Research Paper Discussion And Conclusion

Writing a Scientific Paper - Results, Discussion and Conclusion Sections


Results

The results section is the part of the scientific paper around which everything else is built. The introduction describes why the results needed to be obtained, the methods how they were obtained and the discussion explains the results.

The results section is just a presentation of the data. There should not be any discussion in the results section (that goes in the discussion section). The results need to be presented in enough detail for someone not familiar with the scientific paper to understand them. All the results should be explained in the text of the results section as well as being presented in either figures or tables. Each result should only be presented once. Do not show the same data in two forms (data should be presented as either a table or a figure not both).

The text of the results section should introduce each table or figure and provide a summary of the main points from each.

The results should:

  • Be simple and clear
  • Present summaries of large data sets (means with standard error or deviation)
  • Detailed data should be reported in tables or figures and not as lists in the text
  • Only give the data which is relevant to the paper
  • Refer to every table or figure in the text

Each figure or table should be identified by a unique number e.g. table 1, table 2, figure 1, figure 2. The numbers should be sequential, in the same order as the tables or figures are presented in the text.


Discussion

In the discussion you should explain your results, how they relate to the literature and any implications they might have for future use.

A good discussion will explain why your results and the whole paper is important. You'll show that your results can add new knowledge to your chosen area of work.

In the discussion you should refer to the literature when explaining and discussing your results. This should be related to the interpretation of your results and not restating what was said in the introduction when you reviewed the relevant literature.

The discussion should:

  • Not repeat information from the results and introduction sections
  • Relate the results to the aims
  • Show how the results agree or disagree with previously published literature
  • Indicate the significance of the results
  • Suggest future work or planned follow-up research


Conclusion

Often the conclusion will be in the final paragraph of the discussion but it can sometimes be in a separate section.

This is the overall main point or points that you want your readers to remember. They should be clearly stated.

The conclusion should not repeat information from the discussion section but restate the main conclusions in a new concise way for your readers, so that they are in no doubt what you have achieved while doing the research presented in your paper.

Return to Scientific Writing from Writing a Scientific Paper 4

Return to Excellent Proofreading and Writing Homepage from Writing a Scientific Paper 4

Back to top of page








Back to top of page


By Jolyon Dodgson, copyright © 2011-2017. 

Excellent-Proofreading-and-Writing.com - Proofreading and writing help for excellent first impressions. 

Google

The section headings (Abstract, Introduction, etc.) should be centered and the body of each section should follow immediately below the heading. Do not begin each section on a new page. If one section ends part of the way down the page, the next section heading follows immediately on the same page.

One important general rule to keep in mind is that a scientific paper is a report about something that has been done in the past. Most of the paper should be written in the PAST TENSE (was, were). The present tense (is, are) is used when stating generalizations or conclusions. The present tense is most often used in the Introduction, Discussion and Conclusion sections of papers. The paper should read as a narrative in which the author describes what was done and what results were obtained from that work.

 

TITLE

Every scientific paper must have a self-explanatory title. By reading the title, the work being reported should be clear to the reader without having to read the paper itself. The title, "A Biology Lab Report", tells the reader nothing. An example of a good, self-explanatory title would be: "The Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of Populations of the Bacterium, Escherichia coli ". This title reports exactly what the researcher has done by stating three things:

If the title had been only "Effects of Light and Temperature on Escherichia coli ", the reader would have to guess which parameters were measured. (That is, were the effects on reproduction, survival, dry weight or something else?) If the title had been "Effect of Environmental Factors on Growth of Escherichia coli ", the reader would not know which environmental factors were manipulated. If the title had been "Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of an Organism", then the reader would not know which organism was studied. In any of the above cases, the reader would be forced to read more of the paper to understand what the researcher had done.

Exceptions do occur: If several factors were manipulated, all of them do not have to be listed. Instead, "Effects of Several Environmental Factors on Growth of Populations ofEscherichia coli " (if more than two or three factors were manipulated) would be appropriate. The same applies if more than two or three organisms were studied. For example, "Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of Four Species of Bacteria" would be correct. The researcher would then include the names of the bacteria in the Materials and Methods section of the paper.

 

ABSTRACT

The abstract section in a scientific paper is a concise digest of the content of the paper. An abstract is more than a summary. A summary is a brief restatement of preceding text that is intended to orient a reader who has studied the preceding text. An abstract is intended to be self-explanatory without reference to the paper, but is not a substitute for the paper.

