taken care of, the major problem of the discussion chapter is taken care of. Some stylistic conventions and knowledge issues do complicate the task. A conventional/routine thesis which is often recommended by universities, follows the IMRAD pattern. It goes in the sequence of Introduction, Methods, results, discussion and conclusion. However, I feel that it does inhibit the creativity and the liberty in the hands of the researcher to follow this step by step process so inhibiting yourself to this structure may not be the best of idea always. Depending upon the area of research and the topic of the thesis, the format of the discussion chapter should be so moulded.
To overcome the basic issues related to the discussion chapter, do not behind by following a structure. Rather, first just write and then later maybe rewrite and remould for better results. In the next blog we will further discuss some more specific tricks to deal with it better. Meanwhile, if you have some ideas to make the creative juices flowing, do come up, cheers!!