discussion of results thesis

How to Write Your Thesis Discussion Section

discussion of results thesis

The discussion section is the most critical aspect of your thesis. It is written after presenting your data in the results section. This article explains how to structure your thesis discussion section and what content is required.

What is the thesis discussion section?

The thesis discussion includes explanations and interpretations of your results in the context of your thesis question and  literature review , discusses their implications, acknowledges their limitations, and gives recommendations. In doing so, you make an argument to support your conclusion .

What should the thesis discussion section include?

This analysis does not support the theory that…
These findings confirm our hypothesis that…
Our findings agree with the theory proposed by Jones (2019)…
The data provide new evidence of…
This study only included individuals living in urban areas, and the results may not be generalizable to populations in rural areas…
X should be taken into consideration when…
Further studies are necessary to…

What should the thesis discussion section not include?

How does the discussion overlap with other thesis sections?

The content in the thesis discussion section overlaps with the results section — the results section presents the data, and the discussion section interprets it. The structure of the discussion section differs according to the type of research ( quantitative vs. qualitative ). In qualitative research, such as in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) domain, the discussion and results from sections are often combined. In thesis studies involving quantitative research, such as in the Sciences domain, these sections are usually written separately.

The content in the thesis discussion section also overlaps with the conclusion section — the discussion section presents a detailed analysis and interpretation of the data, and the conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the discussion. The discussion and conclusion sections may also be combined into a single section in some fields of study. If you are unsure of which structure to use, ask your supervisor for guidance and check the requirements of your academic institution.

How to write a thesis discussion

The discussion section of a thesis starts with an interpretation of the results and then places the findings in the general context of the field of study.

The discussion section is the most critical section of your thesis and will probably be the hardest to write. The discussion section of a thesis starts with an interpretation of the results and then places the findings in the general context of the field of study. This section also demonstrates your ability to think critically and develop innovative solutions to problems based on your findings, resulting in a deeper understanding of the research problem.

Because it can be daunting to write the thesis discussion section in one go, first prepare a draft according to the following steps:

Once you are happy with your draft, it’s time to finalize the thesis discussion section. Use the steps below as a guideline:

How do I interpret my results?

The thesis discussion section must concisely interpret the results and assign importance to them. This is achieved by:

How do I discuss the implications of my results?

The discussion section of your thesis explains how your findings fit in with and contribute to the existing literature. This refers back to the literature review section of your thesis. The following questions should be addressed:

How do I acknowledge the limitations of my study?

It is expected that all studies will have limitations. When discussing your study limitations, don’t undermine your findings . A good discussion of the limitations will strengthen your study’s credibility.

Examples of study limitations: sample size, differences in methods used for data collection or analysis, study type (e.g., retrospective vs. prospective), inclusion/exclusion criteria of the study population, effects of confounders, researcher bias, and robustness of the data collection method.

How do I make recommendations for future research?

Recommendations should either be included in the discussion or the conclusion section of your thesis, but not in both. This could include:

Example: Future studies using a larger sample size from multiple sites are recommended to confirm the generalizability of our findings. Example: We suggest that the participants are re-interviewed after 5 years to determine how their perception of this traumatic experience has changed.

Tips for writing the thesis discussion section

A thesis is the most crucial document that you will write during your academic studies. For professional thesis editing and thesis proofreading services , visit Enago Thesis Editing for more information.

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Are your  key findings summarized in the thesis discussion section?

Have you  interpreted your findings in the context of your thesis question?

Have you shown how your findings fit in by  discussing differences and similarities with current literature as well as any gaps in the literature that your findings address?

Have you  explained the significance of your findings?

Have you  contemplated alternative explanations for your findings?

Have you  explained the practical and/or theoretical implications of your findings?

Have you identified and  evaluated the limitations of your study?

Have you  recommended practical actions or areas that require further studies based on your findings?

What tense is used to write the thesis discussion section? +

Use the present tense when referring to established facts. Use the past tense when referring to previous studies.

What is the difference between the discussion and conclusion sections of a thesis? +

The  discussion section is a detailed analysis and interpretation of the study results that place them in context with the associated literature. The  conclusion section is much shorter than the discussion section. It mentions the main points of the discussion section, tells the reader why your research is important, and makes recommendations based on your study findings.

What is the difference between the results and discussion sections of a thesis? +

The results section objectively reports the study findings without speculation. The discussion section interprets the findings, puts them into context, and assigns importance to them.

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How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

Published on August 21, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on December 7, 2022.

Discussion section flow chart

The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results .

It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic , and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion. It should not be a second results section.

There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your writing around these key elements:

Table of contents

What not to include in your discussion section, step 1: summarize your key findings, step 2: give your interpretations, step 3: discuss the implications, step 4: acknowledge the limitations, step 5: share your recommendations, discussion section example, frequently asked questions about discussion sections.

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing the discussion section of your paper.

Start this section by reiterating your research problem and concisely summarizing your major findings. Don’t just repeat all the data you have already reported—aim for a clear statement of the overall result that directly answers your main  research question . This should be no more than one paragraph.

Many students struggle with the differences between a discussion section and a results section . The crux of the matter is that your results sections should present your results, and your discussion section should subjectively evaluate them. Try not to blend elements of these two sections, in order to keep your paper sharp.

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discussion of results thesis

The meaning of your results may seem obvious to you, but it’s important to spell out their significance for your reader, showing exactly how they answer your research question.

The form of your interpretations will depend on the type of research, but some typical approaches to interpreting the data include:

You can organize your discussion around key themes, hypotheses, or research questions, following the same structure as your results section. Alternatively, you can also begin by highlighting the most significant or unexpected results.

As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review . The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

Your overall aim is to show the reader exactly what your research has contributed, and why they should care.

Even the best research has its limitations. Acknowledging these is important to demonstrate your credibility. Limitations aren’t about listing your errors, but about providing an accurate picture of what can and cannot be concluded from your study.

Limitations might be due to your overall research design, specific methodological choices , or unanticipated obstacles that emerged during your research process.

