Presented May 29, 2018
Last updated 8/30/2018
Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. A captioning pod, Q&A pod, and files pod are stacked on the right side.
The slide says “Housekeeping” and the following:
Audio: Sarah: Hello everyone I am Sarah Prince. I am a facilitator today, and welcome to our webinar. Before we begin and I hand the session over to Lydia Lunning, our presenter today, I just want to quickly go over a couple housekeeping issues. First, we are recording this webinar so you’re welcome to access it at a later date via our webinar archive. In fact, please note, that all of our webinars are in fact recorded at the Writing Center, so you're welcome to look through that archive to look for other webinars that may interest you, as well. We do have a lot of webinars geared toward those of you who are completing your capstones. We might mention a few of those that may be helpful for you to follow up as part of this or after your webinar session.
Also, whether you are attending this webinar live or watching the recording, note that you will be able to participate in any polls like you had in the beginning, that we share or files and links. That includes the files Lydia is going to be sharing with you today. Those are located in the Files pod, you’ll see those in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
We also welcome questions and comments throughout the session. You can ask those questions via the Q&A box. Both Sam Herrington and myself will be watching the Q&A box and we’ll be happy to answer any questions throughout the session as Lydia is presenting. You're welcome to ask those questions, if you hear Lydia say something and didn't quite catch it, please feel free to ask those during the session today.
You are also welcome to send any technical issues you have to ask, as well. Although do note, there is help option at the top right-hand corner of your screen. This is Adobe's technical support and really, that is the best place to go if you need any specific technical help.
Before I hand this over to our presenter, Lydia, I just want to quickly address our polls. It looks like a lot of you are working on qualitative studies but several of you are also working on quantitative studies. That is exciting. Lydia will certainly address tips and feedback that will help those of you working both those studies. With that, I am going to turn it over to our presenter, Lydia.
Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar, “Presenting Data and Describing Analysis: Writing About Results in Doctoral Capstone Studies” and the speakers name and information: Lydia Lunning, MA, Dissertation Editor and Coordinator for Capstone Resources. Walden University Office of Academic Editing.
Audio: Lydia: Thank you so much, Sarah. Everybody, welcome again, I will say a second welcome to those of you joining us today. I hope you will find this webinar helpful. We are going to be talking about presenting data and describing analysis, writing about results in doctoral capstone studies. Most of this will be relevant to, I think, everyone. You don't have to be doing a quantitative study to be having tables and figures. We are going to be talking a lot about tables and figures during the first half of this session. Then we'll be talking about specifics of qualitative and quantitative studies going over resources that will be helpful to everyone. I am glad you are here.
And, congratulations to those of you who have gotten where you are working on results, because this is the last push to the end. Congratulations on making it this far.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Learning Outcomes:
After this webinar, you will (be able to)…
Identify key features and differences between writing about quantitative and qualitative data
Audio: Just a few things to go over a few of our objectives, we are going to be talking about scholarly expectations, but also publication requirements. As you move closer to the end, as you move closer to graduation, you may have noticed that not only are there content concerns and scholarly concerns and methodological concerns, you actually may notice some publication concerns cropping up. And this may be in a set of expectations if you have never published anything scholarly before, prior to your doctoral work.
We are going to be talking about some of that in terms of tables and figures and APA expectations for visual displays. We are going to be talking about some standard resources that you can locate for writing up your results that are available to you not just at the Writing Center but in other centers at Walden. We are going to talk about specific qualitative and quantitative writing concerns that you will encounter whether or not you are doing one or the other type of study. And then I have some special resources I want to highlight at the end that hopefully you will be able to be participate in and join us for.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Academic Skills Center Data Analysis Support
The Academic Skills Center offers one-to-one, free tutoring support to all Walden students who are working on their dissertations who need specific help with quantitative data. Their team can provide one-to-one support to assist with:
Audio: As I indicated, there are lots and lots and lots of resources for people once you reach the stage where you want to start working with your data and writing up your results. And one of those is in the Academic Skills Center. And, the Academic Skills Center actually offers data analysis support specifically for people who are at the dissertation doctoral study, final capstone stage. They of course won't run the analysis for you, they won't do the analysis and the data collection for you. But once you have all of it, they can help you with some of the support software that they have. If you want help, or if you have questions about SPSS or Excel organizing your data, expectations about that, if you have technical questions about working with your analysis and analyzing your dissertation doctoral study data, know that the Academic Skills Center does offer specific support for that, they have people dedicated to that. So, if you have not, do check that out. It may be useful to you.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Office of Research and Doctoral Services Resources
The Office of Research and Doctoral Services offers methodology advice office hours to all Walden students who are working on their dissertations and have questions about:
Audio: As a lot of you also probably already know, the Office of Research and Doctoral Services offers support for methodology and results, data analysis. Office of Research and Doctoral Services, otherwise known as the research office, you can get to both of these places through your student portal. They offer methodology advice office hours and they offer them specifically for both qualitative and quantitative studies, so they have a methodologist, then sort of a group advising session, you can sign in live during the posted office hours and the hours are on the website. If you have questions, if you're still working on your proposal or you have gotten to the data analysis portion or you're writing up your results, you can go to them if you have questions.
Of course, you want to go to your chair first, always. And, be sure you are working things out with your faculty, with your overseeing committee. But if you just have a question you want to wait to see before you submit something to your chair or go to your chair or something like that, note that the research office has support for this too, and they have a dedicated methodologist you can talk to if issues come up.
Keep in mind, that, at the Writing Center, we can talk to you about APA style, we can talk to you about things, if things look clear, if they seem APA compliant or legible, but in terms of content and that kind of thing, you really want to go to your faculty or the research office for things like that. We can tell you, for example, if a table looks right in APA, but we can't really tell you if your analysis in the table is correct. Keep that in mind.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: General tips for writing about results
Audio: Without further ado, we will go on to what is probably foremost in people's minds. [LAUGHS] and that is, how to discuss your data, how to show your data, how to show your work. Because you’ve done all this work, you have created this proposal that’s gone through this proposal approval process, you’ve done all of this crafting, all of this thinking, all of this reading, and that you have collected all this information as an original researcher. How are you going to show what you did? How are you going to convey this information in a way that reflects what your findings were but also reflect your prowess and your skills as a doctoral level researcher?
