The result and discussion sections are vital elements in an academic research paper. These sections come after the methods section and help you relate your findings to your hypothesis.
Students often poorly approach these sections, covering information that should be in one area in the other, resulting in loss of credits. Here, we will analyze how to represent the findings section of a research paper and various tips for a proper discussion in research.
What is the results section of a research paper?
The results section is a part of your research paper where you compile the data gathered from your fieldwork and present it logically. This section should also give a general description of what you deduced from your research.
Unlike other parts of a research paper, you should write the results in a passive voice to focus on the action instead of the person doing the action.
Read a sample of results section of a research paper on Network Security:
Computers are an essential part of today’s modern world, and as the reliance on computers grows so do the threats associated with modern technology. There are a number of security concerns related to computers including data hacking, identity theft, and financial theft. Personal information and business data that falls into the wrong hands can have grave safety and economic effects (Cavelty, 2016). Large organizations and major institutions are particularly at risk due to the extensive amount of data they possess. High-level network security is therefore essential for these organizations and any other businesses that require protection from malicious hackers.
The objectives of this study were to analyze the implementation of information security systems in an administrative context and to determine the procedures needed and the necessary technical advice required to guarantee the safety of the data handled by computer networks for FIT. The study hypothesized that privacy, remote printing, data and program back-up, and portable computers are key aspects of accurate network security and protection for FIT.
The findings of the study can be used to create a network security policy plan that will ensure maximum protection of the FIT computer networks and the information shared on these networks. This policy will be applicable to all individuals, computers, and data communication systems within the FIT networks, including personal portable computers. The study found the following elements to be essential to the effective protection of FIT networks:
FIT can claim any data and communication that passes through its computers and systems. FIT is mandated to inspect this information based on the assumption that any data conveyed through its networks is official and therefore concerns the organization directly. Users on FIT computers and systems therefore do not have any privacy and have no claim on the information conveyed. This should be clearly stated in the policy for the sake of users.
Portable computers that are linked to the FIT networks also present security challenges. These portable devices largely belong to employees and contain both personal information and FIT data. To ensure protection of the FIT data without encroaching on the privacy of the device owners the policy will outline ways for employees to keep their confidential information safe from administrators as their devices will automatically be scrutinized once they join the network. The policy will also give employees tips on how to keep their devices safe from theft.
Data and Program Backup
An essential element of security is storage. Storing of data must be done correctly in order to ensure the data is safe from all physical and virtual threats. The stored information should also be regularly analyzed to ensure it has not been tampered with, and to discard data that is no longer useful or necessary.
Remote printing is a normal and convenient part of the day-to-day activities of any organization. As part of the policy plan, all information shared to remote printers is open to scrutiny from FIT administrators. This provides the organization with another avenue to safeguard their data by reviewing all printed material and linking it back to its source.
These elements of security will be implemented as part of the policy plan along with other basic security techniques. All users of the FIT networks will be provided with unique passwords in order to access the information stored within these networks. This will help FIT keep track of the authorized users in their systems. Users will be required to keep these passwords private and change them following a defined period. The login and logoff process will also require the users to identify themselves. This is crucial as accurate identification allows administrators to trace any suspicious activity back to specific users based on the login and logoff data. Finally, restricted access on certain information will help improve network security by minimizing the exposure to potential threats.
When writing the results section of a research paper:
- Include a short introduction restating the research question.
- Mention the criteria for data collection and the characteristics of your study group.
- Describe the findings in the same order applied in your methods section. Each method has to have some result.
- Use visual charts to give the reader a simple representation of the data you have acquired. Some common elements to include in graphical representations in your work include the figure number, title, and label.
- Conclude with a small paragraph summarizing your key outcomes.
You should note that the results section should state the findings without interpretation.
Discussion section of a research paper
The discussion section covers your comments, interpretation, and deduction of the results regarding your hypothesis. Although the results and discussion sections may be merged in some papers, it is best to present them as distinct sections unless your tutor advises you differently.
Here, explain why you chose your method and either affirm or oppose the existing work in the field based on your findings. Also, delve into the reasons behind various phenomena and the approaches you would adjust to yield the intended results.
The data showed that there was a significant correlation between listening to fast, popular music and high scores on the spatial awareness test. Based on these findings, it appears that the percentage of questions correct on Newton and Bristoll´s Spatial Ability test was higher for participants exposed to a popular, high tempo song than any other type of music, and the control condition with no music.
Previous studies have shown that listening to music has a positive effect on spatial reasoning. Rauscher, Shaw and Ky (1993) have participants the spatial reasoning subsection of the Stanford-Binet IQ test after the were assigned to one of three listening conditions: the Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448, verbal relaxation instructions, and silence. A temporary improvement in spatial reasoning was shown in the Mozart condition, and this improvement was henceforth called the Mozart effect. This study aimed to assess whether other types of music can have a positive effect on this variable, and similar results were shown.