Here are a few common possibilities:

After noting the limitations, you can reiterate why the results are nonetheless valid for the purpose of answering your research question.

Based on the discussion of your results, you can make recommendations for practical implementation or further research. Sometimes, the recommendations are saved for the conclusion .

Suggestions for further research can lead directly from the limitations. Don’t just state that more studies should be done—give concrete ideas for how future work can build on areas that your own research was unable to address.

Discussion section example

In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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McCombes, S. (2022, December 07). How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 11, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/discussion/

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Writing your Dissertation:  Results and Discussion

When writing a dissertation or thesis, the results and discussion sections can be both the most interesting as well as the most challenging sections to write.

You may choose to write these sections separately, or combine them into a single chapter, depending on your university’s guidelines and your own preferences.

There are advantages to both approaches.

Writing the results and discussion as separate sections allows you to focus first on what results you obtained and set out clearly what happened in your experiments and/or investigations without worrying about their implications.This can focus your mind on what the results actually show and help you to sort them in your head.

However, many people find it easier to combine the results with their implications as the two are closely connected.

Check your university’s requirements carefully before combining the results and discussions sections as some specify that they must be kept separate.

Results Section

The Results section should set out your key experimental results, including any statistical analysis and whether or not the results of these are significant.

You should cover any literature supporting your interpretation of significance. It does not have to include everything you did, particularly for a doctorate dissertation. However, for an undergraduate or master's thesis, you will probably find that you need to include most of your work.

You should write your results section in the past tense: you are describing what you have done in the past.

Every result included MUST have a method set out in the methods section. Check back to make sure that you have included all the relevant methods.

Conversely, every method should also have some results given so, if you choose to exclude certain experiments from the results, make sure that you remove mention of the method as well.

If you are unsure whether to include certain results, go back to your research questions and decide whether the results are relevant to them. It doesn’t matter whether they are supportive or not, it’s about relevance. If they are relevant, you should include them.

Having decided what to include, next decide what order to use. You could choose chronological, which should follow the methods, or in order from most to least important in the answering of your research questions, or by research question and/or hypothesis.

You also need to consider how best to present your results: tables, figures, graphs, or text. Try to use a variety of different methods of presentation, and consider your reader: 20 pages of dense tables are hard to understand, as are five pages of graphs, but a single table and well-chosen graph that illustrate your overall findings will make things much clearer.

Make sure that each table and figure has a number and a title. Number tables and figures in separate lists, but consecutively by the order in which you mention them in the text. If you have more than about two or three, it’s often helpful to provide lists of tables and figures alongside the table of contents at the start of your dissertation.

Summarise your results in the text, drawing on the figures and tables to illustrate your points.

The text and figures should be complementary, not repeat the same information. You should refer to every table or figure in the text. Any that you don’t feel the need to refer to can safely be moved to an appendix, or even removed.

Make sure that you including information about the size and direction of any changes, including percentage change if appropriate. Statistical tests should include details of p values or confidence intervals and limits.

While you don’t need to include all your primary evidence in this section, you should as a matter of good practice make it available in an appendix, to which you should refer at the relevant point.

For example:

Details of all the interview participants can be found in Appendix A, with transcripts of each interview in Appendix B.

You will, almost inevitably, find that you need to include some slight discussion of your results during this section. This discussion should evaluate the quality of the results and their reliability, but not stray too far into discussion of how far your results support your hypothesis and/or answer your research questions, as that is for the discussion section.

See our pages: Analysing Qualitative Data and Simple Statistical Analysis for more information on analysing your results.

Discussion Section

This section has four purposes, it should:

The discussion section therefore needs to review your findings in the context of the literature and the existing knowledge about the subject.

You also need to demonstrate that you understand the limitations of your research and the implications of your findings for policy and practice. This section should be written in the present tense.

The Discussion section needs to follow from your results and relate back to your literature review . Make sure that everything you discuss is covered in the results section.

Some universities require a separate section on recommendations for policy and practice and/or for future research, while others allow you to include this in your discussion, so check the guidelines carefully.

Starting the Task

Most people are likely to write this section best by preparing an outline, setting out the broad thrust of the argument, and how your results support it.

You may find techniques like mind mapping are helpful in making a first outline; check out our page: Creative Thinking for some ideas about how to think through your ideas. You should start by referring back to your research questions, discuss your results, then set them into the context of the literature, and then into broader theory.

This is likely to be one of the longest sections of your dissertation, and it’s a good idea to break it down into chunks with sub-headings to help your reader to navigate through the detail.

Fleshing Out the Detail

Once you have your outline in front of you, you can start to map out how your results fit into the outline.

This will help you to see whether your results are over-focused in one area, which is why writing up your research as you go along can be a helpful process. For each theme or area, you should discuss how the results help to answer your research question, and whether the results are consistent with your expectations and the literature.

The Importance of Understanding Differences

If your results are controversial and/or unexpected, you should set them fully in context and explain why you think that you obtained them.

Your explanations may include issues such as a non-representative sample for convenience purposes, a response rate skewed towards those with a particular experience, or your own involvement as a participant for sociological research.

You do not need to be apologetic about these, because you made a choice about them, which you should have justified in the methodology section. However, you do need to evaluate your own results against others’ findings, especially if they are different. A full understanding of the limitations of your research is part of a good discussion section.

At this stage, you may want to revisit your literature review, unless you submitted it as a separate submission earlier, and revise it to draw out those studies which have proven more relevant.

Conclude by summarising the implications of your findings in brief, and explain why they are important for researchers and in practice, and provide some suggestions for further work.

You may also wish to make some recommendations for practice. As before, this may be a separate section, or included in your discussion.

The results and discussion, including conclusion and recommendations, are probably the most substantial sections of your dissertation. Once completed, you can begin to relax slightly: you are on to the last stages of writing!

Continue to: Dissertation: Conclusion and Extras Writing your Methodology

See also: Writing a Literature Review Writing a Research Proposal Academic Referencing What Is the Importance of Using a Plagiarism Checker to Check Your Thesis?

Grad Coach

How To Write The Discussion Chapter

The what, why & how explained simply (with examples).

