Simple tips to write the discussion part of an academic paper

Simple tips to write the discussion part of an academic paper

This is certainly perhaps one of the most challenging questions people have ever asked me, because after looking through dozens of journal articles in my own Mendeley database, I could not find most of them who used Discussion sections. I really believe this notion of this Discussion component of an journal that is academic (or book chapter, in many cases) originates from the IMRAD model of publishing, that is, papers which have at least listed here five sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Analysis and Discussion (hence the acronym).

Personally, I neither like, nor do I often write this kind of journal article. Even if I happened to be a chemical engineer, I can’t recall as they all had a variation (merging Discussion with Results, or Results with Conclusion, or Discussion with Conclusion) that I read many papers in the IMRAD model,. I read engineering, natural science and social science literatures as I said on Twitter. Thusly, the Discussion sections that I read vary QUITE A BIT.

All Discussion sections I’ve read are

  1. analytical, not descriptive,
  2. specific inside their interpretation of research results,
  3. robust in their linkage of research findings with theories, other empirical reports and literatures that are various
  4. good at explaining how a paper’s results may contradict earlier work, extend it, advance our knowledge of X or Y phenomenon and, most definitely:
  5. NOT in conclusion for the paper.

The thing I think is essential to remember when writing the Discussion portion of a paper, is always to really ANALYZE, not just describe. Link theories, methods, data, other work.

My post in the difference between Description and Analysis should allow you to write Discussion sections. https://t.co/oxz8uIY3Pd you should all read Graf and Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say https://t.co/yDXHawbez1 as preparation to write Discussions – for the rhetorical moves.

As usual within my blog posts, I here url to a few resources that could be of help (written by other authors).

  • Dr. Pat Thomson, as always providing advice that is great Results/Discussion sections of journal articles.
  • A handout that is handy what gets into all the IMRAD sections.
  • Note how this short article by Sollaci and Pereira on 50 several years of IMRAD articles doesn’t have a Conclusion section (oh, the irony!). However, their Discussion section is fairly nice, albeit brief.
  • This informative article by Hцfler et al offers good advice on integrating substantive knowledge with results to create a discussion section that is solid.
  • In this specific article, Цner Sanli and coauthors provide great suggestions on simple tips to write a Discussion area of a article that is journal.

Within my Twitter thread, I suggested techniques to discern (and learned from) how authors have written their discussion sections.

In the event that you now see the Discussion section, you will see that in my own yellow highlights, I’ve noted how this article that is particular towards the literature. This might be part of what is going within the Discussion section. Significantly more than explaining results, how your results connect to broader debates. pic.twitter.com/a19hE5FB9d

Discussion sections are particularly used in articles that follow the IMRAD model https://t.co/FzunG4tnce I love this Power Point on what should go in each of the IMRAD sections https://t.co/SQLVLsD6JB – what I’ve found is the fact that often times, Discussion sections are blended/morphed

There are times when scholars write my essay for me blend Discussion and Conclusions, or Results and Discussions sections. This is not even discipline-dependent, it is author-dependent.

For example, in this #Free2DownloadAndRead World Development article, the discussion section is blended aided by the results. https://t.co/cgB82kYXla This is common, and I personally don’t have any objection to doing this. In terms of PhD dissertation and discussion chapters: this is challenging

Another example, now from the justice field that is criminal.

That they bring back their empirical results to the broader debates if you notice how these authors start their Discussion section, you’ll see. That’s what I have observed in most Discussion sections of journal articles (in engineering, public health and some pysch). pic.twitter.com/wpH9jGghjk

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