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Results Section: How to Effectively Communicate Your Findings

Written by David Santana
Posted: June 15, 2021
Last update date: March 22, 2024
5 min read

By reading this article, you will learn how to write a results section for a research paper. Regardless of whether you need to write a persuasive speech or work on a dissertation, it involves the outcomes or results of your work. This article helps you achieve clarity and narrow things down.

  • We’ll discuss the structuring rules of the results section;
  • Learn how to use tables and figures in the results of a study;
  • Focus on the use of correct writing style and tone;
  • Understand unexpected results, the common pitfalls, and ways to avoid them;
  • Get the general purpose of the research paper results.

Results Section Role in Research Paper

If you wish to provide a good research paper, you must provide readers with the outcomes of your work. The most important objective is summarizing the presented data and documenting the information received. The length of the results section depends on the amount of information collected and can be up to 8,000 words. It should be placed after your Methods and Materials section before the Discussion part.

The results in the research paper section tell what you have found, while the discussion part explains what they mean. Reporting research findings must reveal the personal ideas you have come up with while writing your work. The difference between the two sections mentioned above is that discussions reveal the information scholars have investigated before you. Meanwhile, the results plus conclusions represent your personal outcomes. It’s important to use the past tense while writing a results section.

Guidance on Organizing Data and Findings Before Writing: Know the Differences

Remember, the results section in the research paper must share all the data received during your work using statistical significance analysis and summary writing. Of course, you may explain the research results obtained here, but the largest part of the discussion should be written in the discussion section of your research paper. The main difference between the results and discussion sections is that you have to put research findings in the first research section. Meanwhile, the discussion partition must analyze and discuss all the results and findings received.

Structuring the Results Section

Here are some useful hints on writing the results section example properly by using the correct structure and reliable sources for research work:

  1. This part must start with the most important findings, followed by secondary results by eliminating the discussion or an explanatory part.
  2. The results section of a research paper must be logical and presented sequentially to help people replicate your path.
  3. The key aspect of writing this partition is keeping it concise and clear for the audience. Try to be objective and provide only the data you received here, using subheadings effectively. As you write the results section of a research paper. Share only clear and understandable data received during your work in this part.
  4. Visit a library or surf the Internet to find sources for your work. Likewise, look at how other authors tend to write this part by checking the sample of quantitative and qualitative results section online. It is a great way to draft an example of the results section of a research paper and do your own work according to the requirements.

How to Use Tables and Figures Effectively?

As you write a results section of a research paper, consider implementing tables and figures, as this helps interpret things using visual elements to make data accessible. It helps readers understand complex concepts right away and have things narrowed down.

The rules for placing figures and tables will depend on the citation style format that you use, yet most of them should be placed at the center of the page with proper referencing and number sequencing. The research paper findings outlined in the tables should remain separate from the text.

Writing Style and Tone

When working on your findings in the research section, you must focus on clarity. Keep your writing concise and do your best to remain objective, which helps make your research unbiased. As you describe your findings, you should only describe without trying to explain what you have obtained. You must use this in your “Discussion” part of the research paper. The results analysis must state the facts and speak in numbers or statistical findings (qualitative or quantitative).

One of the most important tasks is to avoid bias and achieve neutrality, which helps custom research papers stand out. It is made possible by eliminating the discussion part and using bullet points where you place the facts. The past tense must be used as you provide the key findings. You must summarize your research paper findings with good and bad relevant results without making claims or sharing your take on things.

Describing Quantitative Results

Focusing on the best practices for presenting numerical data, you must think about the use of statistical data and probability. It also means dealing with both significant and non-significant findings to keep the right balance. Before you start collecting results for a research paper, ensure that you do the following:

  • Build your quantitative results section around a relevant research question and present a hypothesis.
  • Provide relevant results by including statistical analysis.
  • Evaluate the importance and reliability of the results of a research paper briefly.
  • Do not speculate about the meaning of the results, but mention your research objectives.
  • If any observations are included, they must be brief and use the same data mentioned earlier.