By: Jenna Crossley (PhD Cand). Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | August 2021

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve reached the discussion chapter of your thesis or dissertation and are looking for a bit of guidance. Well, you’ve come to the right place ! In this post, we’ll unpack and demystify the typical discussion chapter in straightforward, easy to understand language, with loads of examples .

Overview: Dissertation Discussion Chapter

What exactly is the discussion chapter?

The discussion chapter is where you interpret and explain your results within your thesis or dissertation. This contrasts with the results chapter, where you merely present and describe the analysis findings (whether qualitative or quantitative ). In the discussion chapter, you elaborate on and evaluate your research findings, and discuss the significance and implications of your results.

In this chapter, you’ll situate your research findings in terms of your research questions or hypotheses and tie them back to previous studies and literature (which you would have covered in your literature review chapter). You’ll also have a look at how relevant and/or significant your findings are to your field of research, and you’ll argue for the conclusions that you draw from your analysis. Simply put, the discussion chapter is there for you to interact with and explain your research findings in a thorough and coherent manner.


What should I include in the discussion chapter?

First things first: in some studies, the results and discussion chapter are combined into one chapter .  This depends on the type of study you conducted (i.e., the nature of the study and methodology adopted), as well as the standards set by the university.  So, check in with your university regarding their norms and expectations before getting started. In this post, we’ll treat the two chapters as separate, as this is most common.

Basically, your discussion chapter should analyse , explore the meaning and identify the importance of the data you presented in your results chapter. In the discussion chapter, you’ll give your results some form of meaning by evaluating and interpreting them. This will help answer your research questions, achieve your research aims and support your overall conclusion (s). Therefore, you discussion chapter should focus on findings that are directly connected to your research aims and questions. Don’t waste precious time and word count on findings that are not central to the purpose of your research project.

As this chapter is a reflection of your results chapter, it’s vital that you don’t report any new findings . In other words, you can’t present claims here if you didn’t present the relevant data in the results chapter first.  So, make sure that for every discussion point you raise in this chapter, you’ve covered the respective data analysis in the results chapter. If you haven’t, you’ll need to go back and adjust your results chapter accordingly.

If you’re struggling to get started, try writing down a bullet point list everything you found in your results chapter. From this, you can make a list of everything you need to cover in your discussion chapter. Also, make sure you revisit your research questions or hypotheses and incorporate the relevant discussion to address these.  This will also help you to see how you can structure your chapter logically.

Need a helping hand?

discussion of results thesis

How to write the discussion chapter

Now that you’ve got a clear idea of what the discussion chapter is and what it needs to include, let’s look at how you can go about structuring this critically important chapter. Broadly speaking, there are six core components that need to be included, and these can be treated as steps in the chapter writing process.

Step 1: Restate your research problem and research questions

The first step in writing up your discussion chapter is to remind your reader of your research aim(s) and research questions . If you have hypotheses, you can also briefly mention these. This “reminder” is very important because, after reading dozens of pages, the reader may have forgotten the original point of your research or been swayed in another direction. It’s also likely that some readers skip straight to your discussion chapter from the introduction chapter , so make sure that your research aims and research questions are clear.

Step 2: Summarise your key findings

Next, you’ll want to summarise your key findings from your results chapter. This may look different for qualitative and quantitative research , where qualitative research may report on themes and relationships, whereas quantitative research may touch on correlations and causal relationships. Regardless of the methodology, in this section you need to highlight the overall key findings in relation to your research questions.

Typically, this section only requires one or two paragraphs , depending on how many research questions you have. Aim to be concise here, as you will unpack these findings in more detail later in the chapter. For now, a few lines that directly address your research questions are all that you need.

Some examples of the kind of language you’d use here include:

These are purely examples. What you present here will be completely dependent on your original research questions, so make sure that you are led by them .

It depends

Every claim you make must be backed up

Step 4: Acknowledge the limitations of your study

The fourth step in writing up your discussion chapter is to acknowledge the limitations of the study. These limitations can cover any part of your study , from the scope or theoretical basis to the analysis method(s) or sample. For example, you may find that you collected data from a very small sample with unique characteristics, which would mean that you are unable to generalise your results to the broader population.

For some students, discussing the limitations of their work can feel a little bit self-defeating . This is a misconception, as a core indicator of high-quality research is its ability to accurately identify its weaknesses. In other words, accurately stating the limitations of your work is a strength, not a weakness . All that said, be careful not to undermine your own research. Tell the reader what limitations exist and what improvements could be made, but also remind them of the value of your study despite its limitations.

Step 5: Make recommendations for implementation and future research

Now that you’ve unpacked your findings and acknowledge the limitations thereof, the next thing you’ll need to do is reflect on your study in terms of two factors:

The first thing to discuss is how your findings can be used in the real world – in other words, what contribution can they make to the field or industry? Where are these contributions applicable, how and why? For example, if your research is on communication in health settings, in what ways can your findings be applied to the context of a hospital or medical clinic? Make sure that you spell this out for your reader in practical terms, but also be realistic and make sure that any applications are feasible.

The next discussion point is the opportunity for future research . In other words, how can other studies build on what you’ve found and also improve the findings by overcoming some of the limitations in your study (which you discussed a little earlier). In doing this, you’ll want to investigate whether your results fit in with findings of previous research, and if not, why this may be the case. For example, are there any factors that you didn’t consider in your study? What future research can be done to remedy this? When you write up your suggestions, make sure that you don’t just say that more research is needed on the topic, also comment on how the research can build on your study.

Step 6: Provide a concluding summary

Finally, you’ve reached your final stretch. In this section, you’ll want to provide a brief recap of the key findings – in other words, the findings that directly address your research questions . Basically, your conclusion should tell the reader what your study has found, and what they need to take away from reading your report.

When writing up your concluding summary, bear in mind that some readers may skip straight to this section from the beginning of the chapter.  So, make sure that this section flows well from and has a strong connection to the opening section of the chapter.

