The writing of the Result Section of your Research Article can be an intimidating ordeal for a lot of writers. The result section will reveal your findings to everyone. Following some simple approach in the planning of the result section will result in a succinct and comprehensible demonstration of your research.
Once you have collected the data, you need to analyze and interpret the results. Your analysis would comprise data summaries and statistical tests to authenticate your conclusions. Most researchers formulate their Tables and Figures after completion of the data analysis before they begin writing their Results section for the research article. Your results can only endorse or reject the hypothesis supporting your research. Nevertheless, formulating the results assists you to comprehend the research question from within, to break it into pieces, and to interpret the research problem from several standpoints.
The background information you described in the introduction section should offer the reader with supplementary context or explanation needed to understand the results. A good strategy is to always go over the introduction and methods section of your paper after you have written up your results to confirm that the reader has sufficient perspective to appreciate your results.
What are your Results?
When you test a hypothesis or ask a question that can be answered experimentally or by collecting samples, you accumulate outcomes. You then analyze the outcomes using various pertinent statistical tools (means, range, standard deviation etc.). The analytic tests will provide you with your key results. Key results may comprise of observable trends, essential differences, comparisons, similarities, maximums, minimums, correlations, etc. These results inform of your observations are then examined to generate an answer to your hypothesis/question. It is imperative to consider that the results of research may or may not prove a thing.
Why write your Results?
The purpose of the Results section is to quantitatively describe the key results you observed, without any opinionated interpretation. It is important to use your writing abilities to empirically present your key outcomes in a systematic and rational structure using descriptive materials and text. Draft the results section of your research article in such a manner that it provides comprehensive information to the reader about the nature of differences or relationships.
If you testing for variances amongst groups, and you wish to report a significant difference, it is not enough to just state that “group I and II were significantly distinctive”. It is better to elucidate how are they different and how much is the difference? Thus, it becomes much more explanatory if you write something like, “Group I entities were 31% larger when compared to those in Group II”, or, “Group I had the problem at twice the incidence of Group II.” Please, always report the direction/trend (greater, larger, smaller, etc.) and the scale/magnitude of differences (% difference, how many times, etc.) when possible.
How to organize the results section of your Research Article?
The amount and types of data to be conveyed establish the length of the results section of your manuscript. A major purpose of your manuscript is to provide clarifying information. Draft the results of your research in a structure that will logically support or disapprove the hypothesis being tested, or answer your question, stated in the Introduction. The organization of the Results section of your research article should encompass a text-based presentation of the key findings of your study. This should include references to each of the Tables and Figures. The text should serve as a guide to the reader stressing the key results that specify the answers to the question(s) investigated by you. Kindly refer to each Table and/or Figure exclusively and in a chronological sequence, and distinctly imply to the reader the key results that each of them conveys.
Do not shy away from reporting negative results – they too are important! The absence of an effect may be very decisive in many circumstances. Many significant scientific breakthroughs could be traced to “bad data”.
If you did not get the predicted results, it may imply that your hypothesis was incorrect and needs to be reformulated, or perhaps you have found something surprising and unanticipated that deserves further research. Do not be dismayed if the results of your research were antagonistic to expectations and label them as “bad or unwanted data”. If you conducted your research work appropriately and have honest results, then it needs due interpretation. You never know, your results may be of consequence to others who did not support your research hypothesis.
How to formulate the statistics in the result section?
The summaries of the statistical test (test name, p-value) should be described parenthetically in combination with the biological results they support. Always explain your results with parenthetical reference to the statistical inference that supports your finding. This should include the statistical test used and the level of significance. If the summary statistics are shown in a table or a figure, your text need not describe them specifically, but your should include the reference to the table/figure where they are shown (i.e. Table/Figure number). Try not to draft whole, specific sentences to explain a statistical outcome alone.
When reporting data or statistical analysis it is prudent to constantly enter the appropriate units. Place the unit after the error value when you include a measure of variability.
How to avoid misuse of the word “Significant”?
Many authors are inclined to use and/or overuse the word ‘significant’ to justify their results after statistical analysis. In scientific research, the use of the word “significant” denotes that the statistical test was used to make a conclusion about the data. Please try to minimize the use of the word “significant”.
If your statistical evidence incorporates a p-value that indicates significance (usually when p< 0.05), it is pointless to use the word “significant” in the body of the sentence because the whole scientific community interprets the p-value with a universal understanding. Similarly, when you submit that one group mean is somehow dissimilar from another, (and specifically if you define a p-value < 0.05) it would be easily comprehended by the reader that you tested this and discovered the difference to be statistically significant.
Tables and Figures in the Result Section of research article
Each Table and Figure must be mentioned in the text of the results section, to direct the attention to your key result(s) of your research. It is better to formulate the Tables and Figures that you would be incorporating in the research article as soon as you have compiled and analyzed all the data. Arrange them in a logical sequence that best represents your research findings. Follow these easy tips related to Tables and Figures:
Tables and Figures are allocated numbers separately and in a chronological order of appearance in the text. For example, the first Table would be labeled as Table 1, followed by Table 2 and so forth. Correspondingly, the first Figure is Figure 1, the next Figure 2, and so on. Every Table or Figure must include its legend. A legend is a concise account of the results being presented along with other necessary information that would make the table/figure understanding easier.
Every journal has different specifications, but usually, the legends for tables go above the Table, as tables are read from top to bottom. Whereas, legends for Figures go below the figure, as figures are viewed from bottom to the top.
Make sure that the number of the table/figure is accurately provided in the text of the result section of the research article. Refer to a Figure in the standard abbreviation “Fig” in the text, but a Table has no abbreviation, e.g. use Fig. 1 and Table 1.
Summarizing what should you write in your Result section.
1. Don’t succumb to the urge of including all the results. Determine which results to present by making a decision which results are significant to the questions available in the introduction irrespective of whether or not the results are in support of the hypothesis.
2. Result section is best organized in the order of most to least important results.
3. Decide how to present data description with the use of text, figures, graphs, or algorithms.
4. It is important to avoid repetition of information and use of long cluttered sentences. The past tense should be used when referring to the results.
5. Describe the results and data of the controls and include all the observations, which have not been presented in tables.
6. Provide data interpretation for the readers about the magnitude of a response. Simplify things with the use of percentage of change rather than exact data.
7. Ensure that data accuracy and consistency throughout the manuscript is followed.
8. Number figures/tables in a sequential manner in the same sequence they are mentioned in the text first. Depending on the article, they should be in order at the end of the report after the works cited or located in the text of your results section.
9. It is important to have headings for tables and figures. Depending on the article the table titles and figure legends should be listed as a separate entity or located above the table or below the figure. Each figure and table must be totally complete that it could stand alone, separate from the text.
The results section is like the heart of a paper, representing months of hard work. By writing direct, concise, and clear sentences the author leads the reader to his story. Avoid furnishing data that is not relevant to answering your research question. You must clearly differentiate evidence, and un-summarized raw data should not be included in the main text of your paper unless requested.
1. Elena D. Kallestinova. How to Write Your First Research Paper. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 84 (2011), pp.181-190.
2. Silvia PJ. How to Write a Lot. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
3. Swales JM, Feak CB. Academic Writing for Graduate Students. 2nd edition. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 2004.
Authors: Anurag Tewari MD & A. P Singh MD (APtizer)
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How to Cite this Article: Tewari A, Singh AP (April 2016). How to Draft the RESULT Section of your Research Article? Retrieved from (on date) http://www.pub4sure.com/blog/how-to-draft-the-result-section-of-your-research-article/
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