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Thread on writing discussion sections for qual research in constructionist/constructivist traditions.

The idea for this comes from the responses to my previous thread () on writing up findings.

#phdchat #acwri #qualresearch #RxWritingChallenge 1/14
.@mededdoc wondered: If findings are interpreted in the eponymous section, what comes in the discussion of a qual constructionist/constructivist paper?

2/14 (hey, #WritingCommunity! this is for you too)
Let me sketch out a quick outline, in five parts.

First, discuss your findings at a very high level. What are the core things you want your reader to remember from your findings section? If you can use a table to summarize your contributions to highlight them: do!

Second, connect your findings to the previous empirical literature. How does your paper contribute? To do this well you have to have done some serious thinking about the area to which you aim to contribute. Read critically and take good notes, and tie things together here.
Note that to be successful here you have to have mapped out an argument in the *front end* of your paper about the gap in the literature that you are trying to fill. If there is no rhetorical gap, there is no real way to fill it in the discussion.

For help on this critical step, I highly recommend the Problem/Gap/Hook heuristic as outlined by @LingardLorelei here: link.springer.com/article/10.100…

It is a game changer. I send it to everyone and teach it in my lab. You should use it too!

Tie your findings to this gap in a very explicit manner in your discussion. What should your reader remember about how your findings tie back to pre-existing literature? What kind of story can you tell so that it sticks in people's minds?

If there was limited literature on your topic, you might want to try to explain why there was a previous gap, and where you see the research going next. For an example: the paper on power in IPE written by @cynthiarw27 and me: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.11… 8/14
Third: If you have used theory, this is where you outline how your work contributes. Qualitative researchers value theory building very much, so make sure to highlight specifically how and where your work contributes. Where are you innovating? What is the take-home message?
If you are in #meded and need help with your use of theory, I recommend the following three papers:


@LaraVarpio and @ammacleod are working on a series on the topic as well. Stay tuned.

Fourth, lay out where you see research going next. Tell your reader what you think are the logical or necessary next steps, especially if something is left unexplained in your research. 11/14
Fifth, discuss the limitations of your research. @LingardLorelei has another wonderful piece to help out with this: link.springer.com/article/10.100….

Colleagues and I are also writing something on the generalizability of qual research that will hopefully help. Again: stay tuned! 12/14
There is so much to say about your research, even if you have interpreted your data in the findings section.

I hope, @mededdoc, that this thread will help you and yours with what to add in a qual research discussion section. 13/14
In closing: I really struggle with discussions. For me—and for some of my senior colleagues—this is the biggest challenge. You have to do some HARD thinking and pack so much in. But here again: you’ve got this! 💪🤓

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