Tips and tricks for an A-grade discussion chapter

Now that you know what the discussion chapter is , what to include and exclude , and how to structure it , here are some tips and suggestions to help you craft a quality discussion chapter.

If you have any questions or thoughts regarding this post, feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you’re looking for one-on-one help with your discussion chapter (or thesis in general), consider booking a free consultation with one of our highly experienced Grad Coaches to discuss how we can help you.

discussion of results thesis

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This post is part of our research writing mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.

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How To Write The Conclusion Chapter: 6 Steps + Examples



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Wongibe Dieudonne

This is really good and explicit. Thanks

Syed Firoz Ahmad

Dear sir/madame

Thanks a lot for this helpful blog. Really, it supported me in writing my discussion chapter while I was totally unaware about its structure and method of writing.

With regards

Syed Firoz Ahmad PhD, Research Scholar

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Nann Yin Yin Moe

This is helpful for me in writing my research discussion component. I have to copy this text on Microsoft word cause of my weakness that I cannot be able to read the text on screen a long time. So many thanks for this articles.

Eunice Mulenga

This was helpful

Leo Simango

Thanks Jenna, well explained.


Thank you! This is super helpful.

William M. Kapambwe

Thanks very much. I have appreciated the six steps on writing the Discussion chapter which are (i) Restating the research problem and questions (ii) Summarising the key findings (iii) Interpreting the results linked to relating to previous results in positive and negative ways; explaining whay different or same and contribution to field of research and expalnation of findings (iv) Acknowledgeing limitations (v) Recommendations for implementation and future resaerch and finally (vi) Providing a conscluding summary

My two questions are: 1. On step 1 and 2 can it be the overall or you restate and sumamrise on each findings based on the reaerch question? 2. On 4 and 5 do you do the acknowlledgement , recommendations on each research finding or overall. This is not clear from your expalanattion.

Please respond.


This post is very useful. I’m wondering whether practical implications must be introduced in the Discussion section or in the Conclusion section?


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Obinna NJOKU

This piece is very helpful on how to go about my discussion section. I can always recommend GradCoach research guides for colleagues.

Mary Kulabako

Many thanks for this resource. It has been very helpful to me. I was finding it hard to even write the first sentence. Much appreciated.


Thanks so much. Very helpful to know what is included in the discussion section

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this was a very helpful and useful information

Md Moniruzzaman

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it is very helpfull article, and i will recommend it to my fellow students. Thank you.

Mohammed Kwarah Tal

Superlative! More grease to your elbows.

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How to write the Results and Discussion

Michael P. Dosch CRNA PhD University of Detroit Mercy - Nurse Anesthesia This site is https://healthprofessions.udmercy.edu/academics/na/agm/index.htm .

How to write the results and discussion

Michael P. Dosch CRNA PhD May 2022

Be happy! You're getting there. Just a small amount of writing to go from this point. The results and discussion are (relatively) cut and dried. But be sure to run them by all committee members and your chair before publishing or creating the poster, to make sure you haven't overlooked anything. And make sure they are congruent with your research purpose, objectives, hypothesis, and methods.

"Who's in, who's out"

Here's a sample "Table 1":

Table 1 Characteristics of the sample

Why is Table 1 in most studies?

Shows that demographic variables were evenly balanced in the process of random allocation of subjects to experimental and control groups.

Components of Results section

Results should answer main hypothesis or research question(s)

Tables and Graphs


Choosing figure types

Components of the Discussion section

Look forward

Here's a sample Abstract.


Reading list

Guide to Writing the Results and Discussion Sections of a Scientific Article

A quality research paper has both the qualities of in-depth research and good writing ( Bordage, 2001 ). In addition, a research paper must be clear, concise, and effective when presenting the information in an organized structure with a logical manner ( Sandercock, 2013 ).

In this article, we will take a closer look at the results and discussion section. Composing each of these carefully with sufficient data and well-constructed arguments can help improv your paper overall.

Guide to writing a science research manuscript e-book download

The results section of your research paper contains a description about the main findings of your research, whereas the discussion section interprets the results for readers and provides the significance of the findings. The discussion should not repeat the results.

Let’s dive in a little deeper about how to properly, and clearly organize each part.

How to Organize the Results Section

Since your results follow your methods, you’ll want to provide information about what you discovered from the methods you used, such as your research data. In other words, what were the outcomes of the methods you used?

You may also include information about the measurement of your data, variables, treatments, and statistical analyses.

To start, organize your research data based on how important those are in relation to your research questions. This section should focus on showing major results that support or reject your research hypothesis. Include your least important data as supplemental materials when submitting to the journal.

The next step is to prioritize your research data based on importance – focusing heavily on the information that directly relates to your research questions using the subheadings.

The organization of the subheadings for the results section usually mirrors the methods section. It should follow a logical and chronological order.

Subheading organization

Subheadings within your results section are primarily going to detail major findings within each important experiment. And the first paragraph of your results section should be dedicated to your main findings (findings that answer your overall research question and lead to your conclusion) (Hofmann, 2013).

In the book “Writing in the Biological Sciences,” author Angelika Hofmann recommends you structure your results subsection paragraphs as follows:

Each subheading may contain a combination of ( Bahadoran, 2019 ; Hofmann, 2013, pg. 62-63):

Decide on the best way to present your data — in the form of text, figures or tables (Hofmann, 2013).

Data or Results?

Sometimes we get confused about how to differentiate between data and results . Data are information (facts or numbers) that you collected from your research ( Bahadoran, 2019 ).

Research data definition

Whereas, results are the texts presenting the meaning of your research data ( Bahadoran, 2019 ).

Result definition

One mistake that some authors often make is to use text to direct the reader to find a specific table or figure without further explanation. This can confuse readers when they interpret data completely different from what the authors had in mind. So, you should briefly explain your data to make your information clear for the readers.

Common Elements in Figures and Tables

Figures and tables present information about your research data visually. The use of these visual elements is necessary so readers can summarize, compare, and interpret large data at a glance. You can use graphs or figures to compare groups or patterns. Whereas, tables are ideal to present large quantities of data and exact values.

