Understanding Theoretical and Practical Implications in Research Papers

As Always Let’s Start with defining a Research Paper;

A research paper is basically an expanded essay that requires you to present your own interpretation or evaluation or argument. Seems pretty straight forward? Good! Now, with that out of the way. Let’s move on to_

What are the implications in a research paper?

Implications represent one of the most significant parts of a research paper. It is where you get to discuss your results and the entirety of all that it stands for. When writing implications, it is expected that you address your results, conclusions, the outcome, and future expectations; if there is a need for it. In simpler terms, implications contain the effect that your research may have on future research, policy decisions or on the appropriate field of your research. It is therefore important to say that in a way, every research paper, regardless of their fields of study, boils down to the implications of the findings.

So let’s say you are done with all the researches that need to be done as regards a research paper. You have succinctly stated written your thesis and all your paper guidelines are in place and you have your results or findings on the ground. These results or findings are significant in their own ways that are they have their implications. But then how do you go about documenting these implications? Well, it all boils down to the type of implication that we are talking about here. This is why the types of implications will be discussed now;

Types of Implications

1. Theoretical Implications

An informed guess is a theory. In the context of science, when an anticipated outcome happens over and over, a theory is said to be established. But it’s still a theory until it’s proven. However, the theory is based on logic, and so it is often believed that the anticipated outcome is more likely than just relying on a coin-like probability. It involves putting together some observations and then extracting a set of guidelines from them that regulate the activities of the subject and the energy engaged in the observations.

Usually, you can see from the details of a theory that it can be applied beyond the range of conditions under which the original observations were made. So, if you are looking for a phenomenon outside the range of conditions, but streamlined to the rules that the theory proposes, then implications will have to come in. In theoretical implications, your findings are either confirming a theory or it is debunking it. If your findings are in line with a theory to which your research is based, it is confirmed. But if it is not, then it is falsified.

A good example is the implications of Newtonian mechanics’ planetary orbital dynamics. A lot of observations were made by researchers that planets simply did not orbit the way Newton proposed in his theory. But they didn’t generate much theoretical evidence to establish the implication of their findings, even after they go to mercury. Then Einstein came up with General Relativity— not to explain the orbital behavior of Mercury to you, but eventually, someone had to use his theory to analyze the orbit of Mercury, and it worked. The implication of Einstein’s theory, therefore, was the falsification of Newton’s.

2. Practical Implications

The outcome or end result that occurs when specific events take place is known as the practical implication of the event. Practical in this context relates to real outcomes of an event, whereas implication relates to the logical association between the event and the result. An example of a practical implication is a student who doesn’t want to do his homework. Another practical implication, using the same model, is that the same student is not doing things he should be doing at home. Based on these factors, the outcome or implication is that the student will fail to finish the homework, and he will also be punished by his parents.

Practical implications are based on logic and reasoning. They are found in everyday life, as in the above example. Practical implications are also valuable to people in certain professional fields, such as medicine, science, and engineering, as these professionals can translate their findings into ways of making meaningful social changes and improvements. For example, scientists studying the impacts of a drug may find a way of reducing unpleasant side effects by making adjustments such as adjusting the prescribed dosage of the medicine or mildly altering the formula to decrease the seriousness and risk of such side effects.

Practical implications are also based on reason and rationale; whether applied in personal situations or in professional settings. Public transport engineering is one example of using a practical implication to make a real-life change. For example, engineers can conduct a local area study to determine the volume of people walking to work as opposed to driving or taking public transportation. They may then determine, based on the research, that more individuals want to take public transport instead of walking or driving to a job, but they do not currently have enough public transport accessible to do so. The engineers can then apply the results of their study to make recommendations for the city to increase the availability of public transportation for travelers and residents wishing to travel by train, subway, bus or another method of transportation. The research can also lead to campaigns and other actions being conducted to increase awareness of the upcoming public transport, which in turn will persuade individuals to use public transport once it is in location.

Writing the Right Implication

As part of reflecting on your findings, the implications of your findings for the field itself needs to be presented professionally. Create a list of the strongest assertions your study makes about its topic matter. Consider how your research addresses an issue or oversight. Think about how to write about them while answering a “so what” question as you create your list of achievements. For instance, if your paper evaluates content that has been ignored in your field by scholarship up to now, your implication should show why it deserves attention. Connect your contributions to the work of the scholars you wrote on your subject matter. In longer theses, findings are usually placed within past and future research contexts. Contextualizing your findings in previous research helps readers understand the meaning of your research – how your research is building on and contributing to knowledge. It is also common to see somewhere Ph.D. Conclusions as section like ‘Recommendations for Future Research‘, whereby the limitations of the study are recognized and presented in a more positive light: will your findings pave way for future research or does it need further study?

Your research project’s implications can be complex and variable, leading you into a speculation realm. For instance, some results may appear to be applicable beyond your study parameters, and they may actually do. But there is a need for judicious judgment. Make sure that such speculations are contained within the boundaries of the arguments and discussions that have been developed within your thesis.

To conclude;

The logical connection between a research thesis and its result is the implication of the findings. Take your time to go back and read the meaning of the study before you write an implication on the research paper. Ask yourself; when you proposed your research, what potential did you believe the findings could provide? Has your view altered now that you have your information? These themes should be considered in the section of your involvement. Remember the problems that led you to your research question and the methodologies used.