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Beginning to write…
Audio: So how do we do that? [LAUGHS] Well, just very basically, to start off, as you are beginning to write, for some of you this may be Chapter 4, if you’re doing a dissertation for some doctoral studies, it may be Section 2. For some of you it may be Section 3. Depending on the type of study you are doing, this information could be appearing in different parts of your document. But just know when it comes to writing up your results, make sure you're using the correct template and that you are also using the correct rubric and checklist for your program.
I want to emphasize the distinction between these two things. The template, really make sure everything looks like. The template is mostly concerned with formatting and APA compliance. The rubric or the checklist for your program, which you can get through the research office, that is really where you go in terms of content. So, the specific headings that need to be included, the specific content that needs to be addressed, the things that you need to talk about when you write up your results that you need to describe when you talk about the data collection process or things like that. All of that is going to be in the rubric or checklist. So make sure that you are familiar with both and that you are using both so that not only is everything formatted correctly and presented according to APA guidelines, but you're also including all the right information, so that when your URR goes to the document, they can check off yes, they have this. Yes, they have that. So, make sure you're using both documents for their intended purpose.
It's always best to start with an outline. As you know, those of you who have completed the proposal, a lot of the sections or a lot of the chapters have the headings required already there. That’s a helpful way to outline what you write up. To have the headings there, then you put in your information. It can make the writing process less daunting that way because you don't have to sit down and think about writing 100 pages. You just think about what goes under each heading.
The same is true for writing results, you can determine what the necessary headings are according to your program. You can determine what the exact that are specific to your study. Depending on how you want organize that information, write that up in an outline and then you can just fill that information in. Those are easy ways to get started because, depending on the type of study you did and the type of information you collected and what your findings are, it could seem very daunting. You have this huge problem information, how am I going to organize this in a way that is going to make sense to someone else? That is always best, especially with a project this size, to break it into parts and go step-by-step. These are suggested ways to write up the results section.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Beginning to write…
See pages 32-35 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: There is a great passage in the APA manual, I know some people may have, people have different opinions about the APA manual, I will put it that way. But I will say that the opening sections of the APA manual are actually a really wonderful, it's just really wonderful writing about the purpose of scholarly writing and the ideas behind writing in APA style.
When it's time to write up your results, I recommend people read that section in the APA manual. I have the page numbers here. You will see some page numbers at the bottom throughout this presentation of where to go in the manual. But pages 32 through 35 has some really good information about what you are doing when you're writing up your results. I think it’s really useful, especially if this is the first time you have done comprehensive, original research at this scale, of this scope. So, I recommend people read that. But really, the idea when you are writing up your results, you are presenting the narrative of your data. You’re presenting the story of your data to your readers.
So, the idea is, kind of for those of you who have done your literature review, you don't want to just say this is what I found, just like in the literature review you don't just want to say this is what I read. You really want to convey it in such a way that the reader can understand that is what it means, they can understand it in an order that will accumulate toward your conclusion. So, you are summarizing the information that is important for them and you are describing the analysis in a way that they can really see as if they are over your shoulder as you’re doing it step-by-step what you did. You’re leading them through so at the end of your results, at the end of your section where you have described what you found and what your analysis was, once you get to the end of that section, you really want your reader to understand it as well as you do. You want them to understand where you are at the end of the process. You don't want them to have to weed through it by themselves. You want to present it in a way that they can follow along logically and understand the whole process. You don't want them to have to do a lot of deciphering. [LAUGHS] You don't want to make your reader do a lot of deciphering on their own. You want to make sure we are presenting in a way they can follow along easily and, comprehend t it efficiently based on how you organize it.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: table and figure formatting
Audio: One way that people often choose to do this is through visual displays. And when we talk about visual displays in your doctoral documents, that will either be a table or a figure. I’m going to talk about the distinctions between each. There are different things that constitute a table, different things that constitute a figure, and there are different formatting concerns for each.
Make sure you are conversant with Chapter 5 of the APA manual. But I will admit -- and I want to make sure you know -- Chapter 5 has all the information about visual displays and some of it is very useful. There are checklists and descriptions and lots of things that are very helpful when it comes to making tables and figures. But those of you who have used the APA manual may also know that Chapter 5 is, I think, the most confusing chapter. So just know that, make sure you're looking at Chapter 5 and how to reference Chapter 5. But also note that Chapter 5 is not necessarily laid out in the most helpful way. So be sure you’re able to look at some of the examples we have on our website, also the main APA style block has information. This is the places where this information comes from, just for your reference, but know that the manual is not making sense, you can also go to the Writing Center's website or contact the editors and we will help.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: What to present in tables and figures
See pages 128-167 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: So, what goes in your tables and figures? You can put both qualitative and quantitative data in visual display. If you are doing a quantitative study, it's not required, it's not prohibited if you are doing a qualitative study. There can be reasons for both. There are compelling reasons for both. So, really, it's up to you as the author to determine what is the best way to present this information.
You do want to keep in mind that they are necessary. [LAUGHS] I’ll say that again. You want to make sure if you're using a visual display that it is a necessary means of conveying information. Do not feel pressure, just like you don't want to put a lot of fancy wording in to sound scholarly, you don't want to throw in a bunch of visual displays just to seem doctoral. [LAUGHS] you don't want to put in a lot of stuff that doesn't need to be there especially when it comes to the formatting concerns or publication concerns. You want to make sure it's worth the trouble, so to speak, because sometimes there is a lot that goes into re-creating a table or repeating a table from another source or formatting so it meets publication requirements. You don't want to just add tables so it seems impressive. You really want to make sure you’re including them because it's a necessary way of conveying information.
There are a lot of instances where it is easy to comprehend something visually, it’s easy to convey something in picture or graph or if it's spread out in rows and columns, it's easier for a reader to understand rather than trying to scan through a dense piece of text or a really long paragraph to pick out what they want. It really is easier to set it up as a table or figure. So, you want to make sure you are reserving the figures for when it makes the information easier to understand. You don't want to put pressure on yourself to have tables and figures just because you're doing a doctoral study and you think it needs tables and figures. Make sure they really are the best way of conveying the information that you want to convey.
