Research Writing SY2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Continue to be concise, using figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively. See recommendations for content, below.

General intentThe purpose of a results section is to present and illustrate your findings. Make this section a completely objective report of the results, and save all interpretation for the discussion.

Writing a results section
IMPORTANT: You must clearly distinguish material that would normally be included in a research article from any raw data or other appendix material that would not be published. In fact, such material should not be submitted at all unless requested by the instructor.

Summarize your findings in text and illustrate them, if appropriate, with figures and tables.
In text, describe each of your results, pointing the reader to observations that are most relevant.
Provide a context, such as by describing the question that was addressed by making a particular observation.
Describe results of control experiments and include observations that are not presented in a formal figure or table, if appropriate.
Analyze your data, then prepare the analyzed (converted) data in the form of a figure (graph), table, or in text form.
What to avoid

Do not discuss or interpret your results, report background information, or attempt to explain anything.
Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper.
Do not present the same data more than once.
Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information.
Please do not confuse figures with tables - there is a difference.


As always, use past tense when you refer to your results, and put everything in a logical order.
In text, refer to each figure as "figure 1," "figure 2," etc. ; number your tables as well (see the reference text for details)
Place figures and tables, properly numbered, in order at the end of the report (clearly distinguish them from any other material such as raw data, standard curves, etc.)
If you prefer, you may place your figures and tables appropriately within the text of your results section.

Figures and tables

Either place figures and tables within the text of the result, or include them in the back of the report (following Literature Cited) - do one or the other
If you place figures and tables at the end of the report, make sure they are clearly distinguished from any attached appendix materials, such as raw data
Regardless of placement, each figure must be numbered consecutively and complete with caption (caption goes under the figure)
Regardless of placement, each table must be titled, numbered consecutively and complete with heading (title with description goes above the table)
Each figure and table must be sufficiently complete that it could stand on its own, separate from text

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