Discussion Section of a Research Paper: Writing Instructions

A research paper is a pretty complicated piece of academic writing. No matter if you are a student or not, you will probably face it in some time. Traditionally, it is divided into several parts, which cannot be excluded from a document:

  • Introduction;
  • Methods;
  • Theoretical Background;
  • Experiment;
  • Discussion;
  • Conclusion.

Each section of a paper plays its own role. Each is aimed at making reading easier and more understandable for an audience, and writing easier for an author as well. In each research paper, discussion section plays a vital role. It is aimed at showing the author’s critical thinking, analysis, etc. Well, you will learn more about it below.

What is the Discussion Section of a Research Paper: Explain the Definition

The main thing that touches your discussion section is interpretation. You have to get the analyzed data, point out the essential discovery in it and compare with the theoretical background of the question. So, what is the discussion section of a research paper? Needless to say, that this part of your writing takes a quite important role and can influence your final grade. Well, it is not easy to define a discussion section of a research paper as it is a complex and complicated part.

You can consider it an attempt to include the discovery or the statistical data you have found into the already existing system of knowledge and science around your topic. You will compare your hypothesis with already proven theories, see if they correlate well. Discussion in a research paper correlates with the introduction.

While in the introduction you ask the research question and point out the hypothesis, in the discussion section you have to give answers to these questions and give arguments to prove or decline the suggestion.

For many people, it is considered to be the essence of your work. There are several reasons for that:

  • In this section, you demonstrate your skill of critical thinking, a vital ability of a researcher. Also, you show how you create exciting solutions to the troubles using logic and how you can form a deeper comprehension of the research subject.
  • In the section you represent your research, find the connections between it and other experiments and discoveries, and provide people with possible improvement and ideas for the further investigations.
  • You present the utility of your study and the ways it can improve science. Also, you compare your study with already existing literature and tell how it helps to make knowledge about a particular object or happening wider.
  • Also, you make a reader think more creatively and critically about the subject, engaging him or her to find more interpretations and researches.

How to Write a Discussion Section of a Research Paper — Essential Tips

There are several regulations that will help you with writing a discussion section. They are not strict rules but essential tips, so it is up to you to follow them or not:

  • Consider your discussion as a pyramid turned upside down. You have to move from more general questions to specific ones. The theoretical background should act correspondingly: at first, you refer to the literature, then to the general theory and in the end to your own research.
  • Follow the same style you were using in other parts of a paper. Use one set of terms for the whole paper. By the way, it is good to make a little glossary as an appendix to your writing to make reading easier for your audience.
  • If you want to know how to write a discussion section of a research paper, follow the questions you have asked in the introduction. Begin with an explanation of the research problem and continue with specific answers.
  • The proper sequence of facts and information is essential. You have to start with the answer to the question, then give the results of your research, then provide examples from other works.
  • You will have to analyze every piece of data you have got. Even if it was unexpected for you and was not implied by the research. Devote a separate part of the text to them. Explain your opinion on why the unexpected results happened.
  • Always interpret the results in the sequence they have appeared.
  • Provide people with possible weaknesses and limitations of the information you have just provided. Comment on the validity of the research and your discoveries.
  • Writing the discussion section of a research paper should be finished with the conclusion.

What to Include in the Discussion Section of a Research Paper: Structure Features

In general, there are four essential parts of your discussion section. Do not exclude any of this:

  • Your interpretation of the research results. You have to comment the utility and appearance of the results, whether they were expected or not. Mention all unexpected concepts and patterns and give your own definition, connecting them with the whole research.
  • One part of the section should be devoted to the researches made before. Compare them with your research. That is an absolute must of what to include in the discussion section of a research paper.
  • The next part of the section should be devoted to the explanation of how the acquired data will fit into general knowledge. Some people call this part deduction.
  • The end of your discussion part of a research paper should be given to the hypothesis. Try to make a general conclusion or a concept using the results of your experiment.

How to Start a Discussion Section of a Research Paper?

As we have already mentioned, the discussion part should start with the analysis and interpretation of your experiment data. Make sure you comment on every piece of the result in the order they have appeared.

Remember that your experiment is the essence of your paper, it is its skeleton and basis. Always start with it, and you will never be bothered with a question of how to start a discussion section of a research paper.

Discussion Section of a Research Paper Outline Example: Simplest Plan

In the end, we are going to supply you with a simple outline of the discussion section. Use this discussion section of a research paper outline example in your assignment, and you will never face problems again:

  • Explanation of Results – here you comment on the results of your experiment.
  • Previous researches – the place to mention and compare the researches made before with yours.
  • Deduction – generalizing the utility of the results.
  • Hypothesis – the concluding part of the discussion section.

That is it, and now you know almost everything about the discussion section. With all the notes, tips, and ideas from this article, it will never be a problem for you and your research paper again.