Guide on How to Write the Results Section of a Research Paper

The results section of a research paper is perhaps the most important section of a research paper. This section objectively reports your findings, helping your reader to gauge the validity of your argument. 

The results section thus validates the information you intend to add to the collective knowledge and thus gives bearing to your discussion. Unfortunately, the results section can prove challenging owing to its difference from other chapters. 

This article will guide you on how to write the results section of a research paper, and highlight various tips for acing the results section. 

What does the results section of a research paper include?

The results section of your paper should include a short introductory context that highlights the research question, laying a basis for the analysis of your results. This chapter should also report on the data collection methods, and highlight the procedure/criteria by which the participants were recruited.

Results may be presented in various methods, including but not limited to, graphs, maps, tables, and short discussions. The visual elements in the results section should be numbered properly and numbered for easy identification in the table of content. 

This chapter also includes an analysis of your data in short, concise paragraphs. The results should be reported as they are, without a bias towards the data that supports your point of view. 

How to write the results section

  1. Consult similar studies to analyze how the results were reported in their work
  2. Gauge your results as per the requirements of your instructions and catalog your results according to the research question they address.
  3. Prepare visual aids that summarize your results in a manner that a reader can analyze easily.
  4. Compile your results and gauge them for various errors.

How long is the results section of a research paper?

The results section should take up no more than 15% of your paper. This converts to 1500 words for a paper with a 15000-word count limitation and fifteen pages in 100 pages of a research paper.

Note that calculations and additional data behind your results should be included in the appendix section.

Tips for writing a results section

  1. Avoid including the minutia of your research data in the results as this may result in needless repetition and push your results section past its prescribed word count.
  2. Avoid restating information that has already been covered in the preceding sections of your research paper.
  3. Ensure that your results cover each aspect that was tested for in the methods section of your paper. 
  4. Do not discuss your results in this chapter, instead, delve into discussion within the body/ discussion chapter.
  5. Always edit your figures to ensure that they properly reflect the findings yielded by your study. 
  6. At the start of your results chapter, cover information regarding the flow of participants at each stage and indicate whether any data was excluded from the final analysis.
  7. Ensure that the results section provides enough data to justify your conclusions and claims
  8. Do not indicate cause-effect relationships between your results and conclusions. i.e. avoid writing, this proves that… It’s better to analyze each probable conclusion and lead your leaders to your preferred conclusion. 
  9. Include a short narration after integrating various visual aids into your results. 
  10. Always report your results in the past tense as they refer to a process that was already performed.

Results section APA

Many institutions recommend that the results section be written in the APA format. When writing your results in APA, you should highlight:

  • The flow of participants and the enrolment duration.
  • Any limitations that deterred you from investigating various parameters of your research
  • The descriptive statistics regarding your study group
  • Inferential statistics relating to your research

Final take

Writing a research paper often proves a challenging task for students. We hope that this guide has helped you manage your paper and properly report your findings. Feel free to consult our experts for custom research paper help and a relevant example results section of a research paper. 

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