How to Write the Results Section of a Research Paper: Writing Tips & Examples

Results Section of a Research Paper

So, you’ve done the hard work of outlining your research study’s problem, and defining your objectives, and research questions, right? Of course, you must also lay out a process of what you did to answer your question(s) and objective(s).

Lastly, it’s about time to share your work with the readers. However, there’s just one minor detail, you have lots of last-minute questions such as:

  • How much details should you provide?
  • In what order should you describe your results? and 
  • And how to arrange your information? In table form, or in-text form?

Today, we’ll help you answer those questions and to help you write the best results section of a research paper, ever. 

What is a Results Section anyway?

A results section presents the opportunity for researchers to objectively report their findings. It is the third component of your research paper that comes after the introduction and methodology sections. Here’s the thing – the key here is objectivity with a basis in observable facts rather than opinions or feelings.

Note: Several philosophers suggested that we must never separate our point of view from our subjective experiences (Morales, Bax, & Firestone, 2020). However, the results section is meant to provide a brief account of the data you collected without making speculations. 

In other words, don’t include citations in this section because your statistical findings serve as the basis for your claims around the findings.

What You Should Include in the Results Section

While searching for information about “how to write the results section of a research paper”, you must understand that its structure is crucial. Ensure your outline of the research findings is concise and objective. Furthermore, its structure depends upon the research type. For instance, if your research paper is quantitative, it’s mandatory to mention the following:

  • Analysis type used in your investigation; 
  • Relevant inferential and descriptive statistics; 
  • Was the alternative hypothesis maintained for each question?

Contrarily, in qualitative research, the paragraph that provides the research findings must include other components such as: 

  • Recurring patterns; 
  • Significant or representative individual responses; 
  • Relevant citations for every question or theme. 

Note:  Refrain from explaining in detail or speculating in the results section.

Examples of the Results Section of a Research Paper

This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between academic performance, and sleep duration among high school students. 


  • The average sleep duration per night for the participants was 7.2 hours.
  • The average GPA for the participants was 3.4.

Statistically speaking, there was a significantly negative correlation between sleep duration and GPA. This simply means that some students reported sleeping for fewer hours. The result? Lower GPAs.


So this example doesn’t just present the findings clearly but also avoids any speculation about why less sleep leads to lower GPAs. 

How to Write the Results Section of a Research Paper: Tips

    • Always check and apply all the requirements: – Ensure you check and apply all the requirements of the journal you’re submitting for your work.
    • Keep it concise:-In the Results section, you must always write concisely and objectively. Dont leave interpretation for the discussion section.
    • Learn from colleagues:- Choose a few papers from your field, and include some published ones as well. Read them carefully as you observe how the Results section is structured. Look for the type and amount of information provided, and how these findings were explained in a logical order. 
    • Focus on visual elements:- These could be tables, figures, and supplementary materials. Try to understand what worked well in those papers and effectively convey their findings. 
    • Explain the sequence:- Your Results section must describe the sequence of what you did, how you found it, and how often a particular event or result occurred. 
    • Organization is key:- Try to organise this section based on the sequence of tables and figures that summarise the results of your statistical analysis. This way, its easier for readers to look at your work and understand your findings. 
    • Report your statistical findings:- Don’t describe every step of your statistical analysis. Tables and figures go a long way in a report summary.
    • Support visual elements:- Your summary text must support the visual elements. You must also explain your findings, and show how they helped to address your research questions. Furthermore, you must also explain how these visuals align with the objectives you presented in your introduction. 
    • Help the readers understand:- Here’s the thing, to avoid the part where your audience misiunderstands you, explain to them like a grade 5 student. Simple and easy. Always guide your readers through your reasoning process. 

Bottom Line

The general steps for writing the Results section of a research article are:

  • Check the guidelines of your target journal.
  • Read published articles in similar topics to your study.
  • Catalogue your findings in relation to the journal requirements.
  •  Design figures and tables to organize your data.
  • Write the Results section following the order of figures and tables.
  • Edit and revise your draft and seek additional input from colleagues or experts.

In summary, the results section of a research paper is a very crucial component that helps to support your arguments. So, always dedicate enough time to structure and write it effectively. 

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