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Writing Results For Research Paper

Overview | Abstract| Introduction |Literature Review | Materials & Methods | Results & Discussion | Conclusion & Future Work | Acknowledgements & Appendix

The results and discussion sections are one of the challenging sections to write. It is important to plan this section carefully as it may contain a large amount of scientific data that needs to be presented in a clear and concise fashion. The purpose of a Results section is to present the key results of your research. Results and discussions can either be combined into one section or organized as separate sections depending on the requirements of the journal to which you are submitting your research paper. Use subsections and subheadings to improve readability and clarity. Number all tables and figures with descriptive titles. Present your results as figures and tables and point the reader to relevant items while discussing the results. This section should highlight significant or interesting findings along with P values for statistical tests. Be sure to include negative results and highlight potential limitations of the paper. You will be criticised by the reviewers if you don’t discuss the shortcomings of your research. This often makes up for a great discussion section, so do not be afraid to highlight them.

The results and discussion section of your research paper should include the following:

  • Findings
  • Comparison with prior studies
  • Limitations of your work
  • Casual arguments
  • Speculations
  • Deductive arguments

Academic Phrases, Sentences & Vocabulary

1. Findings:
From the short review above, key findings emerge: __
We describe the results of __, which show __
This suggests that __
We showed that __
Our findings on __ at least hint that __
This is an important finding in the understanding of the __
The present study confirmed the findings about __
Another promising finding was that __
Our results demonstrated that __
This result highlights that little is known about the __
A further novel finding is that __
Together, the present findings confirm __
The implications of these findings are discussed in __
The results demonstrate two things.  First, __. Second,  __
The results of the experiment found clear support for the __
This analysis found evidence for __
Planned comparisons revealed that __
Our results casts a new light on __
This section summarises the findings and contributions made.
It performs well, giving good results.
This gives clearly better results than __
The results confirm that this a good choice for __
From the results, it is clear that __
In this section, we will illustrate some experimental results.
This delivers significantly better results due to __
The result now provides evidence to __
It leads to good results, even if the improvement is negligible.
This yields increasingly good results on data.
The result of this analysis is then compared with the  __
The applicability of these new results are then tested on __
This is important to correctly interpret the results.
The results are substantially better than __
The results lead to similar conclusion where __
Superior results are seen for __
From these results it is clear that __
Extensive results carried out show that this method improves __
We obtain good results with this simple method.
However, even better results are achieved when using our algorithm.
It is worth discussing these interesting facts revealed by the results of  __
Overall, our method was the one that obtained the most robust results.
Slightly superior results are achieved with our algorithm.
The result is equal to or better than a result that is currently accepted.

2. Comparison with prior studies:
The results demonstrated in this chapter match state of the art methods.
Here we compare the results of the proposed method with those of the traditional methods.
These results go beyond previous reports, showing that __
In line with previous studies __
This result ties well with previous studies wherein __
Contrary to the findings of __ we did not find __
They have demonstrated that __
Others have shown that __ improves __
By comparing the results from __, we hope to determine __
However, in line with the ideas of __, it can be concluded that __
When comparing our results to those of older studies, it must be pointed out that __
We have verified that using __ produces similar results
Overall these findings are in accordance with findings reported by __
Even though we did not replicate the previously reported __, our results suggest that __
A similar conclusion was reached by __
However, when comparing our results to those of older studies, it must be pointed out __
This is consistent with what has been found in previous __
A similar pattern of results was obtained in __
The findings are directly in line with previous findings
These basic findings are consistent with research showing that __
Other results were broadly in line with __

3. Limitations of your work:
Because of the lack of __ we decided to not investigate __
One concern about the findings of __ was that __
Because of this potential limitation, we treat __
The limitations of the present studies naturally include __
Regarding the limitations of __, it could be argued that __
Another limitation of this __
This limitation is apparent in many __
Another limitation in __ involves the issue of __
The main limitation is the lack of __
One limitation is found in this case.
One limitation of these methods however is that they __
It presents some limitations such as __
Although widely accepted, it suffers from some limitations due to __
An apparent limitation of the method is __
There are several limitations to this approach.
One limitation of our implementation is that it is __
A major source of limitation is due to  __
The approach utilised suffers from the limitation that __
The limitations are becoming clear __
It suffers from the same limitations associated with a __

4. Casual arguments:
A popular explanation of __ is that __
It is by now generally accepted that __
A popular explanation is that __
As it is not generally agreed that __
These are very small and difficult to observe.
It is important to highlight the fact that __
It is notable that __
An important question associated with __ is __
This did not impair the __
This is important because there is __
This implies that __ is associated with __
This is indicative for lack of __
This will not be biased by __
There were also some important differences in __
It is interesting to note that, __
It is unlikely that __
This may alter or improve aspects of __
In contrast, this makes it possible to __
This is particularly important when investigating __
This has been used to successfully account for __
This introduces a possible confound in __
This was included to verify that __

