How To Write the Findings Section of a Research paper
One of the most critical sections of any research paper is the results or findings section. So, you have established what you are about to do and why, you have detailed the methodology and its justification, and you have perhaps also reported some key metrics of your exercise. But the real meat of any research paper is its results or finding section; where you finally state the new findings you want to share with your peers.
Writing the finding section is both critical and tricky. So, here are some basic tips on how to write the findings section of your research paper.
Tip 1: Keep the journal you want the research paper to be published in focus when you report your findings. Some journals may require much-detailed technical reporting, while for some you may stick to the basic arguments while data tables may be referred to in the annexure. Multi-disciplinary journals require a different approach than technical journals. Keep the target audience in mind while drafting the finding section. In some cases, a more comparative reporting is preferred, where you are supposed to posit your findings to some other reference to bring out the differences, while in some cases you may just have to focus solely on the results of your experiments.
Tip 2: much related to tip 1 but deserving a reference on its own is the author guidelines of every journal. Author guidelines have some technical specifications which need to be met, or else you risk rejection from the editors. Keep the focus on formatting styles, world limitations, instructions for tables, charts, and references.
Tip 3: How you arrange the finding section is critical. Usually, it starts by reiterating the aim and objective of the research paper. This helps bring the reader’s focus back to the key hypothesis and helps relate to the following reporting.
Tip 4: most authors prefer a ‘logical’ structure of reporting as it helps explain the results better. Posit the hypothesis, break it into the key research questions or focus areas, and report results for each focus question in a logical chronology. Each data point must logically lead to the other, and the entire narrative is to be stitched by your argument or the qualitative analysis you provide to the numbers being reported.
Tip 5: Even while reporting complex findings which may have several steps of reporting, it is suggested to highlight key findings, both for the section and the subsections if required. This helps maintain the narrative and readers do not get lost in an inundation of numbers and statistics.
Tip 6: Visual representations are a critical tool for reporting scientific research papers. Judicious choice of charts, types of charts, tables, and when to use which is required to best drive home the message. Charts and tables also require specific forms of formatting and presentation, often depending on the author guidelines referred to in Tip 2.
Overall, maintain a factual and objective manner while reporting the findings.