Several components are needed to create your figures and tables. These elements are important to sort your data based on groups (or treatments). It will be easier for the readers to see the similarities and differences among the groups.

When presenting your research data in the form of figures and tables, organize your data based on the steps of the research leading you into a conclusion.

Common elements of the figures (Bahadoran, 2019):

Figure example

Tables in the result section may contain several elements (Bahadoran, 2019):

Table example

Tips to Write the Results Section

How to Organize the Discussion Section

It’s not enough to use figures and tables in your results section to convince your readers about the importance of your findings. You need to support your results section by providing more explanation in the discussion section about what you found.

In the discussion section, based on your findings, you defend the answers to your research questions and create arguments to support your conclusions.

Below is a list of questions to guide you when organizing the structure of your discussion section ( Viera et al ., 2018 ):

Organizing the Discussion Section

The structure of the discussion section may be different from one paper to another, but it commonly has a beginning, middle-, and end- to the section.

Discussion section

One way to organize the structure of the discussion section is by dividing it into three parts (Ghasemi, 2019):

Another possible way to organize the discussion section was proposed by Michael Docherty in British Medical Journal: is by using this structure ( Docherty, 1999 ):

Finally, a last option is structuring your discussion this way (Hofmann, 2013, pg. 104):

Remember, at the heart of the discussion section is presenting an interpretation of your major findings.

Tips to Write the Discussion Section

Aggarwal, R., & Sahni, P. (2018). The Results Section. In Reporting and Publishing Research in the Biomedical Sciences (pp. 21-38): Springer.

Bahadoran, Z., Mirmiran, P., Zadeh-Vakili, A., Hosseinpanah, F., & Ghasemi, A. (2019). The principles of biomedical scientific writing: Results. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 17(2).

Bordage, G. (2001). Reasons reviewers reject and accept manuscripts: the strengths and weaknesses in medical education reports. Academic medicine, 76(9), 889-896.

Cals, J. W., & Kotz, D. (2013). Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part VI: discussion. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 66(10), 1064.

Docherty, M., & Smith, R. (1999). The case for structuring the discussion of scientific papers: Much the same as that for structuring abstracts. In: British Medical Journal Publishing Group.

Faber, J. (2017). Writing scientific manuscripts: most common mistakes. Dental press journal of orthodontics, 22(5), 113-117.

Fletcher, R. H., & Fletcher, S. W. (2018). The discussion section. In Reporting and Publishing Research in the Biomedical Sciences (pp. 39-48): Springer.

Ghasemi, A., Bahadoran, Z., Mirmiran, P., Hosseinpanah, F., Shiva, N., & Zadeh-Vakili, A. (2019). The Principles of Biomedical Scientific Writing: Discussion. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 17(3).

Hofmann, A. H. (2013). Writing in the biological sciences: a comprehensive resource for scientific communication . New York: Oxford University Press.

Kotz, D., & Cals, J. W. (2013). Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part V: results. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 66(9), 945.

Mack, C. (2014). How to Write a Good Scientific Paper: Structure and Organization. Journal of Micro/ Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, 13. doi:10.1117/1.JMM.13.4.040101

Moore, A. (2016). What's in a Discussion section? Exploiting 2‐dimensionality in the online world…. Bioessays, 38(12), 1185-1185.

Peat, J., Elliott, E., Baur, L., & Keena, V. (2013). Scientific writing: easy when you know how: John Wiley & Sons.

Sandercock, P. M. L. (2012). How to write and publish a scientific article. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, 45(1), 1-5.

Teo, E. K. (2016). Effective Medical Writing: The Write Way to Get Published. Singapore Medical Journal, 57(9), 523-523. doi:10.11622/smedj.2016156

Van Way III, C. W. (2007). Writing a scientific paper. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 22(6), 636-640.

Vieira, R. F., Lima, R. C. d., & Mizubuti, E. S. G. (2019). How to write the discussion section of a scientific article. Acta Scientiarum. Agronomy, 41.

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Thesis Writing in the Sciences

Writing the Discussion

The discussion section is a framing section, like the Introduction, which returns to the significance argument set up in your introduction. So reread your introduction carefully before writing the discussion; you will discuss how the hypothesis has been demonstrated by the new research and then show how the field's knowledge has been changed by the addition of this new data. While the introduction starts generally and narrows down to the specific hypothesis, the discussion starts with the interpretation of the results, then moves outwards to contextualize these findings in the general field.

The Discussion section is sort of an odd beast because it is here where you speculate, but must avoid rambling, guessing, or making logical leaps beyond what is reasonably supported for your data.  The solution that has evolved over time is to set up the Discussion section as a "dialogue" between Results and Theories -- yours and everyone elses'.  In other words, for every experimental result you want to talk about, you find results from other publications bearing the relationship to your result that you want the reader to understand.  Most often, your result either agrees with (corroborates), extends , refines , or conflicts with the other result.  This is how the new data you've generated is "situated" in the field -- by your careful placement of what is new against that which is already known.  Results can take the form of data, hypotheses, models, definitions, formulas, etc.  (I imagine the Results section like a dance with swords -- sometimes you are engaging your partner with the pointy end and sometimes you are gliding along side them).

Generally speaking, the organization is as follows (examples from Rothschild, G., Nelken, I., & Mizrahi, A. (2010). Functional organization and population dynamics in the mouse primary auditory cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 13, 353-360, DOI: 10.1038/nn.2484 ):

1. Begin with a restatement of your research question, followed by a statement about whether or not, and how much, your findings "answer" the question.  These should be the first two pieces of information the reader encounters.

RQ: How similar or variable are the response properties of neighboring neurons in A1? Are there any obvious organizational principles in local populations? And to what extent are the responses of individual neurons in the network independent or correlated?

1st paragraph Discussion : In vivo two-photon calcium imaging enabled us to characterize the functional architecture of neuronal populations in layer 2/3 of the mouse primary auditory cortex with high precision. Because neighboring cortical neurons (<100 μm apart) have a high probability of sharing common input 21, 22 and being synaptically connected 21, 22, 23 , one might expect that local populations of neurons would be homogeneous in their response properties. However, our data revealed a highly heterogeneous local population in which neighboring neurons could have very similar or very different response properties .