The other thing to keep in mind, and this is also for those of you who were hoping to publish your data or your information or part or all of your study after graduation, it's important to keep in mind that the tables and figures supplement the text. They relate to the text. But they can also stand on their own.
And what that means is, let's say you're going to adapt, let say you’re writing a dissertation, you are getting a PhD, and you want to adapt your dissertation into an article. You want to condense your findings and your conclusions into something that’s article length. You submit to a journal, you get accepted. Great, congratulations. But in that journal, just the way the journal does things, they don't include tables and figures throughout articles, they just save them all until the end. You want to make sure your table and figure is comprehensive enough that if you reader flips to the end they can still understand what is going on without having the text right there. That is what that means, that the table and figure could stand on its own and whoever is publishing it moved it somewhere and it still makes sense. But it supplements rather than repeats the text that is going on around it.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Tables
See page 149 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: Here is the kind of information that you can put in a table. And rather than, I’ve seen lots of things in table form. [LAUGHS] Some of it doesn't actually need to go in table form. I’ve seen some things that really it is just a list of variables or a list of questions. Really it can just be a list, it doesn't have to be in table form, but it is formatted as a table, when it really doesn't need to be.
So, to consider if something belongs in rows and columns. Like if you just have a list of six things, you can just list the six things out, if there’s no cross-column row activity that needs to go on, you probably don't need to make a table out of it. But if you do have information that makes more sense spread out that way such as these examples we have here. A lot of it could be statistical, sometimes it could be qualitative. If it makes sense in row and column form, consider putting it in a table. But don't feel like just because you have six rows but no columns to go along with it you need to put it in a table.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Tables: Narrative Example
Read the narrative example paragraph. How do you respond to it as a reader?
Of the total superintendents surveyed, 61 (39.1%) had obtained a doctorate degree. Within this category, 34 (55.7%) were servant leaders, and 27 (44.3%) were nonservant leaders. A total of 15 superintendents were education specialists, an official title defined in this state as having all of their doctoral credits for formal coursework; however, deficient the credits and final product of a doctoral study. Within this cohort of 15, seven (46.7%) were servant leaders, and eight (53.3%) were nonservant leaders. In the most widespread category of this demographic, 80 (51.3%) superintendents had obtained a master’s degree as their highest level of formal education. Of these superintendents, 38 (47.5%) were designated servant leaders, and 42 (52.5%) as nonservant leaders. Table 10 presents a visual summary of the SASL response data.
Audio: Here, I will skip the chat because I want to make sure we get to everything. But here is an example of narrative text that is not very easy to understand. It's pretty dense and it’s kind of a list of things. You can see as you read through this paragraph, it becomes split into smaller and smaller sections so it says, "The total number surveyed within this group ..." and within this subgroup and then within this sub subgroup. It is really just a list of numbers and percentages.
If you find yourself in listing mode like this, where you have a few different categories, a few different findings, and you are just listing it out this way or listing responses to a series of questions, that is usually an indication that you might want to put it in a table form. Because if you see this as a reader, I have to read through this whole paragraph. [LAUGHS] I have to read through this whole thing and then maybe it is going to be hard for me to refer back to the thing in the first sentence. This is an example of something that would look much better as a table.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Tables
Use a table to present information that is too complex to include in the text.
Median Score by State
North Dakota 7 10
South Dakota 19 29
Minnesota 13 39
Iowa 39 23
Nebraska 3 39
Wisconsin 39 47
Ohio 48 58
New York 48 46
California 481 46
Audio: Here's an example of what it would look like as a table. If you can just imagine what this would look like in paragraph form. [LAUGHS] This to be the longest, densest paragraph ever because you have all these data points you need to talk about and include. Whereas if you put it in a table, you could say Table 1 shows median scores by state for boys and girls. There it is. You don't have to go through a description of it. You don't have to repeat the content that’s in the table in a paragraph form. You just have it in the paragraph and refer back to the table for the specific data that's important for you to say.
The other thing to keep in mind – and I will talk about this later – you don't need to repeat information in paragraph and in table form. You don't need to have a table and then say, "This table shows ..." and explain the things the table says. You can let the text in the table work off of each other. But this is an example of a way, this is really too complicated to put in paragraph form. It would be too hard to read and it would really slow down your reader and they wouldn't understand what you want to tell them especially if you refer back to the information. So, a table is much better.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Tables
Age Demographic Descriptive Statistics
Variable N Minimum Maximum M SD
Age 89 18 66 35,89 12,22
Here is an example where the text is sufficient and the table is not needed.
Audio: This, however, is an example of a table that is probably not necessary. It's really only one row. There are lots of different columns, there are several different statistical elements that are included, but it is really just one row. So, you look and you can summarize it easily in just two sentences. And say 89 teachers responded to the survey, their ages ranged from 18 to 66 with a mean of 36. And that’s really all the information you need. First and foremost, go with what your chair and your committee are asking you to do. If they have said I want a table for this or this is the way I want to look at the information, use tables if they told you, you have to include a table for something.
But, if they haven’t made specific requirements about what needs to be in a table and what doesn’t. Consider if it just has one or two rows or just has one or two columns. Really, you don’t need to have it. Just because there is numerical data, does not mean you have to put it in table form. Really this table, it makes your life much more complicated, because you have to worry about formatting the table correctly, make sure if it's in the margins, making sure it shows up in the list of tables and on and on and on. It's actually a bigger formatting responsibility to put it in the table, so you want to make sure that the data there is actually worth it. So, this is an instance where it’s maybe not worth it to create a whole table when you can say it in in two sentences. So, keep that in mind, you don't want to have tables in there for the sake of tables. Or because there is numerical data. You want tables because it is the best way of conveying information.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Formatting the table header
See pages 127-150 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: Specific requirements for formatting the table, and keep in mind that the formatting is different for figures. I’ll go into that when I talk about figures. But keep in mind that you don't do the same thing for all visual displays. But as you have seen in these examples, there’s a table number, below the table number is a table title, the table title is italicized. The table title doesn't have to be 75 words long. It can be concise. You want to make sure that it actually conveys what’s in the table. Considering if they moved to a different part of the text, would the table title still make enough sense and convey enough information? And there is no period at the end.
