ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips to Write Discussion Part of a Scientific Paper

Updated on September 6, 2014


A daunting task in the career of science graduates, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and faculty members is to report their research work by writing to peer-reviewed journals. Publications are like hard currency for scientists. Publication record is one the factor that determines a scientist’s reputation and career in the respective field.

Research articles in any field of science will have introduction, materials & methods, results and discussion. The discussion is the major section of a manuscript that is used to interpret, prove and explain the results of the study. Additionally, this section is also used to defend the research questions that are raised in the introduction part of the manuscript.

The discussion can run for several paragraphs. It depends on a number of factors such as the objective, number of methods and results generated in the study. Some journals impose restrictions on the number of pages of the article. In that case, one has to balance the lengths of discussion. Yet, discussion will be the core unit and will occupy major portion of any research article.

How to write discussion for a research paper

The sequence of writing the discussion is: state the outcome of the study with relevant results and methods; cite the work of others that are similar or different to your findings; provide rational reasons for agreeing or disagreeing. The order can be changed and there is no role of thumb for it. The easy way to start to write the discussion is to make it into three major parts: (1) opening statements or paragraph (2) body (3) summary and conclusion.

The opening statement gives the whole picture of the study. It should contain the answers to the following questions:

·What the study is about?

·Highlighting the results or findings

·What novel thing has been discovered or identified

For instance, In this study, we screened the plant products for analgesic and antidepressant activity using in vivo and in vitro experiments. We identified that among ten compounds five of them were effective in reducing pain and depressive-like behaviors in animal models of neuropathic pain. Additionally, our in vitro experiments demonstrated that these compounds mediate their mechanism through G-protein coupled receptors. These findings suggest that the compounds isolated from the plant products have potential analgesic and anti-depressant activity.

This should be few lines in length.

Body of the discussion

This will be the core section of discussion part. Writing this part will be challenging, and each discovery or results of the study should be supported by ample evidence. The below tips will help you to write this section.

(1)Inform about previous important studies that are closely related to the topic or subject that you want to communicate. All prior works have to be supported with appropriate references.

(2)Point out what has not been studied and also, the drawbacks of the reported work, and why it is important to prove or work on that.

(3)Name the methods or approaches used in the study to address specific research questions.

(4)Present your findings clearly. Avoid repeating all the outcomes details that you have written in the result section of the manuscript. Highlight major discoveries and tell how it supports the existing problems. Refer to the tables and figures to explain your results evidently.

(5)Cite reasons if your results are similar to published reports or defend if it is conflicting. Give suggestions on improving the methods or approaches.

(6)Maintain the sequence of the findings and describe how they are related to each other.

(7)Finally, inform rationally how your work has filled the gap in that particular line of research.

This exercise is repeated to all the major experiments and related results regardless whether it is statically significant or not. Use separate paragraphs to report each of your findings and linked methods you used to prove it. Therefore, the number of paragraphs and length of the body section depends on a number of results that you wish to discuss.

Summary and Conclusion

Some authors prefer to summarize and conclude their studies in a single paragraph under discussion section. Others will break the conclusion into a separate section. Here you will repeat all your innovations and their significance to the field of research in a concise form. You can also use this last paragraph to write about the follow-up question be, identify the potential limitations, and suggestions to improve the study by proposing a new hypothesis.

Additional tips

·Choose several articles related to your area of research and read the discussion part to get an idea how to reason your findings. It is better to read publications from reputed labs or from journal with high-impact factor.

·Most part of the discussion is written using the past tense.

If this hub has served you with useful tips, please scroll down to vote. Thanks.

Below hubs may be useful for scientists

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)