What do we call research findings? It is a part of a research paper with the results and outcomes. How you write a research findings section depends on many factors, and they may differ. We use plenty of research methods to acquire and analyze scientific information. In fact, every science may have its methods of research.
If you are preparing your first research paper for publication in a scientific journal, a lot of questions and difficulties might arise. Several factors are significant for your publication: your scientific discipline, specialization, the area of research, and the publisher. In this article, you will find useful information that will be particularly helpful for an author who will publish his first research work.
The publisher (e.g., journal) typically provides all authors with the necessary instructions and guidelines where requirements to a scientific publication are thoroughly defined. You should look through some published papers that are similar to yours in the topic or methods used. Your results and the findings part ought to be written following certain defined requirements, and papers that have already been published could serve you as a good example. Study some of such papers and see how they are structured and formatted.
Pay special attention to such requirements as the length, if there are any restrictions as far as the use of content is concerned. Usually, you will write an interpretation in the discussion section, but some paper interpretations and findings are presented in one part. You should describe methods, provide background information in the earlier parts of the paper. Frequently in the findings part, you present a comparison between your results and other studies’ results. Anyway, you need to find out exactly what are the requirements for the findings part in the journal. It will also be helpful if you find out its readers’ preferences.
When you think about writing a findings section, consider how to write it according to the journal’s demands. Pay special attention to discoveries and experimental results. Your results will have to be relevant to your initial goals, but you should include even results that you haven’t anticipated. If your research paper is long enough, you might consider using subheadings to ease the reader’s understanding.
If you are going to present some data that is interesting exclusively for specialists, use appendices. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of the findings section, you will briefly summarize research questions and objectives. At the end of the section, you will need to summarize the main findings and provide a logical transition to the next section (in most cases — interpretation and discussion).
To organize your findings section is not a problem, and there are many ways to do it depending on the methods you’ve used or the type of your hypothesis. You should consider arranging information according to its importance or in chronological order. You can also explain and analyze your findings after each of them or after all of them.
To understand your research report easier, you should use figures, maps, tables, etc. To do it correctly, find out the journal’s main rules and instructions (what elements are allowed, required formats, how to number tables and figures). If you are going to use a table or any other visual element, you should first mention it in the text.
A figure or a table should also be understandable without reading about it in the text. Sometimes you can draw your tables and figures before you start your findings section. In some cases, it’s a great approach because when your tables are ready, they will be like guidelines or substitute for an outline.
Although some authors think it’s better to start the findings section by drawing a table, you should pay attention to the text of your paper first.
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Your findings section should be informative and written in a precise language. As your main objective is to present scientific information logically and without factual errors, your sentences should be simple but well-organized. It’s better to escape long monotonous sentences as they will interfere with the understanding of your research paper.
When you write for the journal, use the past tense and the active voice. Your text should be clearly written and contain no mistakes (grammar, spelling, or punctuation), which is significant to convey a concise meaning. If the text is verbose or you don’t use the correct meanings of the words, you might confuse the reader. Correct academic style and clear language greatly contribute to a better understanding of the paper. In the findings section, you usually use certain terminology.
The reader needs to understand all the abbreviations clearly. Words with vague or uncertain meaning should be clarified. The findings section is one of the most significant parts of your report, so make sure the reader needs no explanations to understand what you write, and there’s no need to look up any words or terminology and spend extra time on that. The information in your findings section should be logically organized, and the results of your research thoroughly presented. Pay special attention to your findings’ focal points and give a brief summary of the results to prepare the reader for a better understanding of the discussion part.
Check your text for errors
Now that your findings part is ready, you need to make sure it contains no mistakes and is presented in the way you want it to be presented to the reader. The information should be logical and consistent; use transitions between paragraphs where necessary. The visual elements should be properly formatted, numbered, and located where they should be. To check the text for language errors, read it aloud, and see if everything sounds well.
The result of your research findings should be presented in the best possible order for the readers to comprehend and concentrate on the main goals and important ideas. If everything is done correctly, the reader is better prepared for the next parts (discussion and conclusions). It takes plenty of time to explore material, analyze it using specific methods, bring up relevant examples, and it’s no wonder you can miss something. To be sure that your paper is flawless, you might need to ask a friend or a relative to read your paper and say their opinion about it or correct mistakes if there are any.
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