Keep in mind that you want to follow the examples in the APA manual and you want to follow the examples on the Writing Center website. Even if you are reading an APA article from another publication, their formatting may be totally different. So even if you’re following the formatting in the books and articles you are reading, it may not be strictly correct. They may not have capitalized it in the right way or they may have periods where periods don't belong. So, keep in mind you don't want to follow the formatting in the way it appears in something other than Walden or the APA manual. Just keep that in mind.
Table names and table titles go above rather than below. And statistical abbreviations are italicized throughout, always. So, if you have n= or anything like that, the n is always italicized.
You do have to recreate SPSS. If SPSS spits out a table for you it’s not going to be automatically in APA format. So just understand that you’re going to have to make some adjustments. The information will still be correct, the rows and tables will probably still be what you need, but the formatting itself you’re going to have to adjust. And we have, there’s a link there in the slides, and there’s also information on our web site about specifically how to adjust what you get from SPSS before you put it in your document. And the big thing you’re going to have to change vertical lines. APA tables have no vertical lines, nowhere, never. No vertical lines. Only horizontal lines.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Example
[Image of a Table with Respondent demographic Information]
Audio: You will see in this example here. So, this is basically what your table should look like with some variances based on what your table is for. You have table number, line below it, table title, italicized, capitalized. Table itself, just horizontal lines organized into each column has a heading. And you have what each row is, this is what it's supposed to be. This is something that is way more easily comprehended in table form than it would be if I were to describe all this information to you in a paragraph.
Below you will see I have a notes section for any explanation, to explicate any abbreviations or anything like that. There are stipulations in the APA enabled manual for how to do the table note, but if you do have specific information you need, whether its general note or specific note or probability note or something like that, then there are examples in the manual of how to do that. But any of that information is below the table.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: References to tables within the text
Audio: Make sure you are introducing the tables in the text for your readers, so you don't want to just go along and have your general discussion and then suddenly you have this big ole table show up. Just like you would introduce a guest, you want to introduce your table so your reader isn't surprised or confused by what it’s for. As you’re talking, you can introduce a certain element or a certain bit of the data you collected or a certain bit of analysis you did. You can say things like, "As shown in Table 1,” or you could just refer to it and then put in parentheses (Table 1). But make sure that you are indicating the information what the information is, in the context of the main text and including a reference to it so you can include the table right after it. Make sure you're introducing it before rather than after. You can still discuss it after you’ve included the table, you don’t need to include a complete discussion before the table comes up, but make sure you give the reader an indication the table is coming so they know what to use it for once it actually is there.
Number tables consecutively, this is another thing that’s going to be different than some of the articles or books you are reading. Unfortunately, it's different than what they do in the APA manual, so keep that in mind. That the APA manual itself doesn't totally follow this rule, but the examples on the Walden website do. That the tables numbers are continuously so you wouldn’t have a prefix depending on chapter or section number for example. You would just have table 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., number continuously throughout the main sections. Once you get to the appendices, if you have an appendix that has multiple tables in it, the rules for that are a little different. But if you just have tables in the main text or just have appendix that is one table, you don't have to worry about having prefixes.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?
Audio: But, that perhaps led into lots of questions. I will pause here because we are about halfway and I know that was a lot of information. Before I move on to figures, any then more general discussion of qualitative and quantitative, are there any questions I should address?
Sam: Hi, Lydia, they have only been a couple questions. This last one I thought I might throw back to you. Someone asked about centering things in the columns. Specifically, this person thought the respondents being centered? What would you say there?
Lydia: I think that is in reference to this example, perhaps?
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Example table [visual of respondent demographic information]
Sam: Right. Yes.
Lydia: So, above and beyond anything else, your goal is legibility. I will say that first before I get too far into the weeds. You want to make sure everything is legible. After legibility, you want consistency. So, if you are working on your own working on a table, is it legible, is it consistent? Those are the two main concerns. Once you get into specific guidelines, column headings are centered. All of my column headings here are centered. The row names, I can't think of the word are left aligned. That is why it looks like that. That is why the one, two, three, four, five, six, seven isn't centered underneath respondent, because those are my row titles, those are left aligned.
Sam: I am trying to remember, I think they call it a stub column? I think that is the term? I was trying to think of the name for that, as well.
Lydia: The stub column. Has a column title, so it says what goes underneath it. And it’s the respondent, and then underneath that is left aligned. You can mess with the spacing a little bit like this so it will fit on the slide, it's all single spaced. But the page it probably looks better double-spaced. You may do this if it were actually in your document, that might not look so crazy to have all of those respondent numbers over to the side. Just know that those rows, like if your list of variables over there or something like that, that will be left aligned, whereas the column titles are all centered. But again, legibility first, consistency second.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Question
Audio: Sam: Another question, someone is asking if there is an example of a qualitative table you could share or if you could point us to one?
Lydia: Gosh, I don't have one in this presentation because, as people know, qualitative data can take up more space, so it's hard to see on a PowerPoint. You can, if you are doing a qualitative study and you want to see an example the qualitative table, what looks good in a qualitative table, you can go, and I have links for this later in the presentation, you can look for previous dissertations or doctoral studies. Off the top of my head I’m afraid I can't think of a very good specific examples but I know there are examples in the library of previously published dissertations and doctoral studies.
Sam: That’s a good idea, yeah checking out previously published examples, that seems like good advice. Another person is asking, if you have to align with the left margin, your table, does it have to aligned with the left margin of the template?
Lydia: Yes. Yes it does. [LAUGHS]
Sam: Last question, for the pause, I think, and then we can move on, I know you have a lot to cover, is it necessary to have notes at the bottom of the table?
