Making Sense of Findings
Although completing the written report of your findings tends to feel like closing the curtain on a five-act play (complete with an expectation of joyous applause), there is more to be done before the interpretive description is complete. As with all research, the findings from your study require thoughtful examination, reflection, and reinterpretation within the context of what else is known about the phenomenon before you can legitimately report what it is that the study “means” in the larger scheme of things. In this chapter, we’ll consider the processes of working with your findings: “discussing” them in the context of other literature, drawing conclusions on the basis of them, and considering what (if any) implications might derive from what you can conclude. Each of these requires an understanding of the nature of the knowledge world into which you hope your findings will effect an entry. The extent to which that is achievable will depend in no small measure on your capacity to step back and appreciate the limits of your findings within that wider context.