Guide on How to Write Results and Discussion in a Research Paper
The results and discussion section of a research paper document what you did in the entire research. You could call them the most important sections in a research paper, although other sections are also important. To write the results and discussion in research paper, you need to have the technical know-how of writing. We will give you practical tips on starting and writing results and discussions if you keep reading.
What is the difference between results and discussion in academic writing?
Before we get into how to write these two important sections in a research paper, let’s talk about their differences. The major difference between them is what aspect of the entire research they contain. The results section objectively reports your findings as they are; no speculations on why you found the results. On the other hand, the discussion section interprets the results, putting them in context, and explaining their importance.
Both sections are sometimes combined in research, particularly in qualitative research. In quantitative research, you are expected to separate the results from the discussion – that is, each section on different pages. An excellent place to get a good idea of how two write these sections is in a results and discussion example.
How to write discussion in research paper
In the discussion section of a research paper, you’re going in-depth with your findings, discussing their meaning, importance, and relevance. You’re not including any background research; you’re instead focusing on evaluating and explaining your results. Then, you’ll indicate how it relates to your research questions or thesis statement and literature review. Below is what to include in the discussion section of a research paper t:
- Results summary: In one paragraph, reiterate the research problem and briefly discuss your major results. Avoid repeating the data you already reported in the results section; clearly state the result that directly answers your research problem.
- Interpret your results: Your aim is to ensure your readers understand your results, how they answer the research questions, and their significance to them. This section typically covers identifying patterns and correlations among the data and discussing whether or not the results supported your thesis. It also contextualizes your results with previous research, explains unexpected results and their significance, considers possible explanations, and argues your position.
- Discussing the implications: While giving your interpretation of the results, don’t forget to relate them back to the articles you used in the literature review. This shows how your results fit with existing knowledge, the insights they contribute, and their consequences for practice or theory.
- State the limitations: Every research has its limitations, even the best ones; you need to acknowledge your research’s limitations to demonstrate your credibility. You’re not necessarily listing errors; you’re giving a realistic picture of what your study can and cannot do.
- Recommend: Use your findings to recommend further research or practical implementation; this part sometimes goes with the conclusion. Instead of stating that more studies be done, show what and how future work can build on the areas your paper couldn’t address.
Practical tips on how to start a results and discussion section
The results and discussion section of a research paper can be the easiest part to write or the hardest. It all depends on you knowing what to include and not include and how to start writing. Below are helpful tips for writing the results and discussion section of a research paper:
- Please don’t repeat the results in the discussion; start with repeating the research questions and explain how the results answer them.
- Start from the simple results to the complex; you can even start with the conclusion first, but ensure it is consistent with your objectives.
- Don’t explain your results in the result section; simply state your findings as directly and simply as possible.
- Emphasize what new, different, or important things your results add to knowledge in the discussion section.
- Understand the difference between statistical significance and clinical importance.
- The tables and graphs in the results section should stand alone, with texts highlighting their importance or meaning.
- Arbitrarily present your results, with sidelights results not receiving equal weight.
Now, you can write your paper’s results and discussion section with these tips, understanding what and what not to include. We recommend that you go online and check through an example of discussion in research paper – or samples. If you see how professionals write it, you’re a step closer to being good at writing it yourself.