Lydia: Great question. No, don't. Don't feel pressure to have stuff that you don't need. [LAUGHS] Like, you have to have a title. You have to have columns and row names, you have to have a name for what is in every column in every row. But you don't have to have notes if you don't need them. If all the information is there in the table you don't have to it. If look through lots of examples you can see all kinds of stuff that goes below, like citations sometimes or specific notes or introductions of abbreviations, if that stuff exists in the table you need to explain it to your reader. But if…
Let's see if I can think of ... actually, so, this example, there is note.
Let's say I introduced it in the text I said, according to Table 1, Table 1 shows the median scores by state for both boys and girls and then I just showed this. There isn't any information that is not right here that I would need to explain. This is self-explanatory, it’s all in either the name or the title, there aren't any abbreviations, you don't need any note, this is all you need. That's a great question.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions
Audio: All right, I will let you move on to the next part, thank you.
Lydia: Thank you very much.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Figures
Audio: Here's the fun one, figures. [LAUGHS] Figures, there is a broader scope of what can show up as a figure than what shows up as a table. Even though tables there can be lots of information, it is stuff that makes sense split into rows and columns. Once you get to figures, it's really a whole lot of other stuff, too. It could be graphs, it could be charts, it can be different visual displays that are specifically showing your data and your data analysis. But it could be other things, too. It could be, you know I’ve seen maps, I have seen pictures. I have seen models that people developed and they had to create sort of a diagram for it or processes where somebody did it like a visual line picture of how the process worked or flowcharts, things like that. I have seen all kinds of things are figures.
But the same principle still applies as with tables, you don't want to put a figure in there just because it looks fancy to have figures. [LAUGHS] You want to put a figure in there because it really is a necessary means of conveying the information you want to convey. Keep that in mind, that the figures that you are using really are, try as much as possible to stick with stuff that is presenting data or presenting essential information.
And if there is stuff that you refer to but isn’t really immediately necessary for presenting your results, but it is something you want to include, consider putting it in an appendix or something like that. I don't know, if there is a photograph or a map or a flyer or something that you think it’s useful for the reader to know, but it's not really useful for them to understand in your specific data you collected, you can still put it in your appendix, but it may not need to be a figure in your immediate text.
But also consider if a table would be better. [LAUGHS] So, if it could fit into rows and columns, you may want to build a table out of it. But if it is actually better as a figure, you would want to present it in a figure.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Figures: Detailed Example:
View the example figure displaying multiple data. How do you respond to it as a reader?
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Teacher Observation graph [illustration]
Audio: For this, I think I will have you guys respond a little bit. Let's say you were going along with your reading, I have introduced this figure and this is what you see. How do you react to this as a reader if you were to see this in an article that you were going through?
[pause as students type]
Yes, a bit busy! It is definitely awful confusing, for sure. It's too crowded, it's too much. And complicated, very difficult to read. Cluttered and dense. Difficult to understand. Clumsy. Clumsy, that's a good way of thinking about it.
So, there are a bunch of different colors here, it's sort of complicated, not just to see the information, but it is sort of complicated because you have to decipher a lot of information about how the graph works before you can even start deciphering the data. Really, it's just a lot going on, it’s too much information.
And, you can tell this person did a lot of work, though. [LAUGHS] You can tell that they collected a lot of information and they have a lot of information that they want to show you. But you have to keep in mind that it has to fit within a very specific margin in a very specific size. Some of this text you can’t even read because it has to be so small. I know that people really want to be as comprehensive as possible when they are presenting their information.
But you…, it puts the reader to work, that's a good way of thinking about it. You want to make sure you're not making the reader do more work than...as the researcher, you want to lay things out for your reader so they can get exactly what you want them to get. You don't want to have them on their own having to decipher a lot of information. That's a good way.
A line graph, yeah, this may not even be the right format. It could be better as a line graph if there really is all this information. Or there could be dozens of ways of organizing this. Or maybe this could be four graphs instead of one, or something like that.
In general, this is the example of the kind of thing you want to avoid. And I apologize if someone was typing, I didn't intend to cut you off, but also didn't want to belabor the point.
You want to make sure that everything is in digestible pieces. Bite-size pieces for your reader. So here, this may be a very useful reference for you as a researcher. But as someone who did not interview these students or conduct the survey or do the analysis, this didn't make any sense to me, even if you did set it up in the context of the main text if you introduced it in a paragraph, because I can't really read it. So, this is not useful at all.
This is an example of the kind of thing you want to avoid. At the beginning when I said you don't want to just hand people a pile of information and have them sort through it. You really want to do a lot of the sorting yourself. If that means sacrificing some of the more fancy or complicated figures for the sake of reader understanding, that is something you are going to have to decide.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Figures
See page 161 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: So, here is example, you can see it has calm down significantly. In this example, I have slimmed down the amount of information that is in here. This is probably better suited to a bar graph than what was previous, on the previous slide. This is an example of the kind of, I think it is easily comprehended, I can look at it and it only takes a little bit to see okay, boys, girls, age four, five, six. Okay great and I kind of know what the information is. So, it's a lot easier.
Also, you can see it's labeled, but the label is below. So, for figures, the label is below. A lot of the labeling for figures is actually the reverse of tables, so keep that in mind. The figure label is below.
This time it is the figure number that is italicized and the caption that is not italicized which again, is the reverse of what it is for tables. And also, for figures it is all on the same line, it is not separated out.
Keep in mind a lot of what you're doing with the figures is the reverse of what you’re doing with the table, sometimes I have seen people do the same thing all the way through, so keep that in mind. If you have a Y axis, which you don't have to have, but if you have a Y axis, it is labeled horizontally.
Color, a lot of people have questions of color, especially if they have a graph or a chart that includes more than two categories. A while ago [LAUGHS], we said no color, because the publication options did not allow color. It either needed to be grayscale or crosshatch or black-and-white or something like that. Now, thanks to the miracle of modern electronic publishing, color is an option, but you still want to make sure the color enhances the presentation and, it is not just there to pop. The point of color, if you do determine you need to use it, is that it is necessary to show different categories and that also would not all be the same color if you had to switch to grayscale. But usually, black-and-white, grayscale, crosshatch, that is often, I think easier and a better option. But if you do want to use color, make sure you're doing it in a way that enhances the information.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Formatting the figure caption
See pages 150-167 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: Oh, I said that already
Visual: Example Figure [illustration of figure]
See pages 153 in the APA (6th ed.)
