Write the results (the section) is where you report the main conclusions of the collection and thedata analysis you have done for your thesis or dissertation. You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order. Do not include subjective interpretations of why you found these results or what they mean – any assessments should be saved for the review section. discussion.
The goals of your Results section are:
- Describe and explain the data you have obtained with your methods, as objectively as possible and in a narrative form, and
- To communicate a take home message based on this data.
While your figures give your readers the opportunity to examine your data directly and draw their own conclusions, the Results section offers more support for the process of interpreting the data by explaining the experimental logic, highlighting important features of the data and stating your conclusions.
Success criteria for a Results section:
- The data and conclusions drawn from them are described clearly and without speculation.
- Data is presented in a narrative flow without logical jumps.
- The story is based on a take-home message.
Keep a storyline
A great way to find a narrative order for your results is to first organize your numbers. Before writing your results, you should have decided on the set of numbers that will be included in your article. Each figure should support a specific conclusion and provide the data the reader needs to evaluate that conclusion (see figures).
Rearrange your numbers until you have found an order that creates the most logical series of conclusions possible, leading to your final result. Use this series of figures/conclusions as a sketch of your results.
Each major conclusion (which can correspond to one or more numbers) can become the title of a subsection of your Results. This modular organization will help readers navigate your article by quickly matching numbers to results and vice versa.
Example of a narrative framework for hard science results
If you've conducted quantitative research, you'll likely be working with the results of some sort of statistical analysis.
Your results section should report the results of any statistical tests you used to compare groups or assess relationships between variables. It should also indicate whether or not each assumption was supported.
The most logical way to structure quantitative results is to frame them around your research questions or hypotheses. For each question or hypothesis, share:
A reminder of the type of analysis you used (for example, a two-sample t-test or a regression simple linear). A more detailed description of your analysis should be included in your section methodology.
A concise summary of each relevant result, both positive and negative. This can include all relevant descriptive statistics (eg means and standard deviations) as well as inferential statistics (eg t-scores, degrees of freedom and p-values). Remember that these numbers are often placed in parentheses.
A brief statement of how each result relates to the question, or whether the hypothesis was supported. You can briefly mention any results that did not meet your expectations and assumptions, but keep any speculation about their meaning or implications for your discussion and conclusion.
In quantitative research, it's often helpful to include visuals like graphs, charts, and tables, but only if they're directly relevant to your results. Give these elements clear and descriptive titles and labels so that your reader can easily understand what is displayed. If you want to include other visuals of a more tangential nature, consider adding a list of figures and tables.
- Tables are used to communicate exact values, giving a concise overview of the different results
- Graphs and charts are used to visualize trends and relationships, giving an at-a-glance illustration of key findings
Don't forget to also mention any tables and figures you used in the text of your results section. Summarize or expand on specific aspects that you think your reader should know rather than just repeating the same numbers already given.