What Are The Main Parts Of The Research Paper Discussion Section?


Every research paper must have a discussion section. Its main purpose is to interpret or explain the results obtained from your experiments. The discussion section is also used to connect the abstract or introduction of the paper as well as the hypothesis with findings obtained from the field. The main aim is to move the reader from questioning to confirmation.

There are important questions that the discussion section of your research paper must answer.

  • Have we obtained an answer to your testable hypothesis? If this is the case, what interpretation can we draw from these findings?
  • Are the findings in line with those of other scholars as indicated in the literature review? If there is a deviation, does it suggest that there was a flaw in your experiments or those of other scholars?
  • What new understanding can be obtained from the findings of your experiments that will help us find a solution to the problem stated at the introductory phase?
  • Based on your findings, what other experiments will you do or need to be done?

The answers to these questions are provided in a discussion section that is structured in a prose form. The findings of the experiments are discussed in the order in which they appear. You should refer to the problem stated at the introduction phase and show whether the findings provide a solution or not.

The findings of other scholars must form part of the discussion section. They are predecessors in your area of research and therefore provide grounding. It means that you will be relating your own findings to those of other people who have studied the same area. Your findings will confirm the assertions made by other scholars, deny them or provide a new perspective.

The most important part of the discussion section of your research paper is when you make your contribution. You will seek the support of other scholars and extend their conclusions with your ideas. In some cases, you are required to negate the conclusions made by other researchers in order to confirm your own. Most importantly, you must tie up the hypothesis and research questions and justify your assertions using the results. This is the point where every single piece of the puzzle is resolved.

The discussion section of your research paper should clarify your activity throughout the paper. It should capture the importance of spending time on the experiments and their importance in advancing your hypothesis. Do not introduce any new findings at this section.