Audio: So, here is another example and this is a little bit muddy but this is in the APA manual. You can see here, this is not necessarily a presentation of data points, this is not necessarily a chart, this is kind of a model that the person has come up with so they have created this model they have shown it with arrows and boxes. This is something I see fairly frequently, not infrequently, I guess I will say. [LAUGHS] You can create this yourself or if it helps you to create it somewhere else and scan it in, there are lots of different ways of creating this in your document. But this is how you want to have it formatted. You have the figure number italicized, here, it’s an x because it’s an example, then you have the name of it. And if there is any specific citation or reference information, that is included here, too. I will say more about that on a later slide. But keep in mind that all goes below the figure as well as it would go in a table note for a table.
I want to point out also as we are looking at this example, however, in APA manual, you will notice that there are boxes around figures and their captions. You do not need boxes in your dissertation or your doctoral study. You don't need them. Here you can see there is a line box around the whole thing because that is how it appears in the manual. That is not in APA rule, don't do that in your dissertation you have to do that. You just insert the figure itself and the caption beneath it then you can move on with your text. You don't have to put any kind of special flourish on it. You can just have the figure in and the caption below it. This appears on page 153 if you want to look on your manual for reference.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: References to figures within the text
Audio: As with tables, you want to make sure you're introducing your figures. For both tables and figures, you don't want to refer to them by their direction in the text. So, you never want to say, "The table above," or " below," or “The figure above” or “the figure below” and the reason for that, as you may anticipate, is because depending on if your dissertation is published in a different format or if you revise to publish an article, that table may no longer be above or below. The publisher may have moved it somewhere else. So, you want to make sure you are referring to it by number in the text, never refer to it by direction.
Same with tables, you're numbering continuously Figure 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 throughout the document. Same rules apply if you have appendices with multiple figures in it, you may need to have a prefix. If it is in the main text just number them continuously.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Reprinting previously published tables or figures
Audio: Reprinting previously published tables or figures, now this is less of a concern when you're creating your own tables and figures based on your own data. But if you are using information, you’re referring to previous findings or you're comparing to what previous authors found or you’re using tables and figures earlier on in your document to establish a model or figures or background or something like that, keep in mind that, as I said at the beginning, it's not just scholarly requirements and doctoral level requirements that you're thinking about now, you have to worry about publication requirements, as well.
So, be aware of what’s under copyright, don't use things that are under copyright without permission. [LAUGHS] Sometimes I think is easier to determine if it's under copyright and then you can really think, well do I need this? And sometimes you, sometimes you do need to include it, but sometimes you don't. That’s kind of a good way to cull extra tables and figures that you don't necessarily need. But if you determine that it is necessary, make sure you that you obtain permission. And there are, I believe there are weblinks in the weblinks pod for ProQuest copyright concerns so make sure you’re aware of the information in that guide. And it does have things like sample email text that you can send to somebody to say, "Hello, I am doing my dissertation on x, y, and z, may have permission to print your figure…. Blah blah blah" They have some templates for you if you want to obtain permission. You want to be careful of copyright infringement. In the note or caption if it did get it from somewhere else or adapted from somewhere else, you may want to say from or adapted from or reprinted with permission. There is information on our website on the main APA style guide and in the manual and in the ProQuest publication guide. So, the information is out there. So, if you are concerned something is under copyright, make sure you look into it and make sure you address all that before you submit for publication.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing about Quantitative Data
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Be consistent in wording your hypotheses and questions
Audio: I will say a few words about specifically writing if you are doing a quantitative study, and this is quantitative specifically, so if you have research questions and hypotheses. This goes for everyone but especially, I guess, for people who are doing quantitative studies, make sure the wording is the same throughout and also make sure the order is the same throughout of your research question in your hypotheses.
That may seem obvious, that may seem self-explanatory. But you have been writing and working with this document for a long time and you may not be constantly checking back and forth between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, for example. You may not be looking back often at your proposal chapters. And then I have actually seen a dissertation where somebody inverted their research questions, so what was research question number two in their proposal actually turned into research question number four in their results. So, keep an eye on that kind of stuff, that can happen, so make sure that the numbering is consistent and also that the wording is consistent. That every time you list out your hypotheses or your research question in full, the wording is the same. If it’s not in question format, you are just referring to in the main text like, "The second research question addresses blah blah blah," the wording doesn’t need to be the same. But when you list them out, research question one, research question two, the wording has to be the same, so it is consistent throughout and the reader knows you’re referring to the same thing.
If you are discussing your results in your null hypotheses you want to make sure you discuss those hypotheses. Here is the annotation for that. I see this is one place where the editors can see a lot of variation in how people format the notation for their hypotheses, but this is generally what we want to see if you are using abbreviated notation in your hypotheses. Italicized H, subscript 0 not italicized, for the null hypothesis.
Then, for your alternative hypothesis you can have 1 or A, but it’s still not italicized. Then if you have multiple sets of hypotheses, often you will have the number of the research questions Let's say you have three research questions and three sets of hypotheses, you don't want to have just H sub 0, H sub 1, H sub 0, H sub 1, Because your reader is not going to know which goes with which question. So, you also want to make sure you’re putting the number of the research question.
There is more in Table 3.58, or APA 3.58, Table 3.9. Read the slide, don't listen to me. [LAUGHS] There is more in the APA manual. You also want to talk about your research questions, specifically you want to correlate your implications and your findings to the research question may talk about them.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Conventional language
Audio: This we see a lot. You want to make sure you talk about rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis. If you've written up your results and you talk about accepting the alternative hypothesis, you want to revise that. So, you have either rejected or failed to reject the null hypothesis. Generally, that’s the form it should take. Other specific things.
