If these additional findings relate to your main finding, discuss the associations. Paragraph 4: Discuss the limitations of the study.
Discuss potential limitations in study design. For example, how representative was your model? Did sample size affect your conclusions? Consider how these limitations affect the interpretation or quality of data. Do they affect the ability to generalize your findings? Paragraph 5: Discuss future directions. What major follow up studies are indicated based on your results?
Most studies yield new discoveries that prompt additional studies. Consider what new directions are supported by your findings. For example, do your experiments suggest that a specific molecule should be tested as a new drug target or that tissue-based studies or clinical investigations should be performed to translate your animal studies to patients?
Making recommendations for follow-up studies is an important part of a Discussion. Paragraph 6: Discuss your overall conclusion and the major impact of your study. What is the main take-home message of your study? What is the main contribution that your study makes to your field? Relate this section to the first paragraph of the Discussion. In summary, a strong Discussion includes a concise summary of the problem you are investigating and a critical discussion of major and minor findings in the context of published literature.
The limitations should also be acknowledged, and future directions should be discussed. A strong ending is important; discuss the significance, overall conclusion, and major impact of your study. Scientific Writing Workshops If you like our articles, try our workshops! Our articles are based on the material from our scientific writing workshops, which cover these and many other topics more thoroughly, with more examples and discussion. We offer on-site workshops for your event or organization, and also host workshops that individual participants can attend.
Our on-site scientific writing workshops can range from hours to several days in length. We can tailor the length to suit your needs, and we can deliver a writing workshop as a stand-alone activity or as part of scheduled meetings. This would demonstrate to the reader that you have inadequately examined and interpreted the data. Overall Objectives The objectives of your discussion section should include the following: I.
You should write a direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results, usually in one paragraph. Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Consider the likelihood that no one has thought as long and hard about your study as you have.
Systematically explain the underlying meaning of your findings and state why you believe they are significant. If applicable, begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most significant or unanticipated finding first, then systematically review each finding. Otherwise, follow the general order you reported the findings in the results section.
Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research.
The discussion section should relate your results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for your research.
This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your study differs from other research about the topic. Note that any significant or unanticipated finding is often because there was no prior research to indicate the finding could occur.
If there is prior research to indicate this, you need to explain why it was significant or unanticipated. Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings It is important to remember that the purpose of research in the social sciences is to discover and not to prove.
When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. This is especially important when describing the discovery of significant or unanticipated findings.
Note any unanswered questions or issues your study did not address and describe the generalizability of your results to other situations. If a limitation is applicable to the method chosen to gather information, then describe in detail the problems you encountered and why. Make Suggestions for Further Research You may choose to conclude the discussion section by making suggestions for further research [this can be done in the overall conclusion of your paper].
Although your study may offer important insights about the research problem, this is where you can address other questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or highlight previously hidden questions that were revealed as a result of conducting your research. You should frame your suggestions by linking the need for further research to the limitations of your study [e.
NOTE: Besides the literature review section, the preponderance of references to sources is usually found in the discussion section. A few historical references may be helpful for perspective, but most of the references should be relatively recent and included to aid in the interpretation of your results or used to link to similar studies.
If a study that you cited does not support your findings, don't ignore it--clearly explain why your research findings differ from theirs. Problems to Avoid Do not waste time restating your results.
Should you need to remind the reader of a finding to be discussed, use "bridge sentences" that relate the result to the interpretation. Recommendations for further research can be included in either the discussion or conclusion of your paper, but do not repeat your recommendations in the both sections. Think about the overall narrative flow of your paper to determine where best to locate this information.
However, if your findings raise a lot of new questions or issues, consider including suggestions for further research in the discussion section. Do not introduce new results in the discussion section. Be wary of mistaking the reiteration of a specific finding for an interpretation because it may confuse the reader.
The description of findings [results] and the interpretation of their significance [discussion] should be distinct sections of your paper. If you choose to combine the results section and the discussion section into a single narrative, you must be clear in how you report the information discovered and your own interpretation of each finding. A research paper is not a literature review. DO NOT repeat verbatim or in detail results given in the results section. Limitations of the current study may be stated.
Thus, the findings may not be pertinent to other geographic regions. Additional study of large populations in other geographic areas should be considered.
Especially before writing the manuscript, the most important step at the start is to construct a draft, and completion of the manuscript on a theoretical basis. Through a combination of ELISAs and mass spectrometry-based assays, we identified cytokine A as being significantly up-regulated in resistant cells. University of Florida; Yellin, Linda L. However summarizing the basic findings of the experimental studies in the first paragraph is generally recommended by the editors of the journal. Annesley, Thomas M. What major follow up studies are indicated based on your results?
For example, do your experiments suggest that a specific molecule should be tested as a new drug target or that tissue-based studies or clinical investigations should be performed to translate your animal studies to patients? The discussion section should end with a concise summary of the principal implications of the findings regardless of their significance. The discussion section should remain focused on the findings of your study. This paragraph should be well-rounded, meaning that contrary reports must also be discussed. However, keep in mind that too much use of the first person can actually distract the reader from the main points [i.
Since they are unrelated both to the author s , and subject matter of the manuscript, these referees can review our manuscript more objectively. This is an important part of the paragraph and may require multiple paragraphs depending on the number of key studies that exist on your topic. Our approach on this subject is to write all structured parts of the manuscript at the same time, and start writing the manuscript while reading the first literature.