4.5  Discussion

4.5.1 Analysis

Provide an overall analysis and integration of your thesis research considering the current research in the field

4.5.2 Hypotheses

State the conclusions regarding goals or hypotheses of your thesis that were presented in the Introduction, and the overall significance and contribution of the thesis research

4.5.3 Strengths

Comment on strengths and limitations of your thesis research

4.5.4 Applications

Discuss any potential applications of the research findings

4.5.5 Actual Observations

Do not include any statement regarding actual observations; that is, only include statements regarding interpretation of data.

Make it crystal clear to the reader which statements are observation and which are interpretation. This is often best accomplished by physically separating statements about new observations from statements about the meaning or significance of those observations.

4.5.6 Questions to Consider

Q1: What are the relationships, trends, and generalizations did you discover among the results?
Q2: What are the likely causes underlying these patterns?
Q3: Are there any exceptions to these patterns?
Q4: Do your results agree/prove or disagree/disprove those of previous work?
Q5: What implications do the present results hold for other unanswered questions in sustainability science, earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc….?
Q6: What are the things we now know or understand that we did not know or understand before your research?
Q7: Did you include the evidence or line of reasoning (a.k.a. rationale) for supporting each interpretation?
Q8: What is the significance of your results: why should readers care?

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