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Section 3


Section 3 Overview

The purpose of Section 3 is to present your findings. The content of the Findings subsection is based upon your Doctoral Project or Dissertation-in-Practice. For instance, students who complete a Doctoral Project may share findings related to the data-informed execution of their project. Students who complete a Dissertation-in-Practice may present raw data collected in an appropriate format for qualitative or quantitative data collection processes. Refer to your ADE Proposal and Manuscript Template (school-specific) for guidance on the content of the Findings subsection and consult with your Chair should you have additional questions.

The Section 3 Findings subsection also generally includes tables, figures, and graphs, that must be presented in proper APA format. Even in qualitative studies, demographics or project questions aligned to themes can also be put into a table. When you include a table, figure, or graph, be sure to provide an explanation. Tables, figures, and graphs should be prepared in a manner the reader can easily interpret with a clear associated explanation of the pertinent information you wish to convey. 

Whether you have used a qualitative or quantitative methodology, your findings must adhere to the theoretical or conceptual framework of your Doctoral Project or Dissertation-in-Practice. The findings should also align with the problem statement, purpose, and questions. Consult your ADE Proposal and Manuscript Template (school-specific) or Chair if you need assistance.

Section 3 Video

Video Resources

Section 3 Documents

Example Instruments and Tools for Data Analysis

NCU provides students SPSS and NVivo software for free in the Student Technology Resource Center. The Student Technology Resource Center is located in University Services. Find University Services in your course drop-down list in NCUONE.

The links below are to additional free/open-source software that students may find useful.

Data Collection and Analysis Software


Northcentral University provides dissertation researchers access to Qualtrics free of charge. Access to Qualtrics is provided prior to NCU IRB approval to ensure students have plenty of time to learn how to use the tool and prepare the survey. Students may not, under any circumstances, distribute any recruitment or other research related materials to or have contact with potential participants, or begin collecting data prior to NCU IRB approval.

To ensure accurate record keeping and tracking, NCU has developed a process for requesting researcher Qualtrics accounts. Email the request for a Qualtrics account to the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at The request should include your name and email address. A staff member will send the researcher login credentials for their Qualtrics account and links to Qualtrics training resources.


Below you will find links to the Qualtrics page if you need more assistance.

Support page-

Learn the XM platform-

Learning to use-

Implementing research-