How to write an elaborate Research Paper Discussion
One of the most enjoyable sections of a research paper, for many writers, is the discussion section. While research projects are generally quite strict in terms of structure and included material, the discussion section allows the writer some leeway in sharing their thoughts regarding the meaning of the results themselves.
What Makes the Discussion Section Different
In many ways, the discussion section diverges significantly from the rules and guidelines of the other sections of a research paper. Rather than focusing only on objective results and data, the discussion section presents a special opportunity for the writer to demonstrate their knowledge, background, and ability to think critically and creatively about the question posed. Exploring the implications of the results gained and how the results and the question are important to the overall topic allow the researcher to speculate and expand upon their own personal thoughts. It is also the writer’s time to explore the deeper meaning of their research, express its importance to the field, and demonstrate how they, personally, through their critical thinking, are important to their field. In a sense, while the results are the body of the project, the discussion section is its heart.
Things to Keep in Mind
While the discussion section affords a great deal more freedom in terms of creativity, subjectivity, and opinion, it’s important to follow some of the other general rules of research paper writing. For example:
- Avoid being overly verbose and steer clear of redundancy.
- Brevity, so long as it is clear, is still desirable.
- When using scientific terms, be certain to both define them clearly and use them consistently. Do not use jargon for its own sake.
- Despite being able to expand and branch out in terms of subject matter and speculation, it’s still just as important to maintain logic in your arguments.
- Be vigilant about your use of tense; results, specific studies, and other citations should be referenced in the past tense, while well-established facts may (and should) be discussed in the present tense.
Necessary Things to Include
There are certain elements all elaborate research paper discussion sections should include:
- Discuss whether or not the results were expected, highlight unusual results and any unanticipated patterns which emerged during the research.
- Discuss how your results fit in with the current body of research on the topic. This accomplishes two things: It provides context and provides depth of understanding.