- Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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- Writing an Education Research Paper
- APA Sample Paper // Purdue Writing Lab
You can assume that anybody reading your paper is familiar with the basic methods, so try not to explain every last detail. For example, an organic chemist or biochemist will be familiar with chromatography, so you only need to highlight the type of equipment used rather than explaining the whole process in detail. In the case of a survey , if you have too many questions to cover in the method, you can always include a copy of the questionnaire in the appendix. In this case, make sure that you refer to it. This is probably the most variable part of any research paper, and depends on the results and aims of the experiment.
For quantitative research , it is a presentation of the numerical results and data, whereas for qualitative research it should be a broader discussion of trends, without going into too much detail. For research generating a lot of results , then it is better to include tables or graphs of the analyzed data and leave the raw data in the appendix, so that a researcher can follow up and check your calculations.
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A commentary is essential to linking the results together, rather than just displaying isolated and unconnected charts and figures. It can be quite difficult to find a good balance between the results and the discussion section, because some findings, especially in a quantitative or descriptive experiment , will fall into a grey area.
Try to avoid repeating yourself too often. It is best to try to find a middle path, where you give a general overview of the data and then expand on it in the discussion - you should try to keep your own opinions and interpretations out of the results section, saving that for the discussion later on. This is where you elaborate on your findings, and explain what you found, adding your own personal interpretations. Ideally, you should link the discussion back to the introduction, addressing each point individually. In keeping with the hourglass principle, you can expand on the topic later in the conclusion.
The conclusion is where you build on your discussion and try to relate your findings to other research and to the world at large. In a short research paper, it may be a paragraph or two, or even a few lines. In a dissertation, it may well be the most important part of the entire paper - not only does it describe the results and discussion in detail, it emphasizes the importance of the results in the field, and ties it in with the previous research. Some research papers require a recommendations section, postulating the further directions of the research, as well as highlighting how any flaws affected the results.
In this case, you should suggest any improvements that could be made to the research design. No paper is complete without a reference list , documenting all the sources that you used for your research.
Common core geometry unit 1 lesson 5 homework answers
This should be laid out according to APA , MLA or other specified format, allowing any interested researcher to follow up on the research. One habit that is becoming more common, especially with online papers, is to include a reference to your own paper on the final page. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:.
Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 5, Parts of a Research Paper. Retrieved Oct 19, from Explorable.
Writing an Education Research Paper
The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. That is it. The transition into interpretive language can be a slippery slope. Consider the following two examples:.
The duration of exposure to running water had a pronounced effect on cumulative seed germination percentages Fig. The results of the germination experiment Fig. Strategy for Writing the Results Section. Frequently asked questions FAQs. What are the "results"? Those observations are then analyzed to yield an answer to the question.
In general, the answer is the " key result". The above statements apply regardless of the complexity of the analysis you employ. So, in an introductory course your analysis may consist of visual inspection of figures and simple calculations of means and standard deviations; in a later course you may be expected to apply and interpret a variety of statistical tests.
You instructor will tell you the level of analysis that is expected. For example, suppose you asked the question, " Is the average height of male students the same as female students in a pool of randomly selected Biology majors? You would then calculate the descriptive statistics for those samples mean, SD, n, range, etc and plot these numbers. In a course where statistical tests are not employed, you would visually inspect these plots. Suppose you found that male Biology majors are, on average, Differences, directionality, and magnitude : Report your results so as to provide as much information as possible to the reader about the nature of differences or relationships.
For eaxmple, if you testing for differences among groups, and you find a significant difference, it is not sufficient to simply report that "groups A and B were significantly different". How are they different? How much are they different? See also below about use of the word " significant. Organize the results section based on the sequence of Table and Figures you'll include. Prepare the Tables and Figures as soon as all the data are analyzed and arrange them in the sequence that best presents your findings in a logical way. A good strategy is to note, on a draft of each Table or Figure, the one or two key results you want to addess in the text portion of the Results.
Simple rules to follow related to Tables and Figures:. The body of the Results section is a text-based presentation of the key findings which includes references to each of the Tables and Figures. The text should guide the reader through your results stressing the key results which provide the answers to the question s investigated. A major function of the text is to provide clarifying information. Key results depend on your questions, they might include obvious trends, important differences, similarities, correlations, maximums, minimums, etc.
Some problems to avoid :. Statistical test summaries test name, p- value are usually reported parenthetically in conjunction with the biological results they support. Always report your results with parenthetical reference to the statistical conclusion that supports your finding if statistical tests are being used in your course. This parenthetical reference should include the statistical test used and the level of significance test statistic and DF are optional.
For example, if you found that the mean height of male Biology majors was significantly larger than that of female Biology majors, you might report this result in blue and your statistical conclusion shown in red as follows:. If the summary statistics are shown in a figure, the sentence above need not report them specifically, but must include a reference to the figure where they may be seen:. Note that the report of the key result shown in blue would be identical in a paper written for a course in which statistical testing is not employed - the section shown in red would simply not appear except reference to the figure.
Present the results of your experiment s in a sequence that will logically support or provide evidence against the hypothesis, or answer the question, stated in the Introduction. For example, in reporting a study of the effect of an experimental diet on the skeletal mass of the rat, consider first giving the data on skeletal mass for the rats fed the control diet and then give the data for the rats fed the experimental diet. Report negative results - they are important!
If you did not get the anticipated results, it may mean your hypothesis was incorrect and needs to be reformulated, or perhaps you have stumbled onto something unexpected that warrants further study. Moreover, the absence of an effect may be very telling in many situations. In any case, your results may be of importance to others even though they did not support your hypothesis.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that results contrary to what you expected are necessarily "bad data". If you carried out the work well, they are simply your results and need interpretation. Many important discoveries can be traced to "bad data". Always enter the appropriate units when reporting data or summary statistics. Function : The function of the Discussion is to interpret your results in light of what was already known about the subject of the investigation, and to explain our new understanding of the problem after taking your results into consideration.
The Discussion will always connect to the Introduction by way of the question s or hypotheses you posed and the literature you cited, but it does not simply repeat or rearrange the Introduction.
APA Sample Paper // Purdue Writing Lab
Instead, it tells how your study has moved us forward from the place you left us at the end of the Introduction. Style : Use the active voice whenever possible in this section. Watch out for wordy phrases; be concise and make your points clearly. Use of the first person is okay, but too much use of the first person may actually distract the reader from the main points.
Approach : Organize the Discussion to address each of the experiments or studies for which you presented results; discuss each in the same sequence as presented in the Results, providing your interpretation of what they mean in the larger context of the problem. Do not waste entire sentences restating your results; if you need to remind the reader of the result to be discussed, use "bridge sentences" that relate the result to the interpretation:.
You will necessarily make reference to the findings of others in order to support your interpretations. Use subheadings , if need be, to help organize your presentation. Be wary of mistaking the reiteration of a result for an interpretation, and make sure that no new results are presented here that rightly belong in the results. You must relate your work to the findings of other studies - including previous studies you may have done and those of other investigators. As stated previously, you may find crucial information in someone else's study that helps you interpret your own data, or perhaps you will be able to reinterpret others' findings in light of yours.
In either case you should discuss reasons for similarities and differences between yours and others' findings. Consider how the results of other studies may be combined with yours to derive a new or perhaps better substantiated understanding of the problem. Be sure to state the conclusions that can be drawn from your results in light of these considerations. You may also choose to briefly mention further studies you would do to clarify your working hypotheses.