5. Speculations:
However, we acknowledge that there are considerable discussions among researchers as to __
We speculate that this might be due to __
There are reasons to doubt this explanation of __
It remains unclear to which degree __ are attributed to __
However, __ does seem to improve __
This does seem to depend on __
It is important to note, that the present evidence relies on __
The results show that __ does not seem to impact the __
However, the extent to which it is possible to __ is unknown
Alternatively, it could simply mean that __
It is difficult to explain such results within the context of __
It is unclear whether this is a suitable for __
This appears to be a case of __
From this standpoint, __ can be considered as __
To date, __remain unknown
Under certain assumptions, this can be construed as __
Because of this potential limitation, we treat __
In addition, several questions remain unanswered.
At this stage of understanding, we believe__
Therefore, it remains unclear whether __
This may explain why __

6. Deductive Arguments:
A difference between these __ can only be attributable to __
Nonetheless, we believe that it is well justified to __
This may raise concerns about __ which can be addressed by __
As discussed, this is due to the fact that __
Results demonstrate that this is not necessarily true.
These findings support the notion that __ is not influenced by __
This may be the reason why we did not find __
In order to test whether this is equivalent across __, we __
Therefore, __ can be considered to be equivalent for __

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Writing the Experimental Report: Methods, Results, and Discussion


Written for undergraduate students and new graduate students in psychology (experimental), this handout provides information on writing in psychology and on experimental report and experimental article writing.

Contributors:Dana Lynn Driscoll, Aleksandra Kasztalska
Last Edited: 2013-03-11 09:59:00

Method section

Your method section provides a detailed overview of how you conducted your research. Because your study methods form a large part of your credibility as a researcher and writer, it is imperative that you be clear about what you did to gather information from participants in your study.

With your methods section, as with the sections above, you want to walk your readers through your study almost as if they were a participant. What happened first? What happened next?

The method section includes the following sub-sections.

I. Participants: Discuss who was enrolled in your experiment. Include major demographics that have an impact on the results of the experiment (i.e. if race is a factor, you should provide a breakdown by race). The accepted term for describing a person who participates in research studies is a participant not a subject.

II. Apparatus and materials: The apparatus is any equipment used during data collection (such as computers or eye-tracking devices). Materials include scripts, surveys, or software used for data collection (not data analysis). It is sometimes necessary to provide specific examples of materials or prompts, depending on the nature of your study.

III. Procedure: The procedure includes the step-by-step how of your experiment. The procedure should include:

  • A description of the experimental design and how participants were assigned conditions.
  • Identification of your independent variable(s) (IV), dependent variable(s) (DV), and control variables. Give your variables clear, meaningful names so that your readers are not confused.
  • Important instructions to participants.
  • A step-by-step listing in chronological order of what participants did during the experiment.

Results section

The results section is where you present the results of your research-both narrated for the readers in plain English and accompanied by statistics.

Note: Depending on the requirements or the projected length of your paper, sometimes the results are combined with the discussion section.

Organizing Results

Continue with your story in the results section. How do your results fit with the overall story you are telling? What results are the most compelling? You want to begin your discussion by reminding your readers once again what your hypotheses were and what your overall story is. Then provide each result as it relates to that story. The most important results should go first.

Preliminary discussion: Sometimes it is necessary to provide a preliminary discussion in your results section about your participant groups. In order to convince your readers that your results are meaningful, you must first demonstrate that the conditions of the study were met. For example, if you randomly assigned subjects into groups, are these two groups comparable? You can't discuss the differences in the two groups until you establish that the two groups can be compared.

Provide information on your data analysis: Be sure to describe the analysis you did. If you are using a non-conventional analysis, you also need to provide justification for why you are doing so.

Presenting Results: Bem (2006) recommends the following pattern for presenting findings:

  • Remind readers of the conceptual hypotheses or questions you are asking
  • Remind readers of behaviors measured or operations performed
  • Provide the answer/result in plain English
  • Provide the statistic that supports your plain English answer
  • Elaborate or qualify the overall conclusion if necessary

Writers new to psychology and writing with statistics often dump numbers at their readers without providing a clear narration of what those numbers mean. Please see our Writing with Statistics handout for more information on how to write with statistics.

Discussion section

Your discussion section is where you talk about what your results mean and where you wrap up the overall story you are telling. This is where you interpret your findings, evaluate your hypotheses or research questions, discuss unexpected results, and tie your findings to the previous literature (discussed first in your literature review). Your discussion section should move from specific to general.

Here are some tips for writing your discussion section.

  • Begin by providing an interpretation of your results: what is it that you have learned from your research?
  • Discuss each hypotheses or research question in more depth.
  • Do not repeat what you have already said in your results—instead, focus on adding new information and broadening the perspective of your results to you reader.
  • Discuss how your results compare to previous findings in the literature. If there are differences, discuss why you think these differences exist and what they could mean.
  • Briefly consider your study's limitations, but do not dwell on its flaws.
  • Consider also what new questions your study raises, what questions your study was not able to answer, and what avenues future research could take in this area.


Example: Here is how this works.

Briel begins her discussion section by providing a sentence about her hypotheses—what she expected to find. She immediately follows this with what she did find and then her interpretation of those findings. After discussing each of her major results, she discusses larger implications of her work and avenues for future research.


References section

References should be in standard APA format. Please see our APA Formatting guide for specific instructions.