Research Paper Results Section

The research paper results section is key when writing a research paper.[nbsp]

Accordingly, this section is considered one of the key steps for writing a research paper.

It plays an important role in shaping the conclusions to be arrived at in a research study.

Its purpose is to present the findings of a study obtained from the application of the methods stipulated in the methodology section.

The section is more prominent in qualitative data analysis.

Notably, the results section should prepare the reader for evaluation and interpretation of results in the discussions section.

It intends to dissect the different types of qualitative data as well as quantitative data into distinctive characters that reflect the relationship between the results and the research question (s).[nbsp]

Structure of the Research Paper Results Section

Just like there is a research paper structure, there is a results section structure. The results section structure is critical in enhancing effective flow of information in data presentation.

It plays a major role in effective depiction of relationships in the research data.

Per se, there are two major research paper results section formats. They are as discussed below.[nbsp]

Section 1: Results followed by a brief explanation of the findings

This format requires you present the research results and then briefly explain the findings next to or below the particular results.

The explanation should be done only when necessary. It should be brief and stick to only highlighting unusual phenomena in the results.

For instance, uncommon correlation between specific variables noticed during the data analysis should be mentioned after the actual data is presented.

This should however stop at the mere mentioning of the relationships.

Speculations on the reasons for the existence of the correlation and suggestions of hypothesis on the possible causes of the correlations should be part of the results discussions section.

An examples of this format could assume the approach in the below example.


Results on specific questions scores indicated a significant difference in reading levels among learners in different levels, F (1, 25) = 2.75, MSe = 292.78, with the distinctive interacting elements study group showing better performance.

Section 2: Results followed by its discussion

This format deals completely with a particular data set before proceeding to the next one.

Particularly used in qualitative data analysis, this format requires you to discuss data immediately after it has been presented.

Each specific finding is coupled by a comprehensive discussion subsection to help the reader effectively synthesize the findings.

The approach is more preferable in longer papers to help avoid the potential for confusion in data analysis.

Per se, the format requires a research results section conclusion that ties the different findings together and their respective relationships within the overall discussion.

An example of results presentation assuming this format is as illustrated below.


General and specific reading scores were analyzed independently using STATA. Results obtained on reading scores indicated no difference between classes, F (1, 25) = 2.75, MSe = 292.78. The level of significance used in the entire report was .05. The test phase indicated significant difference…


Content of the Research Paper Results Section

The content of the results section should be precise and brief.

This is particularly for qualitative data analysis, where data could be voluminous and expansive in the scope of variables and potential interpretations.

Note that it is important to ensure that there are no repetitions in data presentation.

To effectively avoid repetition, you need to clearly understand the different content that should appear in the results section. Such content include:

1. Introduction

A good research paper results section should have an introductory part that contextualizes the results. It should restate the research problem being investigated by the study.

2. Summary of key findings

The results section should summarize the major findings derived from the study. This summary should be logically organized.

Rightly, it should reflect the steps provided for in the methodology section.

3. Non-textual elements

The non-textual elements are some of the most important data presentation tools in the results section.

A good research results section must incorporate tables, figures, charts, maps, and other graphs.

These tools are important in helping the reader understand the entailed research data and findings.

4. Results description

The research paper results section should systematically describe the obtained findings by stipulating the different observations made that are critical to the phenomenon under study.

Note that the description should only focus on the data the answers the research question (s).

5. Relevant data

As earlier pointed out, the results section should incorporate only the findings that are relevant to the issue (s) being studied.

Findings not directly related to the research problem should therefore not be incorporated in this section; instead, they should appear in the appendices section.

Research Paper Results Section’s Tables and Figures

Tables and figures do not only make the results section look organized but also help make the findings easy to understand.

This said, you should adhere to some basic rules when using tables and figures in presentation of findings.

These rules include:

1. They should be clearly numbered

Tables and figures must be effectively numbered, and in some cases given a title.

The numbering should use conventional methods, particularly the numerical system. For instance, it should appear like, Chart 1, Chart 2, Graph 1, Graph 2, Table 1, Table 2, etc.

2. They should appear only once

In this, you should either present the tables and figures in the results section or in the appendices.

They should not appear in both because this would amount to duplication.

3. They should have a caption

Although different approaches could be adopted in captioning the tables and figures, a good research paper results section should ensure that each table or figure is well explained.

In most cases, the caption is placed below the figure or the table.

4. They should be independent of each other

When presenting findings using figures and tables, you should ensure that the reader can understand each table or figure on its own.

Findings that cannot be understood on their own should be combined with those that make them appear sensible.

5. They should exclude raw data

In this, you should avoid presenting tables and figures with raw data in the research paper results section.

Such tables and figures should appear in the appendices.

Problems to Avoid in the Research Paper Results Section

There are various areas that could be confusing in the research paper results section.

Errors in these areas are likely to cloud the results section and interfere with the consequent research paper sections.

To avoid these errors, you should adopt the below measures:

1. Presenting raw data

It is a mistake to include raw data and provisional calculations in the research paper results section.

Raw data generated from tools such as interviews and transcripts should appear in the appendices.

2. Discussing the results

In this section, you should avoid any discussions or interpretations of the research results and findings.

3. Overlooking negative results

It is very important to include results that negate your hypothesis.

You should highlight them in the results section and then go ahead to explain their cause and implications in the discussions section.

4. Being vague

The research paper results section should be as precise as possible. You should learn the different terms and phrases that help to make the results section more specific.

5. Using present tense

Using present tense in the results section is a common mistake to avoid. You should always use past tense in this section.