2nd paragraph Discussion : Despite the local disorder, large-scale organizing principles do exist . Tonotopy and gradual decrease of signal correlation with distance were found when examining larger distances. It thus seems that local heterogeneity is embedded in larger-scale order in A1. Furthermore, imaging dozens of neurons simultaneously allowed us to unravel temporal interactions between thousands of neuronal pairs as measured by noise correlations. Despite the heterogeneous organization with regard to signal correlation, neurons tended to have similar noise correlation during on-going and tone-driven activities, suggesting that noise correlations reflect structure in the local network (see below).

2. Relate your findings to the issues you raised in the introduction. Note similarities, differences, common or different trends.   Show how your study either corraborates, extends, refines, or conflicts with previous findings.

Recently, electrophysiological experiments have shown that responsive and unresponsive neurons are located in nearby penetration sites (~50–100 μm apart) and even along a single penetration site from different cortical layers 9 . Our results support and augment these findings by showing that nonresponsive neurons are an integral part of L2/3 networks in A1 at single-cell resolution. These neurons might be involved in something other than simple pure-tone coding, such as processing of complex sound features 32 .

Third, heterogeneity was manifested as a lack of local organization according to best frequency (Figs. 4 and 5). At first, these data seem difficult to reconcile with numerous studies showing smooth, large-scale tonotopic organization in A1 (for example, see A1 tonotopy in ferrets 19 , mice 8 , rats 18 and monkeys 33 ). In fact, the precision of tonotopic organization in A1 has been a controversial issue for a few decades and remains unresolved to date 9, 34, 35, 36, 37 .

3. If you have unexpected findings, try to interpret them in terms of method, interpretation, even a restructured hypothesis; in extreme cases, you may have to rewrite your introduction. Be honest about the limitations of your study.

Previous reports of smooth tonotopic maps may have resulted from techniques that average the responses over multiple neurons. Electrophysiological studies that reported precise tonotopy used electrode penetrations that were spaced by more than 200 μm and used multi-unit activity to determine frequency tuning 8, 18, 36, 38 . Because multi-unit recordings sample spikes from neurons located at distances of up to 100 μm 39 , such studies may have observed the larger-scale tonotopy while missing the local diversity of single-neuron responses . Another possible explanation for the apparent discrepancy is a sampling bias of extracellular recordings toward highly active neurons 40 , raising the concern that calcium dye loading might be biased as well, penetrating preferably into subtypes of neurons with unique response profiles. Although this concern has not been thoroughly ruled out, it seems unlikely because, in at least one study, GABAergic interneuorns were loaded just as efficiently as neighboring pyramidal neurons using similar methodology 41 . Other studies revealing tonotopy using imaging techniques such as intrinsic imaging 7, 42 or voltage-sensitive dyes 43 averaged responses over many neurons and are prone to overlook the local heterogeneity that we found here.

4. State the major conclusions from your study and present the theoretical and practical implications of your study.

Our main finding consists of highly heterogeneous local populations with relatively large correlations between a minority of neighboring neurons. What type of local connectivity might give rise to these results?

The simplest connectivity model to consider would be that of a tonotopic input combined with locally random (noisy) connectivity. This model could partially explain our results, including the heterogeneous micro-architecture and the decrease of signal and noise correlations with distance. Our data, however, put additional constraints on this connectivity model. Specifically, at short distances, a minority of the neurons are coupled rather strongly, whereas such coupling is absent at longer distances. These findings are consistent with the random connectivity model provided that there is at least one component of the overall connectivity that is strong, sparse and decreases fast with distance. Such a model would result in the formation of small subnetworks of highly correlated neurons , partially overlapping in space.

A number of our findings support such a subnetworks model. Notably, a subnetworks model would account for the details of the dependence of signal correlation and noise correlation on distance. Specifically, at short distances we observed both very large and very small correlations, while at longer distances we observed only smaller correlations... In addition , the strong correlation between the signal correlation of pairs of neurons (generally attributed to common input), and the noise correlation between them (generally attributed to direct synaptic connections) supports a model of strongly coupled subnetworks that share common input. Such a model, with partially overlapping, strongly connected subnetworks that share common input, has already been suggested for L2/3 neurons in the visual cortex 50 . Finally, our data describing strong correlation between noise correlation during on-going activity and during auditory stimuli support the idea that distributed groups of interconnected neurons are coactivated during tone stimulation .

5. Discuss the implications of your study for future research and be specific about the next logical steps for future researchers.

Although our data seems to best fit the overlapping subnetworks model, it is only one interpretation of our results. Different experimental procedures, including direct mappings of synaptic connectivity in local cortical circuits, would be required to reveal the underlying organizational principles of the auditory cortex.

Stylistically, the Discussion often reads like a set of bulleted points that happen to be written out in paragraph form.  Use subheadings if it makes sense; otherwise, worry less about "flow" between sections than you should in the introduction.  As tempting as it may be, avoid over-using the grammatical first person.  "I" is powerful grammatically and can be intrusive if used too often. 

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How to Write an Effective Thesis Discussion


Writing an effective thesis discussion can be challenging because it is so open ended. The purpose of the discussion is to (1) interpret your results, (2) discuss the significance of your results, (3) place your work in the context of previous work, (4) discuss the limitations of your study, and (5) suggest next steps to advance understanding and/or to improve real-world situations. The discussion section should expand upon ideas presented in the introduction, literature review, and results, and sometimes even the materials and methods. It should convince the reader that your work was worthwhile.

General considerations

Throughout a thesis or other scholarly manuscript, the results of completed studies should be described in the past tense (e.g. "36 of 43 patients showed improvement with treatment A, while only 25 of 44 patients showed improvement with treatment B"). In contrast, present tense is used to describe ideas that currently appear to be true based on available evidence (e.g. "treatment A is more effective than treatment B for most patients"). A good thesis discussion will typically progress from discussing specific results to discussing broader concepts that currently appear to be true.

