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General Research Paper Guidelines: Results


Generally, your results section should include a summary of your results detailing key findings. You will need to clearly and carefully explain a result, so readers understand your meaning, without falling into the trap of interpreting your results (which should be reserved for your discussion section). Include results that are both in line and run counter to any hypotheses you proposed.

Just as you have license to arrange your literature review in the way that best conveys the relevant literature on your particular topic, you have similar freedom when organizing your results section. However, a well written results section will include the following:

  • Context for understanding your results, including a reminder of your research problem or focus.
  • Non-textual elements, including charts, tables, and figures, as well as a description of these elements.
  • A systematic, clearly organized detailing of your key findings in past tense (as your research was conducted in the past).
  • A synopsis of key findings, which serves as a transition into your discussion section.

For more specific details on your Results section, be sure to review Tables 3.1 (pp. 77-81) and 3.2 (pp. 95-99) of your 7th edition APA manual.

*Box content adapted from:

University of Southern California (n.d.). Organizing your social sciences research paper: 7 the results.