Quantitative research writing is based on theories, which must be considered. The basic elements to consider for this type of writing include theory analysis, an introductory context, scientific constructs, the importance of a problem, and the use of a hypothesis.

Describing Qualitative Results

Presenting qualitative research results can be compared to creative writing work. The main strategy here is to briefly overview and discuss themes, patterns, and diverse narrative styles. The challenge here is dealing with the raw data, like primary sources and quotes, while balancing it with your interpretation.

The rules to consider include the following:

  • All your data must support your research claims and objectives.
  • Don’t ignore negative results. If something does not support your research hypothesis, it still holds importance.
  • Offering results in a qualitative research summary makes it accessible.
  • Provide examples and describe your research process to make your research results more accessible.
  • Avoid explaining how the research data has been obtained; you only have to say what, not how.
  • Using quotes and direct citations is possible, yet you should not overdo it either, as it is the findings that matter, not the comparison that you do.

Discussing Unexpected Results

The chances are high that by writing a results section, you might encounter research results that are not typical or not expected. In such a case, the key is to remain honest and unbiased as you talk about certain limitations or a different take that has brought you to certain results. You must maintain transparency in your reporting style and include both good and bad outcomes. Give a hint to your readers that the results section of the research paper will be further discussed and explained in the Discussions and Conclusion sections of your research paper. If relevant, mention prior research and outline things with a brief description.

While you have to start with describing the findings, include a brief interpretation with an analysis of the results as to why you believe things are so, and talk about the significance of the overall research. If your research findings go against your hypothesis and Methods section by representing something totally unique, adding a description is necessary.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them?

While we know that writing the results section of a research paper is all about explaining what has been found without discussing things here, there are some other aspects that we must consider:

Overinterpretation of Results.

Do not get into the discussion part by including too much of your personal opinion. You only have to list the facts based on your hypothesis or a statement thesis.

Confusing Presentation of Data.

Do not use odd fonts or graphs that may confuse the readers. The recommended result section of a research paper font must be Times New Roman, point 12, or as provided in your grading rubric (see your citation style).

Including Irrelevant Data.

Avoid including information not mentioned in your methodology, Abstract, and research objectives. Use separate paragraphs, visual representations, and sub-headings if you have multiple ideas to discuss.

Failing to Acknowledge Limitations of Data.

It means that you should not eliminate any shortcomings in your findings. It is especially relevant when your research results and analysis represent something unexpected that goes against your hypothesis.

Inconsistent or Inaccurate Reporting.

Your findings must be presented accurately by using the correct terminology and using chronological order. Base your findings on the most to the least important.

Using Overly Technical Language.

While it will depend on your target audience, avoid getting overly complex with the technical terms by writing a results section of a research paper.

Ignoring Negative or Non-Significant Results.

Include all results you obtain, as it’s the only way to make your presentation in an unbiased manner!

Data Dumping.

When copying and editing research information, always double-check things and see if everything is mentioned in the correct order by checking the introductory part of the research paper again.

Not Following Journal Guidelines.

It is crucial to follow your citation style and the standards of scientific research. Consult your grading rubric and talk to your academic advisor when in doubt.

If you have to create a correlational research paper results section in APA format, don’t forget to view the main guidelines of this style or ask your teacher about the relevant instructions. This format is widely used to cite papers in sociology, psychology, and education studies.

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Making Your Results Section Stand Out

Summing up all the results section of scientific paper knowledge, our Papers Owl experts can state the following:

  • Use simple and accessible language in a passive voice tone.
  • The findings must be expressed objectively and without bias.
  • One must avoid an explanation of the findings.
  • Sub-sections must be used to describe the results, especially when using more than one research objective.
  • Remember to include the negative results, even if they go against your paper’s hypothesis.
  • Using illustrations, statistical data, tables, and figures is essential.

Following these rules, you will develop an excellent research paper results section!

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