You should include citations and modifying statements as needed (e.g. "Previous work by Lee et al. (2017) found no difference in the effectiveness of treatment A compared to treatment B. However , their study was limited to patients in advanced stages of the disease."). You will also need to include suggestions for further research, which can be described in present tense (e.g. "Additional studies are needed to determine. . .") or future tense (e.g. "Future studies will determine . . .").

I will now move into more detailed suggestions for each part of the discussion. Notice the occasional use of first-person pronouns (e.g. "I suggest. . ." or "We believe. . ."), which is now generally acceptable in many fields if used sparingly. Check the specific guidelines provided by your graduate program (and target journal). Also notice the use of subheadings to break the text into shorter sections on specific topics, which is recommended for any long manuscript.

Discussion part 1: Interpret your results

Your discussion should relate directly to the research question(s) you presented in the introduction, so a good way to start the discussion is to clearly restate your research question(s) (e.g. "The current study aimed to determine whether treatment A or treatment B was better for patients with condition X.") The discussion section follows the results section, so the next obvious step is to state what you can conclude from your results (e.g. "We found that a higher percentage of patients showed improvement with treatment A than with treatment B, and therefore conclude that treatment A is more effective than treatment B for most patients with condition X").

There are two general strategies for structuring the discussion of results. The first strategy is to discuss the results in the same order as they were presented in the results section. Alternatively, you can discuss your most interesting or surprising results first. This second strategy is most effective when the results are especially novel. As with any manuscript, the goal is to keep your reader engaged.

In some fields, the thesis discussion is expected to include comments on all of the results, even minor results that may not be statistically significant (e.g. "Treatments C, D, and E produced results that were statistically indistinguishable from placebo, leading to the conclusion that they were ineffective at the concentrations tested."). Note that you should not just state the results (e.g. "Treatments C, D, and E produced results that were statistically indistinguishable from placebo"), but should also state a conclusion (e.g. "they were ineffective at the concentrations tested").

In some other fields, brief comments on minor results are typically included in the results section, and the discussion section is used to elaborate on the most noteworthy results. In some cases, it may be appropriate to write a combined "results and discussion" section, where results are presented alongside initial conclusions, and broader implications are discussed toward the end. Check the requirements for your graduate program (and target journal).

Discussion part 2: Discuss the significance of your results

Clearly explain what is gained from your research. Sometimes a study is very significant (e.g. These results are among the first to show that treatment A is more effective than treatment B for condition X."). Other times—especially for undergraduate or master's theses based on a few months of data collection—the results primarily provide information about what doesn't work (e.g. "These results indicate that treatments C, D, and E are ineffective at physiologically relevant concentrations.)

Discuss some of the possibilities that your research opens up (e.g. "These results raise the possibility that early treatment could improve daily life for patients with mild cases of condition X, and might even delay disease progression.) but do not overstate (e.g. "These results prove that early treatment will improve daily life for patients with mild cases of condition X, and will delay disease progression."). Be optimistic but realistic, whether your results are highly significant or not (e.g. "These results suggest that the solubility of molecules like C, D, and E need to be improved before they can be effective.").

Discussing the significance of your results (part 2 of this essay) is a natural extension of discussing what your results mean (part 1 in this essay), and may not require a separate section.

Discussion part 3: Place your work in the context of previous work

Put your work into a broader context. Here you should revisit some of the previously published work that was described in your introduction and literature review, and clarify how your work expands upon or challenges that work. Most importantly, you should discuss how your work advances understanding in your research field.

For a thesis based on disappointing data, your ability to effectively discuss previous work and potential future work can support the argument that you have developed the necessary skills to move forward in research. These skills are further demonstrated by many other aspects of a well-researched and well-written thesis.

In some cases, your results may reveal unexpected connections. This may require you to discuss additional bodies of work in the discussion section, which can become a second literature review section. As you may be starting to see, there are many different topics you can include in your discussion section. You need to choose your topics carefully, and cover them in sufficient but not overwhelming detail. You want your discussion to cover all essential information, remain a manageable length, and retain the reader's interest. All of the different possibilities can make writing your discussion section very challenging.

If your results contradict previous work, you need to provide some possible explanations. As a rationale scholar, it is especially important to consider all reasonable options. It could be that (1) the earlier work was flawed, incomplete, or not exactly comparable to your work, or (2) your work is flawed, incomplete, or not exactly comparable to the earlier work. You might not be able to determine the exact cause of the discrepancy, but contradictions provide an obvious way to transition into the next section.

Discussion part 4: Discuss the limitations of your study

Every study has limitations, and here you should discuss the major limitations of your research. What can't the results tell us? In what situations are the findings not relevant or well supported? There may be limitations due to your sample population, experimental techniques, data analysis, etc. Discuss these limitations honestly, but then explain why your study is useful despite these limitations. You might point out that your study included multiple different populations, different experimental techniques, alternative methods of data analysis, etc. You might also emphasize that your conclusions are limited to a subset of a larger population, and that additional work needs to be done to determine whether the same conclusions apply to a larger population. This brings us to our next point.

Discussion part 5: Suggest next steps to advance understanding and/or to improve real-world situations

Once you've placed your work into a broader context, you can imagine the future possibilities. Here you might discuss questions that remain to be answered, or questions that have been newly raised by your work. There might be specific studies that would be an obvious extension of your work, and/or exploratory studies that would shed light on promising areas for novel research. Alternatively, you might suggest ways in which your research could be applied to real-world situations to improve outcomes.

Many manuscripts and presentations end with a discussion of possible next steps. I tend to like this type of ending for discussions of basic research, such as which genes are activated in which cells. However, other people recommend always ending with conclusions, where you restate the main findings of your research in a compact form. This might involve a separate "conclusions" section or as a final paragraph in the "discussion" section. Ending with conclusions makes a lot of sense for studies that might directly impact real-world situations (e.g. Treatment A it more effective than treatment B for condition X.).

