These include:. It is important to know how to integrate the literature review into the introduction in an effective way. Although you can mention other studies, they should not be the focus. Instead, focus on using the literature review to aid in setting a foundation for the manuscript. Literature reviews play an important role in the discussion section of a manuscript. In this section, your findings should be the focus, rather than those of other researchers. Therefore, you should only use the studies mentioned in the literature review as support and evidence for your study.
However, there are three common mistakes that researchers make when including literature reviews in the discussion section. First, they mention all sorts of studies, some of which are not even relevant to the topic under investigation. Second, instead of citing the original article, they cite a related article that mentions the original article. Lastly, some authors cite previous work solely based on the abstract, without even going through the entire paper.
We hope this article helps you effectively present your literature review in both the introduction as well as the discussion section of your manuscript. You can also mention any other tips that will add to this article in the comments section below.
Azar, Beth. Avoid Unwarranted Speculation! The discussion section should remain focused on the findings of your study. For example, if the purpose of your research was to measure the impact of foreign aid on increasing access to education among the poor in Bangladesh, it would not be appropriate to speculate about how your findings might apply to populations in other countries without drawing from existing studies to support your claim or if analysis of other countries was not a part of your original research design.
If you feel compelled to speculate, do so in the form of describing possible implications or explaining possible impacts. Be certain that you clearly identify your comments as speculation or as a suggestion for where further research is needed. The Discussion. Search this Guide Search. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences.
The Abstract Executive Summary 4. The Introduction The C. The Discussion Limitations of the Study 9. The Conclusion Appendices Definition The purpose of the discussion is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in light of what was already known about the research problem being investigated and to explain any new understanding or insights that emerged as a result of your study of the problem.
Structure and Writing Style I. General Rules These are the general rules you should adopt when composing your discussion of the results : Do not be verbose or repetitive Be concise and make your points clearly Avoid the use of jargon or undefined technical language Follow a logical stream of thought; in general, interpret and discuss the significance of your findings in the same sequence you described them in your results section [a notable exception is to begin by highlighting an unexpected result or finding in order to grab the reader's attention] Use the present verb tense, especially for established facts; however, refer to specific works or prior studies in the past tense If needed, use subheadings to help organize your discussion or to categorize your interpretations into themes II.
The Content The content of the discussion section of your paper most often includes : Explanation of results : Comment on whether or not the results were expected for each set of findings; go into greater depth to explain findings that were unexpected or especially profound. If appropriate, note any unusual or unanticipated patterns or trends that emerged from your results and explain their meaning in relation to the research problem.
References to previous research : Either compare your results with the findings from other studies or use the studies to support a claim. This can include re-visiting key sources already cited in your literature review section, or, save them to cite later in the discussion section if they are more important to compare with your results instead of being a part of the general literature review of research used to provide context and background information.
Note that you can make this decision to highlight specific studies after you have begun writing the discussion section. Deduction : A claim for how the results can be applied more generally. For example, describing lessons learned, proposing recommendations that can help improve a situation, or highlighting best practices. Hypothesis : A more general claim or possible conclusion arising from the results [which may be proved or disproved in subsequent research].
This can be framed as new research questions that emerged as a result of your analysis. Organization and Structure Keep the following sequential points in mind as you organize and write the discussion section of your paper: Think of your discussion as an inverted pyramid. Organize the discussion from the general to the specific, linking your findings to the literature, then to theory, then to practice [if appropriate].
Use the same key terms, narrative style, and verb tense [present] that you used when describing the research problem in your introduction. Begin by briefly re-stating the research problem you were investigating and answer all of the research questions underpinning the problem that you posed in the introduction.
Describe the patterns, principles, and relationships shown by each major findings and place them in proper perspective. The sequence of this information is important; first state the answer, then the relevant results, then cite the work of others. If appropriate, refer the reader to a figure or table to help enhance the interpretation of the data [either within the text or as an appendix].
Regardless of where it's mentioned, a good discussion section includes analysis of any unexpected findings. This part of the discussion should begin with a description of the unanticipated finding, followed by a brief interpretation as to why you believe it appeared and, if necessary, its possible significance in relation to the overall study.
If more than one unexpected finding emerged during the study, describe each of them in the order they appeared as you gathered or analyzed the data. As noted, the exception to discussing findings in the same order you described them in the results section would be to begin by highlighting the implications of a particularly unexpected or significant finding that emerged from the study, followed by a discussion of the remaining findings.
Before concluding the discussion, identify potential limitations and weaknesses if you do not plan to do so in the conclusion of the paper. Comment on their relative importance in relation to your overall interpretation of the results and, if necessary, note how they may affect the validity of your findings. Avoid using an apologetic tone; however, be honest and self-critical [e. The discussion section should end with a concise summary of the principal implications of the findings regardless of their significance.
Give a brief explanation about why you believe the findings and conclusions of your study are important and how they support broader knowledge or understanding of the research problem. This can be followed by any recommendations for further research. However, do not offer recommendations which could have been easily addressed within the study.
This would demonstrate to the reader that you have inadequately examined and interpreted the data. Overall Objectives The objectives of your discussion section should include the following: I. Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Consider the likelihood that no one has thought as long and hard about your study as you have. Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research.
Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings It is important to remember that the purpose of research in the social sciences is to discover and not to prove. Make Suggestions for Further Research You may choose to conclude the discussion section by making suggestions for further research [this can be done in the overall conclusion of your paper]. Problems to Avoid Do not waste time restating your results. Should you need to remind the reader of a finding to be discussed, use "bridge sentences" that relate the result to the interpretation.
Recommendations for further research can be included in either the discussion or conclusion of your paper, but do not repeat your recommendations in the both sections. Think about the overall narrative flow of your paper to determine where best to locate this information. However, if your findings raise a lot of new questions or issues, consider including suggestions for further research in the discussion section.
Do not introduce new results in the discussion section. Be wary of mistaking the reiteration of a specific finding for an interpretation because it may confuse the reader. The description of findings [results] and the interpretation of their significance [discussion] should be distinct sections of your paper.
If you choose to combine the results section and the discussion section into a single narrative, you must be clear in how you report the information discovered and your own interpretation of each finding. This approach is not recommended if you lack experience writing college-level research papers. Use of the first person pronoun is generally acceptable. Using first person singular pronouns can help emphasize a point or illustrate a contrasting finding.
However, keep in mind that too much use of the first person can actually distract the reader from the main points [i.