How to Write Results and Discussions in a Research Paper
After the bibliographic research and all the fieldwork, it is time to present the results and discussions of the research. This stage of the report’s development concentrates the most relevant information. After all, this is where the main contributions of research to their respective field of knowledge appear.
What is the analysis of the results?
Results analysis usually appears in the third chapter or section of the paper. Also called “results and discussion, ” it is in this part of the work that you must present, comment, and interpret the data that you have collected in the research. While in the first two chapters you wrote a description of everything you found. In the analysis of results, you must change the focus and make a dissertation. The idea here is to interpret the relationships between these findings that you made in the other chapters.
The Analysis of Results
The analysis of the results serves for you to be able to test the hypothesis and solve the problem. It is this part of the job that gives quality to your research paper. That is, the better the findings you make about the findings, the better your research paper. In other words, it is in this part of the work that the researcher’s capacity for interpretation comes to the fore. Therefore, we can also conclude that it is the quality of the analysis that will decide whether you will get a ten, a seven, or a zero. So, this part of the work must be done well.
How to Analyze the results?
In this section, we will show you how to correctly write your research results and discussion.
The process consists of identifying, presenting, explaining, relating, and concluding. There are numerous complex methods for interpreting research data, both in qualitative and quantitative approaches. But that is not our focus. We will see here only a basic script, applicable to both theoretical and empirical research.
Theoretical work is that whose procedure is only bibliographic and documentary research. Empirical work, on the other hand, is based on a case study, a survey, or any field research.
Writing results and discussion
In either case, you should start your results and discussion chapter by recapping the steps of your work. Start by explaining the reasons for choosing the types of research you used and also talk about how you put them into practice. Tell, for example, how you did it to get the data, what you hope to discover and how it can lead to an answer to the problem. Also, recap your objectives and inform the audience about the purpose of making the theoretical framework and, if applicable, field research.
The second step is to report the results you have collected in each chapter of your research. Regarding the theoretical part of your work, you can simply describe what you have found, showing the opinion of the authors and what the documents show.
Regarding empirical research, the ideal is that numbers or data should be presented in tables or graphs. You can simply say: “in the first chapter this, this and this was discovered… in the second chapter the main discoveries were these, these and these.” It can be just two paragraphs, but it will probably be very important.
In the third step, you must show all the relationships between the data you have shown, but this will be done in a slightly different way, depending on whether your work is theoretical or empirical.
Analysis of results – theoretical research
If your work is theoretical, you have done at least two chapters of bibliographic research, on different subjects, but which are related in some way. Then you can compare the concepts, characteristics, impacts of each subject to see what one can cause about the other.
Results and discussion – empirical research
But if your research is empirical, you have done a chapter of bibliographic research and may have done another with field research, for example. So, before analyzing the theoretical part, you should start by comparing the empirical research data.
Compare each of the data you can with the others, trying to understand:
1. The differences between measures and quantities.
2. The frequency of events,
3. The uniform or different characteristics; or
4. Any relationship you find between them.
For example, you may have administered a questionnaire to two hundred people. The ideal is to make a spreadsheet with the tabulation of all responses and start observing the data.
Interpreting the data
However, you must further evaluate, to find out if these relationships are significant in finding a solution to the problem. What, for example, is the cause, motive, or consequence of these behaviors in these groups of people? To do this, you would have to compare the findings of empirical research with the findings of bibliographic research. Try to interpret how the concepts you discovered in the books explain, contradict, complement the data you collected in your observation, questionnaires, interviews, or documents.
Analysis and discussion of results – Research Hypothesis
The fourth step is to put all this in front of your hypothesis to see if the knowledge you have produced confirms or refutes your hypothesis. Compare that idea you had before you started researching, with the findings you were able to make.
It is certain at this point in your work, your view on the topic will be much more mature and you will have a lot to explain. Certainly, this is the time for you to take a stand and write what you think about the topic. But you should not give your personal opinion, but your interpretation of the research data.
The fifth step is to check the possible answer to the problem, in the light of what you have been able to discover, either with the data collection or with your interpretation of them.
Differences between results and discussions
It turns out that you can’t throw the dice on paper anyway. As in all sections of a research paper, it is necessary to respect a logical sequence. This helps to lead the reader from one point to another, according to the line of reasoning established by the student.
The results come first. This is the material collected in the field. If the research involves questionnaires, for example, it is in this chapter that the responses of the interviewed subjects are compiled in graphs and tables. At this point, neutral language is used, without interference from the author. The idea is to provide as much information as possible. From this content, the reader already begins to make their inferences about the investigated subject. It may be that the results contradict or annul the hypothesis initially raised, regardless of the outcome, it is fine. The objective of every scientific process is, precisely, to get to know a theme more deeply. The reality is often more complex and demands new questions.
The development follows with the analysis of the data. It is up to the researcher to interpret the findings of his investigation, contextualizing them and relating them to the theories already consolidated in the area. That is, between results and discussions of a research paper, it is in this last part that the author shows his knowledge. He must explain whether the survey was sufficient to confirm or dismiss the hypothesis. You can also try to understand how the variables were decisive for the information obtained.
It is in this section, too, that the research is inserted in a broader reality. The authors’ concepts used in the theoretical chapters are recovered. A comparison of ideas is made. It is verified to what extent the observed phenomenon fits – or not – with what the peers already knew about the theme. The data analysis serves to identify whether the work was successful in expanding the understanding of the proposed problem.
You already have data analysis, and you can finally be sure that the text you wrote is, in fact, scientific research.