In any event, you should follow departmental recommendations, and end with a compelling and memorable message for your readers.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

The purpose of the discussion section is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in relation to what was already known about the research problem being investigated and to explain any new understanding or insights that emerged as a result of your research. The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypotheses you posed and the literature you reviewed, but the discussion does not simply repeat or rearrange the first parts of your paper; the discussion clearly explains how your study advanced the reader's understanding of the research problem from where you left them at the end of your review of prior research.

Annesley, Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674.

Importance of a Good Discussion

The discussion section is often considered the most important part of your research paper because it:

Annesley Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674; Bitchener, John and Helen Basturkmen. “Perceptions of the Difficulties of Postgraduate L2 Thesis Students Writing the Discussion Section.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 5 (January 2006): 4-18; Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

These are the general rules you should adopt when composing your discussion of the results :

II.  The Content

The content of the discussion section of your paper most often includes :

III.  Organization and Structure

Keep the following sequential points in mind as you organize and write the discussion section of your paper:

IV.  Overall Objectives

The objectives of your discussion section should include the following: I.  Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings

Briefly reiterate the research problem or problems you are investigating and the methods you used to investigate them, then move quickly to describe the major findings of the study. You should write a direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results, usually in one paragraph.

II.  Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important

No one has thought as long and hard about your study as you have. Systematically explain the underlying meaning of your findings and state why you believe they are significant. After reading the discussion section, you want the reader to think critically about the results and why they are important. You don’t want to force the reader to go through the paper multiple times to figure out what it all means. If applicable, begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most significant or unanticipated finding first, then systematically review each finding. Otherwise, follow the general order you reported the findings presented in the results section.

III.  Relate the Findings to Similar Studies

No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for your research. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your study differs from other research about the topic. Note that any significant or unanticipated finding is often because there was no prior research to indicate the finding could occur. If there is prior research to indicate this, you need to explain why it was significant or unanticipated. IV.  Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings

It is important to remember that the purpose of research in the social sciences is to discover and not to prove . When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. This is especially important when describing the discovery of significant or unanticipated findings.

V.  Acknowledge the Study’s Limitations

It is far better for you to identify and acknowledge your study’s limitations than to have them pointed out by your professor! Note any unanswered questions or issues your study could not address and describe the generalizability of your results to other situations. If a limitation is applicable to the method chosen to gather information, then describe in detail the problems you encountered and why. VI.  Make Suggestions for Further Research

You may choose to conclude the discussion section by making suggestions for further research [as opposed to offering suggestions in the conclusion of your paper]. Although your study can offer important insights about the research problem, this is where you can address other questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or highlight hidden issues that were revealed as a result of conducting your research. You should frame your suggestions by linking the need for further research to the limitations of your study [e.g., in future studies, the survey instrument should include more questions that ask..."] or linking to critical issues revealed from the data that were not considered initially in your research.

NOTE: Besides the literature review section, the preponderance of references to sources is usually found in the discussion section . A few historical references may be helpful for perspective, but most of the references should be relatively recent and included to aid in the interpretation of your results, to support the significance of a finding, and/or to place a finding within a particular context. If a study that you cited does not support your findings, don't ignore it--clearly explain why your research findings differ from theirs.

V.  Problems to Avoid

Analyzing vs. Summarizing. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University; Discussion. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Hess, Dean R. "How to Write an Effective Discussion." Respiratory Care 49 (October 2004); Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sauaia, A. et al. "The Anatomy of an Article: The Discussion Section: "How Does the Article I Read Today Change What I Will Recommend to my Patients Tomorrow?” The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 74 (June 2013): 1599-1602; Research Limitations & Future Research . Lund Research Ltd., 2012; Summary: Using it Wisely. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Schafer, Mickey S. Writing the Discussion. Writing in Psychology course syllabus. University of Florida; Yellin, Linda L. A Sociology Writer's Guide . Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2009.

Writing Tip

Don’t Over-Interpret the Results!

Interpretation is a subjective exercise. As such, you should always approach the selection and interpretation of your findings introspectively and to think critically about the possibility of judgmental biases unintentionally entering into discussions about the significance of your work. With this in mind, be careful that you do not read more into the findings than can be supported by the evidence you have gathered. Remember that the data are the data: nothing more, nothing less.

MacCoun, Robert J. "Biases in the Interpretation and Use of Research Results." Annual Review of Psychology 49 (February 1998): 259-287.

Another Writing Tip

Don't Write Two Results Sections!

One of the most common mistakes that you can make when discussing the results of your study is to present a superficial interpretation of the findings that more or less re-states the results section of your paper. Obviously, you must refer to your results when discussing them, but focus on the interpretation of those results and their significance in relation to the research problem, not the data itself.

Azar, Beth. "Discussing Your Findings."  American Psychological Association gradPSYCH Magazine (January 2006).

Yet Another Writing Tip

Avoid Unwarranted Speculation!

The discussion section should remain focused on the findings of your study. For example, if the purpose of your research was to measure the impact of foreign aid on increasing access to education among disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, it would not be appropriate to speculate about how your findings might apply to populations in other countries without drawing from existing studies to support your claim or if analysis of other countries was not a part of your original research design. If you feel compelled to speculate, do so in the form of describing possible implications or explaining possible impacts. Be certain that you clearly identify your comments as speculation or as a suggestion for where further research is needed. Sometimes your professor will encourage you to expand your discussion of the results in this way, while others don’t care what your opinion is beyond your effort to interpret the data in relation to the research problem.

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Table of Contents

How to Write the Results Section of a Research Paper

1. graphs, tables, or photographs.

You may also add photographs whenever needed, but make sure these are relevant, not just whimsical addition to your paper or a means to flaunt your good photography skills ; although it would be helpful to show such skill coupled with relevance. Pictures can speak a thousand words.

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2. Topic sentences or subheadings

3. key results, how to write the discussion section of a research paper, 1. trends and spatial differences, 2. insightful interpretation of results, 3. generalizations, 4. exceptions to the rule, 5. reasons things happen, 6. the contribution of your work.

Follow these links on how to write the results section of a research paper and how to write the discussion section of a research paper as added readings to help you convey more effectively your research findings.

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