Writing the Results Section for Research Papers



the results section of scientific research paper reports the findings of your study derived from the methods you applied to gather and analyze information it states the findings of the study or research and presents them in a logical sequence without bias or interpretation from the author the results section is the third major section of most scientific papers it follows the presentation of the methods and materials and comes before the discussion section it answers the question what did you find in your research the results section should include the findings of your study and only the findings the findings include data presented in tables charts graphs and other figures contextual analysis of this data explaining its meaning and sentence form and an explanation of data derived from previous studies if the scope of the study is very broad or full of variables or if the methodology used yields a wide range of different results the author should state only those results that are most relevant to the research question stated in the introduction section as a general rule any information that does not present the direct findings or outcome of the study should be left out of the results section this includes methods of analysis background and interpretation of the results how are the results organized the best answer is logically one logical and clear method of organizing the results is to provide them alongside the research questions present the type of data that addresses the research question for instance your research question is based upon a survey what do hospital patients over the age of 55 think about post-operative care this can actually be represented as a heading within your paper though it might be presented as a statement rather than a question attitudes towards post-operative care and patients over the age of 55 first you should present the results that address this specific research question in this case perhaps a table of survey data Likert items are included here as well other tables might include standard deviations probability matrices etc following this present a Content analysis of one end of the spectrum of the survey in this case the positive survey responses about post-operative care using descriptive phrases include data such as frequency counts in rich quotes for each category the amount of verbal description here depends on how much interpretation of the figure is necessary and how many examples the reader needs to read to understand these findings for instance 65% of patients over 55 responded positively to the question are you satisfied with your hospital's post-operative care then present a content analysis of another part of the spectrum of the same research question perhaps the negative or neutral responses to the survey use defined terms or abbreviations to make descriptions more concise for instance as figure 1 shows 15 out of 60 patients in Group A responded negatively to question 1 after you have assessed the data in one figure and explained it sufficiently move on to your next research question for example how does patient satisfaction affect improvements in post-operative care present data in the form of a figure or set of figures for instance a paired t-tests table follow this with more Content analysis to explain data the p-value between the before and after sets of patients was point zero three percent the greater the dissatisfaction of patients the more frequent where the changes the hospitals made let's look at another example of a results section from an experiment in the introduction sections the aims of the study are presented as determining the physiological and morphological responses of Allium septa L towards increased cadmium toxicity and evaluating its potential to accumulate the metal and its associated environmental consequences accordingly the results section presents data showing how these aims are achieved in both tables and content analysis beginning with an overview of the findings cadmium caused inhibition of roots and leaves elongation particularly with increasing effects at higher exposure doses figure 1a to see the figure that represents this statement in terms of hard data is cited immediately note that this author has included three graphs in one figure separating the data into separate graphs makes it easier for the reader to understand the findings while consolidating this information into one figures save space and makes it easy to locate all of the most relevant results following this overall summary the relevant data in the tables is broken down in greater detail a major purpose of the results section is to down the data into sentences that show its relative or superlative significance the results section is essentially the figures data tables charts graphs etc expressed in sentence form however the results section is not the place to interpret these findings and evaluate their significance this should be done in the discussion section because tables and figures are the central components of your results section knowing how to place the data caption the figures and refer to them within the text of the results is critical the most important advice one can give here as well as throughout the paper is to check the requirements and standards of the journal to what you're submitting your work every journal has its own design and layout standards which will give you an idea of the proper number size and complexity of your figures regardless of which format you use the figures should be placed in the order they are referenced in the results section and be as clear and easy to understand as possible to create a caption consider the research question being asked and change it into a phrase for example if one question is which color did participants choose the caption might read color choice by participant group or as in our research paper example or the question is what is the concentration of cadmium in different parts of the onion after 14 days the overall caption reads figure 1a to see mean concentration of cadmium determined in a bulbs B leaves and C roots of an onion after 14 days period whenever a figure is referenced the information being analyzed should be as clear and concise as possible especially if there are many tables and figures being used in the paper because each study is unique there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to designing a strategy for writing the results section the content and layout of this section are impacted by the specific area of research or specialization the design of the study and particular methodologies and the guidelines of the target journal and its editors however the following steps can be used to compose the results of most scientific research studies step 1 consult the guidelines or instructions the target journal or publisher provides authors and read research papers it is published especially those with similar topics methods or results to your study the guidelines will generally outline specific requirements for the results section in reading the published articles will provide sound examples of successful approaches step 2 consider your research results in relation to the journals requirements and catalogue your results catalog your results using subheadings to streamline and clarify your report this will help you avoid excessive in peripheral details as you write and also help your reader understand and remember your findings decide how to structure your results it could be determined by your research questions and hypotheses or it could match the arrangement in order of your methods section a chronological order or even a hierarchy of importance or meaningful grouping of main themes or categories might prove effective step 3 design figures and tables to present and illustrate your data generally tables and figures should be numbered according to the order in which they are mentioned in the main text of the paper they should also be self-explanatory and thus their design should include all definitions and other information necessary for a reader to understand the findings if you create the tables and figures before drafting the text of the results section you can use them as a focal point to tell a clear and informative story about your research and avoid repetition but remember that well figures clarify and enhance the text it cannot replace it step 4 draft your results section using the findings and figures you have organized the goal is to communicate this complex information as clearly and precisely as possible so concise and well-constructed sentences are most effective in the opening paragraph of this section restate your research questions or aims to focus reader's attention to what the results are trying to show it is always a good idea to summarize key findings at the end of this section to create a logical transition to the interpretation and discussion that follows write in the past tense and using the active voice to relay the findings since the research has already been done and the agent is generally clear this will ensure that your explanations are also logical and clear make certain that any specialized terminology or abbreviations you use that might be unclear or confusing have been defined and clarified in the introduction step 5 review edit and revise your draft until it reports results exactly as you would like to have them reported to your readers after you have finished your first draft it is time to review it editing for accuracy of content and revising for errors and grammar or janek's double-check the accuracy and consistency of the data across the section as well as all of the visual elements included read your draft aloud to catch any language errors awkward phrasings in missing transitions make sure your grammar spelling and punctuation are also correct and convey information as effectively as possible ensure that your results are presented in the best order to focus on objectives and prepare readers for interpretations evaluations recommendations and other discussion elements you want to address during this process you should consider seeking additional guidance find additional readers to look over your paper and see if it can be improved in any way peers professors or qualified experts can give you insights that you might overlook on your own one good option is to use a professional academic editing service such as word vise word vise has hundreds of qualified editors from dozens of scientific fields who have helped thousands of authors revise their manuscripts and get accepted into their target journals by writing with clarity and conciseness and by highlighting and explaining the crucial findings of your study you can increase the impact and effectiveness of your research manuscript for more articles and videos on writing your research manuscript visit the resource pages at word vice.com you

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