how to write results and discussion in a research paper
A research paper is considered to be a significant mode of communication in academia. When writing a research paper, one of the crucial sections is the Results and Discussion section. This section presents the findings of the study and allows researchers to interpret and analyze the results in the context of existing knowledge. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to effectively write the Results and Discussion section in a research paper.
1. Understand the Purpose of the Results and Discussion Section The Results and Discussion section aims to present the results of the study in a clear and concise manner. Its primary purpose is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the data gathered during the research process. This section enables readers to understand the outcomes of the study and how they contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the respective field.
2. Separate Results and Discussion Although the Results and Discussion section is commonly combined, it is beneficial to separate them into two sub-sections. The Results section should present the objective findings without any interpretation or discussion. On the other hand, the Discussion section should focus on the analysis, interpretation, and comparison of the results with previous research.
3. Present Results Objectively The Results section should be written in a clear and objective manner. It is crucial to avoid any personal biases or subjective statements. Use concise and precise language to describe the data obtained in the study. Utilize tables, graphs, or charts to visually illustrate the results, allowing readers to interpret them easily.
4. Organize the Results Properly To ensure a logical flow of information, organize the results in a logical sequence. Start with the most essential findings and gradually move towards the less significant ones. When presenting numerical data, follow the appropriate conventions such as mean, standard deviation, and statistical significance. It is advisable to use subheadings and paragraphs to enhance the readability of the section.
5. Interpret the Results in the Discussion Section In the Discussion section, present a clear interpretation of the results obtained from the study. Start by restating the research question or objective. Then, compare the findings with existing literature and discuss any similarities, discrepancies, or contradictions. Identify the implications of the results and explain their significance to the field. Additionally, address any limitations or potential biases that may have impacted the study.
6. Support Arguments with Relevant Literature To strengthen the discussion, support your arguments with references to relevant and recent literature. This enables readers to understand the context of your findings and recognize the contribution they make to the field. Citing scholarly sources also demonstrates your understanding of the existing body of knowledge and establishes credibility.
7. Explore Possible Explanations In the Discussion section, explore possible explanations for the results obtained. This can involve analyzing the methodology, sample size, research design, or any other factors that may have influenced the outcomes. Engage in critical thinking and provide well-reasoned explanations for any unexpected or interesting findings.
8. Avoid Overgeneralization and Speculation Be cautious not to overgeneralize your results or make claims that are not sufficiently supported by the data. Stick to the evidence presented and avoid speculation or unwarranted extrapolation. Carefully consider the limitations of your study and acknowledge areas that require further research.
9. Use Clear and Concise Language The Results and Discussion section should be written in clear, concise, and coherent language. Avoid the use of jargon or technical terms unless necessary for clarity. Present ideas logically, and use transitions between paragraphs to ensure a smooth flow of information. Proofread carefully to eliminate grammatical errors or typos that may distract readers from the content.
In conclusion, the Results and Discussion section of a research paper is vital in providing a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of the study's findings. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively present and discuss your results, contributing to the existing body of knowledge in your field. Remember to maintain objectivity, support your arguments with relevant literature, and engage in critical thinking throughout this section.