Italicize statistical symbols. There are some exceptions so if you look in the APA manual you’ll see what the exceptions are. Like, Greek letters you don’t italicize. And subscripts, and superscripts, you don't italicize. Things like that. But if you're talking about n or p values, the p is always italicized, the t' in t test is always italicized. Your statistical symbols are italicized. Check the APA manual if you’re worried about exceptions. You want to have spaces on either side of operational symbols, so the equal sign, the less than sign, less than or equal too, you want to have spaces on either side, so everything is not smashed together. And to t test, if you are talking about a t-test by itself, no hyphen. If t test as a word is modifying the word right after it like "T-test results," then you would hyphenate it. But just know if t test is on its own you don't have to hyphenate it.
Another place you that you italicize, is anchors of a scale. Let's say you're doing a Likert scale that goes strongly agree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree, those would be italicized. And yes, no, true false, that kind of thing. If it is an anchor of a scale you indicate to the reader by italicizing it.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing about Qualitative Data
Audio: I think I will pause here, I know we are getting close but I want to make sure, I want to make sure I pause if there are there any specific quantitative questions after what I just said?
Sam: Not specific quantitative questions so I will hold off.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Describing qualitative data
Audio: Lydia: To switch to qualitative, so, writing up your qualitative results, a lot of your specific concerns are very similar to what goes on when you're doing your literature review. Some of your faculty may even have talked to you about how doing a literature review was like doing qualitative analysis, so a lot of the same things will come up if you're writing qualitative results.
You want to consider the level of detail that is necessary. Sometimes you’re coding the way that you’ve coded and the thematic categories you’ve come up is helpful with this. Sometimes it is helpful to organize according to your research question, it really can vary from study to study. This is another example of when it’s good to get a sampling of previously published studies from the library. And not even just from Walden, you can look at previously published doctoral research from any number of places and kind of see how they have put this together. But you want to have a coherent organizational scheme, whether that is thematic, whether that is by research question, you want to maintain it throughout. I have sometimes seen people, who through the course of writing their results, they started one way. So, like for research question one they wrote it up by research question, but then they switched gears and started talking about things thematically and it wasn't consistent throughout, so it got confusing.
So, make sure that you’re being consistent and make sure you have an organizational system in place and make sure you're not getting so much down into the nitty-gritty so your reader gets lost in the details and they kind of lose the larger picture of the analysis you are trying to convey.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Organizing by theme
Audio: Make sure your heading levels are correct and they follow the APA hierarchy. If you do want to get below level II and sometimes, and qualitative results you might want to use a level III or a level IV. Make sure that that stuff is following the APA format and that it’s following the APA guidelines that you don't just get down, you want to make sure that the heading levels you're using are conveying the correct information. [LAUGHS] I'll just put it that way.
Also, don't capitalize or add quotation marks to your variables. Don't italicize or capitalize themes. And I understand the drive to do that, because sometimes, people want to emphasize it or sometimes the way they have worded it, it doesn't really make sense in the sentence. But you don't want to add incorrect textual emphasis to your themes or to your variables. So, don't capitalize or italicize them if they don't need it or add quotation marks or any of those kinds of things. Really, you just want to phrase it in a way that it makes sense in the sentence, you can anticipate that your reader knows what your variables are by the time they get to your results, for example.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Organizing by them (example)
[visual of Data Analysis organized by theme]
Audio: This is an example of what the headings will look like. Keep in mind, as I said before, it’s kind of hard to fit qualitative data on a PowerPoint slide because it is longer. Just know that this is an example of what the headings will look like, there would be much more text. So, it won't look like this in your draft, you may have it outlined this way and then you would fill it and. So, let's say this is your outline and then you would have, your analysis or description of your data below, but this is one way of doing it. I have my data analysis, first theme, teachers experiences of support. Or, first variable. Then have mentoring, theme one, theme two. Coaching. Theme one, theme two. Then I give my next variable, influence of support on transfer process. Below that you can anticipate I will have my different categories, then my themes for those categories. That’s one way you can do it. This is often what thematic organization will look like when you are writing qualitative results. But again, the idea is to be consistent and also to make sure that the headings are conveying the right level of categorization.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Presenting qualitative data: Excerpts from transcripts
However, one school did not provide new teachers with professional development training. Compared to the schools where training was provided, teachers at this school had an entirely different first year of teaching. Participant 6 stated,
I really needed training that would help me to address learning difficulties in the classrooms. It seemed that professional development was too general when I asked the school for support. I had to figure what to do all by myself. It was not an effective way to try to help students who could not learn in the traditional environment. As a new teacher, I could have really used more information on how to approach different levels and ways of learning.
Audio: A lot of you who have done interviews are going to be presenting excerpts from interview transcripts, focus group transcripts or things like that. You treat those like block quotations. So you can have here, here I have described it [READING SLIDE] One school did not provide new teachers, Blah blah blah, participant six stated, that half block quotation. As you can see, the line spacing is the same, except it is indented all the way down the left side. There isn't any extra indentation on the right side, is just indented on the left side, and I just have their exact wording. There doesn't need to be any parenthetical information at the end because I have already introduced as, "Participant six stated," and then I said what they stated.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Discussing participant responses
Audio: When you’re talking about participant responses, these are some examples of how you can do it. Keep in mind you want to refer to your participants in consistent ways, so decide if you want to say Participant One, Participant Two, Participant Three, and then stick with that. Some people abbreviate, they introduce an abbreviation, P1, P2, P3. Sometimes they don't say participant, they say different things. Again, consistency is the key, you're not switching back and forth between spelling out and abbreviating, you’re not switching back and forth between talking about interviewee versus participant. You can decide what you want to call people but you want to refer to them consistently throughout. And then really, you just kind of deal with it as if you are talking about spoken dialogue. You can say participant described, indicated, said that, quote.
Please do not cite your own data. The purpose of citation is to indicate to your reader where the information came from so they can track the citation to the reference entry and use that reference entry to retrieve the same information. Data is a whole different ball game, because all of your methodology section is describing where the data came from and the reader can't retrieve the data unless they contact you because you have the data under lock and key until you destroy it after five to seven years or whatever the IRB agreement was. Data is in the separate economy from the resources that you have on your references list. So, you don't have to provide citation, you don't have to say personal communication, whatever the date the interview was. Because your reader knows it was an interview, they understand the conditions of the interview, they understand it is data you generated, so you don't have to cite it because the reader already knows where the data came from.
