Academic Writing

How to Write the Results

The results section should present the study’s findings in 6-8 paragraphs (~1,000 words or ~30-40% of manuscript text) for all outcomes outlined in the methods section. The results should be described in a clear, concise format and logical flow using text, tables, and figures. Any data listed in tables should not be repeated in the text, however, all major findings should be described for readers. All tables and figures should be directly referenced in the text. State the statistical significance (e.g., P-value) of all findings and be sure to provide numerators and denominators for all percentages.

Beginning

The beginning paragraph should describe study population characteristics, including demographics, clinical conditions, and relevant procedures, testing, or imaging.

  • The first set of analyses examined the impact of …
  • The correlation between X and Y was tested using …
  • T-tests were used to analyze the relationship between …
  • The average scores of X and Y were compared in order to …
  • In order to assess Z, repeated-measures ANOVAs were used.
  • Nine items on the questionnaire measured the extent to which …
  • Table 1 presents the summary statistics for…

Middle

The middle paragraph(s) describes the primary study outcome results and discuss important information, often provided in tables.

  • The table below illustrates some of the main characteristics of the …
  • The results of the correlational analysis are shown in Table 1.
  • What stands out in the table is …
  • Strong evidence of X was found when …
  • A significant positive correlation was found between X and Y.
  • No increase in X was detected.
  • No difference greater than X was observed.
  • No significant differences were found between …

End

The last paragraph should discuss secondary study outcome results and any other findings.

  • Interestingly, the X was observed to …
  • This result is somewhat counterintuitive.
  • A comparison of the two results reveals …
  • Turning now to the experimental evidence on …
  • Overall, these results indicate that …
  • In summary, these results show that …
  • In summary, for the informants in this study, …
  • Together these results provide important insights into …

References

  1. The EQUATOR Network. Reporting guidelines for main study types. Published 2020. Accessed August 5, 2020. https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/ 
  2. Kotz D, Cals JWL. Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part V: results. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2013;66(9):945. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.04.003
  3. Vintzileos AM, Ananth CV. How to write and publish an original research article. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2010;202(4):344.e1-344.e6. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2009.06.038 
  4. Branson RD. Anatomy of a Research Paper. RESPIRATORY CARE. 2004;49(10):7.

Further Reading

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