Other previous studies have shown similar effects of classical music. Gromko and Poorman (1998) found that listening to classical music had a positive effect on spatial reasoning in participants as young as three. Interestingly, researchers have also found this effect to be true of any music that is energetic and contains positive emotional qualities. Raucher and Hinton (2006) found that a participant´s score on a spatial reasoning test was likely to improve in any case where the listener enjoys the music. These results are in line with the findings of the current study: it can be assumed that the participants enjoyed listening to the popular songs more than the unpopular ones, and as such we see evidence of a strong effect for energetic songs that people enjoy listening to, as in the Raucher and Hinton study (2006).
Interestingly, the Mozart effect is not a universally accepted phenomenon within the literature. Pietschnig, Voracek and Formann (2010) conducted a meta-analysis of studies that followed up on the Rauscher et al. (1993) study. It has been noted that the findings of this study were hard to replicate, and the phenomenon is by no means universal. Pietschnig et al. (2010) investigated 40 studies which referenced over 3000 subjects, and found that the overall estimated effect is small in size for those who have been exposed to the same Mozart sonata. Pietschnig et al. (2010) suggest that there is little support for a performance enhancing Mozart effect, which ties in with the results of the current study. The suggestion from these results is that the Mozart effect is not related specifically to Mozart, but the right type of music can have a positive effect on spatial reasoning scores.
In another study designed to replicate the original Mozart study, Newman et al. (1995) investigated the same three conditions and were asked to provide additional information about their musical background and preferences. The findings from this study also showed that there was no specific difference between scores on tests in any of the groups, which again conflicts with the idea of a Mozart effect. A later study took this one step further and investigated the same phenomenon through a comparison of music by Mozart and Schubert (1999). This study compared these two listening conditions with a narrated story and silence. The results showed that performance on the spatial reasoning task was improved based on the listener´s preference, music or story, rather than on any specific Mozart effect. Again, this supports the results of the current study, which showed that popular and high tempo music is more likely to improve results than unpopular and slow tempo music. The suggestion here is that increased performance is a function of music preference and enjoyment, rather than specifically associated with classical music.
As noted, it was hypothesized that participants exposed to popular, high tempo music would perform better on the spatial-reasoning test than participants exposed to popular, slow tempo music or unpopular music at either a fast or slow tempo. The results of this analysis are interesting in a number of ways. The first is that popular and fast music seems to be more beneficial in terms of conducting a spatial ability test, which does not necessarily have any real life ramifications for intelligence or ability, but may be correlated to spatial intelligence. The use of a random number generator helps to reduce the likelihood of bias for the participants, meaning that there is little chance that this could be a sampling effect. The study also shows that listening to slower music, whether popular or unpopular, does not have the same positive effect on scores on this test, suggesting that listening to both popular music and fast music are most beneficial for high scores on a spatial ability test. Overall, the hypothesis that listening to popular and fast music is more likely to correlate with high scores has been proven as the results are statistically significant.
The results of this study suggest room for further research. It would be interesting to repeat this study with different genres of music, beyond classification into fast and slow. This will help highlight whether the scores on a spatial ability test are related to genre of music as well as its popularity or tempo. This study could have real-life ramifications for the music that people listen to when they study, particularly if the spatial-ability test correlates with success in other testing scenarios. People usually prefer to listen to slow and unobtrusive music when they are studying, but this study suggests that listening to the upbeat hits available on YouTube may be more effective.
For a concise discussion:
- Summarize your findings
- Interpret the results and compare them with your hypothesis
- Cover the implications of the results from your study
- Go over the limitations of your study
- Recommend what could be adjusted to yield more quality results in future
Phrases for writing results and discussion sections
you should clearly express points in the discussion to make your reader understand when you hint at a limitation, a recommendation, or implementation.
Some of the notable discussion sentence starters
- These results show…
- Our study shows a correlation between…
- This analysis shows evidence that…
- The findings on … show that…
- Contrary to the study by… these findings show that…
- Our results oppose the hypothesis… that…
- The research by … showed that… however, our experiment showed that
- A significant limitation to our study is…
- Our study was constrained by…
- This approach was greatly limited due to…
- More studies in the field are required to determine…
It is best to avoid speculation that cannot be derived from your data.
What’s the difference between results and discussion?
The results section comprises brief reports of what you got after the experiment. Conversely, the discussion section interprets the results and speculates why you found the results and what they mean for your study.
Additionally, you may have to add citations in the discussion section to put your results into context.
We hope this guide comes in handy to help you analyze the results of your paper and present them in an easy-to-read manner. It would be best to better check some results and discussion section examples to acquaint yourself with various sections of the findings section. Success in your paper!