Thesis >> Discussion

The Discussion chapter in a thesis usually appears after, or may be combined with, the Results chapter. The Discussion consolidates and gives meaning to the results both in terms of answering the research questions and in the wider context of their contribution to the field of research. It is in this chapter that the writer makes claims about the significance and implications of the results.

Summary of key aspects of the Results and Discussion chapters



  • Report of what was found or achieved during the study with a focus on factual reporting to provide evidence for Discussion chapter
  • Reference to the methods or analytical procedures followed to obtain the results
  • Key experimental and numerical results
  • Description, observation and explanation of results
  • Tables, graphs and figures to highlight key results with meaningful text to describe what is shown
  • No speculation or evaluation of the results
  • Discussion of results in terms of fulfilling the research gap and wider context of their contribution to the field
  • Reference to the objectives of the study, approach and key results to support the discussion
  • Comparison of results with existing research
  • Interpretation of the findings presented in the Results chapter and explanation of their significance and whether the objectives of the research have been achieved
  • Discussion of the limitation and implications of the results
  • Recommendations for improvement in methodology and directions for future research

Depending on the complexity of the research, the number of experiments or studies conducted, or the field, the Discussion can be combined with the Results and may not appear as a stand-alone Discussion.

Read the extract from the Discussion of a Computer Engineering Thesis about continuous collision detectio

Use the colour palette below to paint the sentences which address the following purposes.

  1. Approach followed to obtain the results.
  2. The writer’s claim about the significance (the importance of the findings and what they mean) of the results.
  3. Reference to experimental and numerical results.
  4. The key application of the results of the experiment.
  5. Recommendations for directions for future research.


Based on the algebraic formulation, robust and efficient numerical algorithms were devised to solve the continuous collision detection (CCD) problems. The algebraic approach to deal with the collision detection of ellipses and ellipsoids demonstrated results that could be extended to solve the collision problems of other conic curves and quadric surfaces.

The robustness and effectiveness of our algorithms is shown with experiments and numerical examples, whose results demonstrate that they are practical for collision detection in relation to quadrics or conics primitives. Ellipsoidal CCD should be applied to special cases where ellipsoids provide tighter fit to freeform objects, possibly undergoing deformations that can locally be approximated by affine deformations. To this end, the recent trend in 3D modeling for the next generation GPU architecture is quite promising, where 3D shapes are directly represented using parametric surfaces to alleviate the bottleneck of bus bandwidth. Exact contact time and contact point of two ellipsoids would provide good initial solutions for further processing of the underlying parametric surfaces.

Adapted from: Y. K. Choi, “Collision detection for ellipsoids and other quadrics,” Ph. D. dissertation, Dept. Comput. Sci., HKU, Hong Kong, 2008. [Online]. Available: The HKU Scholars Hub.

The purpose of the Discussion is to interpret the findings reported in the Results and explain what they mean and whether the objectives of the study have been achieved. Areas of discussion may include the usefulness, relevance, limitations and possible applications of the research. To demonstrate the advances made, the writer should position the results within the context of the existing literature and broader knowledge base. The writer may need to explain whether the results extend, agree with, or conflict with previous studies.

The Discussion includes the writer’s interpretation of the results and their opinion about the significance of their studies.  Whereas the Results reports what was found in the study, the Discussion explains what these results mean. For this reason, a brief summary of the results may be included, but the writer should avoid too much repetition, as describing the results is not the purpose of the Discussion.

The Discussion may typically include the features below.

  • A brief overview of the study with references to the objectives, key results and approach used in the study.
  • Explanation, interpretation and evaluation of the results.
  • Writer’s claim about the significance of the results and how they address the research gap.
  • Comparison with previous work to support the discussion and to show how the results agree with, contradict or contribute to established knowledge.
  • Limitations of the results or study with possible explanation to show how the limitations would affect the validity of the results.
  • Suggestions for further research and practical applications of the research findings.

Activity 1

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