Check out proper formatting for block quotations, there is a link there and also in the APA manual and on our website if you have questions about how to do block quotations.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Presenting qualitative data: Excerpts from transcripts
From simple strategies to the more complex, participants gave accounts of how they dealt with the symptoms typically associated with schizophrenia. Participant 8 explained,
I mean, it’s hard, and I get to the point to where I’m recognizing that I’m not ok and then I can sort of calm myself down…and I used to, I used to not be able to do that. Taking medication really helps.
Participate 3 responded,
Hmm….well, one day I, you know, I was taking my medicine like usual. And I was lying awake at night because I had the insomnia that often occurs with the medicine. I also realized that I was going to have to find a way to deal with the side effects of medication…like restlessness and sleeplessness. I started using a humidifier at night because the sound is soothing. I also have either warm milk or a cup of chamomile tea about a half hour before bed. It might be totally psychological, but it calms me down.
Audio: Sometimes, people have, if you were to talk about multiple participant responses at once, this is an example of how you can do this. The spacing is a little bit off, unfortunately, but it is a similar way. You just present block quotation after block quotation. The keys, again, are legibility and consistency. If it is clear and it’s legible and the way you’re going to convey the information can, show the reader you were directly quoting a transcript, that is usually fine.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revision Strategies and Writing Resources
Audio: Your committee may have some specific information they require in addition, or they may have specific requirements for how they want it to look. Make sure you defer to your committee if they have told you how they want to formatted. But in general, when it gets to the editor, we want to see directly quoted passages of 40 words or more treated like block quotations and want the way you refer to your participants to be consistent and we want the thematic organization to be consistent and make sense throughout in general.
So, I’m going to go very quickly, in case we need time for extra questions.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising data presentation and analysis
Audio: If you downloaded the slides please do take a look at them. There are some specific revision strategies to keep in mind as you're going through your results section. Some of this is review for what I already covered at the beginning. Do make sure you're using the appropriate template and checklist. Make sure you're looking at things as a reader is going to see them. You're going to be deep in your data by this point, and you're going to be so well-versed that sometimes it is hard to step back and see what it would be like to look at for the first time. Keep in mind, we don't want to have those tables that are super complicated or super dense or those tables that are really busy. You want to step back and say okay, how is a reader going to comprehend this? Keep that in mind as you're revising the section.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising data presentation and analysis
Audio: Make a plan, stick to a schedule, that’s sort of good practice for all of life. [LAUGHS] But specifically when you're going through this, make sure you go a step at a time and work on it consistently. You may not get it all done in a day and that is fine, it's not designed to work that way. Although, those of you who are getting to a point where you are writing up your results, you may be able to attest to the fact, that it goes a lot faster, everything goes quickly when you’re doing a proposal which can sometimes take a little bit longer. And then, break it into parts and work on different parts at a time.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Reminder: Resources outside the Writing Center for data analysis and results
Academic Skills Center: One-to-one, free tutoring support for quantitative data analysis and Word support; also offers workshops on each section of the doctoral capstone study.
Office of Research and Doctoral Services: Methodology advice office hours (including data analysis).
Walden Library: A database with full text of dissertations and theses written by Walden students to use as examples.
Audio: Reminder, that there is one on one dissertation/doctoral data analysis support through the Academic Skills Center. Methodology advice hours, if you want to talk to a methodologist about what you did or how you're supposed to present it. And the Walden Library, if you want to look at previous dissertations and theses and how they presented their data and describe their analysis.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Resources: Form and Style website
Audio: Please do reach out us out at the Form and Style website. I want to point out some specific resources we have available for you. We have the Walden Capstone Writing Community which I will talk about in a second, that is a place for you to see editors work with your colleagues' drafts, you can see drafts in process, people working on their proposals, people working on their results. We actually had a live document review going over somebody’s tables last week. It is a closed community where you can see what your colleagues are doing and then see an editor actually working on your document, if you’re selected as the volunteer. And that is kind of a good way to revision strategies and writing strategies.
Visual Slide not shown: Additional Resources for Doctoral Writers
Also check out the workshops, this might be a good option for you. And the doctoral capstone resources site.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: WCWC Event coming up!
The editor will model how to address typical feedback in a doctoral capstone draft.
If you have an approved prospectus, you are eligible to join the WCWC and attend live!
Audio: Speaking of the writing community, however, I want to invite everyone to the self-editing tutorial which we are going to have in June. A self-editing tutorial is where an editor will take a document that’s been edited, and it’s a student document, someone will submit their document, an editor will go over it and make suggestions for scholarly voice, APA compliance suggestions for revision, things like that. The editor will go through and give examples of how you can self-edit your own document. So, you can come see, if you are a member and you volunteeryou’re your work is selected, you can see an editor go through your work. Even if your not selected or if you don't volunteer, you can come and ask questions, hopefully that will help as you go through your revision process.
If you have a question today or think of the question later that comes up, if you want to just see an editor go over someone's work, check out the Writing Community. If you join you can attend the June 8 self-editing writing tutorial.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions
Now: Let us know! · Anytime: email@example.com
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Watch the recorded webinars “Introduce, Conclude, & Write the Abstract of Your Study” and “Preparing for the Form and Style: Common Errors and Editor Q&A”
Audio: But, I see we are also at the top of the hour, so if we have any other questions, and if not, I will turn it over to Dr. Sarah Prince.
Sam: I think I have managed to address all the questions that were asked here, so we will call it good.
Lydia: Good. Thank you, Sam, thank you Sarah, thanks everyone for coming.
Sarah: Thanks, Lydia, for that insightful presentation. I know she got a lot in in the hour. If you did have a question and you did not get the question answered during today's presentation, you're welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you’ll see at the end of this presentation slide, we suggested a couple of other webinars that might be a nice follow up to this presentation today, so be sure to check those out. And with that I’ll go ahead and conclude the webinar, and thanks for joining us.