The abstract should present, in about 250 words, the purpose of the paper, general materials and methods (including, if any, the scientific and common names of organisms), summarized results, and the major conclusions. Do not include any information that is not contained in the body of the paper. Exclude detailed descriptions of organisms, materials and methods. Tables or figures, references to tables or figures, or references to literature cited usually are not included in this section. The abstract is usually written last. An easy way to write the abstract is to extract the most important points from each section of the paper and then use those points to construct a brief description of your study.

 

INTRODUCTION

The Introduction is the statement of the problem that you investigated. It should give readers enough information to appreciate your specific objectives within a larger theoretical framework. After placing your work in a broader context, you should state the specific question(s) to be answered. This section may also include background information about the problem such as a summary of any research that has been done on the problem in the past and how the present experiment will help to clarify or expand the knowledge in this general area. All background information gathered from other sources must, of course, be appropriately cited. (Proper citation of references will be described later.)

A helpful strategy in this section is to go from the general, theoretical framework to your specific question. However, do not make the Introduction too broad. Remember that you are writing for classmates who have knowledge similar to yours. Present only the most relevant ideas and get quickly to the point of the paper. For examples, see the Appendix.

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This section explains how and, where relevant, when the experiment was done. The researcher describes the experimental design, the apparatus, methods of gathering data and type of control. If any work was done in a natural habitat, the worker describes the study area, states its location and explains when the work was done. If specimens were collected for study, where and when that material was collected are stated. The general rule to remember is that the Materials and Methods section should be detailed and clear enough so that any reader knowledgeable in basic scientific techniques could duplicate the study if she/he wished to do so. For examples, see the Appendix.

DO NOT write this section as though it were directions in a laboratory exercise book. Instead of writing:

Simply describe how the experiment was done:

Also, DO NOT LIST the equipment used in the experiment. The materials that were used in the research are simply mentioned in the narrative as the experimental procedure is described in detail. If well-known methods were used without changes, simply name the methods (e.g., standard microscopic techniques; standard spectrophotometric techniques). If modified standard techniques were used, describe the changes.

 

RESULTS

Here the researcher presents summarized data for inspection using narrative text and, where appropriate, tables and figures to display summarized data. Only the results are presented. No interpretation of the data or conclusions about what the data might mean are given in this section. Data assembled in tables and/or figures should supplement the text and present the data in an easily understandable form. Do not present raw data! If tables and/or figures are used, they must be accompanied by narrative text. Do not repeat extensively in the text the data you have presented in tables and figures. But, do not restrict yourself to passing comments either. (For example, only stating that "Results are shown in Table 1." is not appropriate.) The text describes the data presented in the tables and figures and calls attention to the important data that the researcher will discuss in the Discussion section and will use to support Conclusions. (Rules to follow when constructing and presenting figures and tables are presented in a later section of this guide.)

 

DISCUSSION

Here, the researcher interprets the data in terms of any patterns that were observed, any relationships among experimental variables that are important and any correlations between variables that are discernible. The author should include any explanations of how the results differed from those hypothesized, or how the results were either different from or similar to those of any related experiments performed by other researchers. Remember that experiments do not always need to show major differences or trends to be important. "Negative" results also need to be explained and may represent something important--perhaps a new or changed focus for your research.

A useful strategy in discussing your experiment is to relate your specific results back to the broad theoretical context presented in the Introduction. Since your Introduction went from the general to a specific question, going from the specific back to the general will help to tie your ideas and arguments together.

 

CONCLUSIONS

This section simply states what the researcher thinks the data mean, and, as such, should relate directly back to the problem/question stated in the introduction. This section should not offer any reasons for those particular conclusions--these should have been presented in the Discussion section. By looking at only the Introduction and Conclusions sections, a reader should have a good idea of what the researcher has investigated and discovered even though the specific details of how the work was done would not be known.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

In this section you should give credit to people who have helped you with the research or with writing the paper. If your work has been supported by a grant, you would also give credit for that in this section.

 

LITERATURE CITED

This section lists, in alphabetical order by author, all published information that was referred to anywhere in the text of the paper. It provides the readers with the information needed should they want to refer to the original literature on the general problem. Note that the Literature Cited section includes only those references that were actually mentioned (cited) in the paper. Any other information that the researcher may have read about the problem but did not mention in the paper is not included in this section. This is why the section is called "Literature Cited" instead of "References" or "Bibliography".

The system of citing reference material in scientific journals varies with the particular journal. The method that you will follow is the "author-date" system. Listed below are several examples of how citations should be presented in the text of your paper. The name(s) of the author(s) and year of publication are included in the body of the text. Sentence structure determines the placement of the parentheses.

0 Thoughts to “Research Paper Discussion And Conclusion

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *