Your result chapter, what is it about?
The result chapter of your work is the section that comes after the method part, you get to present your findings, the data gotten, you report your results based on the methods that you employed in carrying out research. The results have to be presented in such a coherent manner and orderly so that it can be easy to understand for the reader and it must be relevant to the research question that you set out to answer in the first place. The things you present in this chapter of your work should be your findings and your findings alone. Your results or data can be presented in charts, tables, graphs or figures. You should also be able to give a contextual analysis of your results, in as much as you present your results with figures and tables, they should not replace text, you should report your results in texts where and when necessary. Ensure you give the results that are significant to your fundamental research question. Writing the results chapter of your paper very well is very critical to the quality of your paper, so after gathering all your data from the laboratory experiments, questionnaires or other methods, it is imperative that you present your data in a most appropriate way. If you are looking to how you can write the result chapter of your work, then this article on ‘how to write the results section of your research paper’ will help you.
These steps will guide you in writing a good result chapter for your research paper:
Restate your objectives
You should start the result chapter of your paper by restating the objectives of your work, you should let them in on the basic question you are trying to answer. This will help to refocus your readers’ attention on the core of your work. The fact that they have been through your work from the introduction, through the literature review and methodology, now you will have to redirect their attention more specifically towards your main focus in the research.
Design tables and figures
You should organise your data into tables and figures where necessary. These are good ways to represent your data in a more visible and clear way. You should arrange the tables and figures in the right order. Your tables and figures should be explanatory enough, not too complex but detailed enough for good comprehension. You should also ensure that you give the right captions to your tables and figures. They should be used as a visual means of talking about your research findings, avoid repeating results. Be sure to number them as appropriate. Number the tables and figures separately. For example, if you have figure 1, figure 2, figure 3, etc. then the first table wherever it comes up either before or after will also be table 1 on to table 2, etc.
Present your results
You should draft the first write-up for your result chapter. Give the right contextual analysis by means of reporting your findings.
Edit/proofread the draft
You should go through your result presentation until you are satisfied with the way your results are communicated to your readers. Each aspect of the result presentation should be in the order of your major research questions and should serve to prepare your readers’ mind for the discussion section of your research work.
In presenting your results in your research paper, make do with the following tips to craft a more presentable and proper result presentation.
Go through guidelines
You should take the necessary time and effort to check for the guiding format or patterns for you to write the result section of your paper in your institution. Don’t assume that you can just do it anyhow you feel, you don’t want to claim ignorance when you could have otherwise sought for proper information so that your work can be in line. You may also go through other projects written in your field and observe the manner in which they present their results, you may use that knowledge too to present your results in a more appropriate way.
Endeavour to write in the past tense and use active voice
Since you are reporting results from studies that you’ve carried out, then the tense should be more of past, and you should use more of active voice kind of writing. Active voice is more direct and stronger than the passive voice.
The use of sub-headings in the presentation of your results will go a long way in helping to put more clarity and organisation in your work. The reader will be able to flow better, and the organisation can give a better perception of your paper. You could use the sub-headings to group results that are similar together.
Don’t include key discussions
You should not discuss about your key discoveries in the result chapter, you should leave them to the discussion section. Findings that are very significant to your research work, simply report them but leave out the interpretations for the discussion part.
You should consciously go through all your results after presenting them, go through the tables, figures, charts, and graphs to be sure that all your data are correctly presented.
Your results should be presented in ways as clear as possible. Don’t make claims that are not true. Don’t make statements that cannot be backed by your results. Don’t exaggerate results. Just present your results as clear and accurate as possible without sentiment or bias. Whether or not your results agree with your hypothesis or not, and whether they were expected or not, just report your findings accurately. Don’t be subjective in your writing as to what you expected or wanted. Let your results be presented in a logical and comprehensible way for your reader to follow.
Explain the tables and figures
When you refer to the tables and figures, make sure you explain properly and exhaustively as much as necessary your tables and figures so that the reader can have a clear understanding of what you are presenting. When you are done explaining for a particular table, figure, chart or graph, you can then move to the next one.
Ensure that the sequence in which you present your results tallies with either the order of your hypothesis or methods used to carry out the study. Doing it this way means more organisation in your work and the results will be easier to connect to things you have stated earlier on.
You should go ahead and allow other people to review your work after writing. Could be your friends, colleagues, lecturers or experts in that field, allow them to go through the write-up and point out their observations and also give well-meaning insightful ideas to make your work standard.
Applying the above principles to go about writing the result part of your work will help you to easily prepare a good write-up and with less errors. It is important to keep in mind that your findings are important but knowing how to present them is even also very important.