It is probably one of the most questions that are challenging have ever asked me, because after looking through dozens of journal articles in my own Mendeley database, I could not find many of them who used Discussion sections. I really believe this notion associated with Discussion part of an journal that is academic (or book chapter, in some instances) arises from the IMRAD style of publishing, that is, papers which have at least listed here five sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Analysis and Discussion (hence the acronym).
Personally, I neither like, nor do I often write this kind of journal article. Even though I was a chemical engineer, I can’t recall as they all had a variation (merging Discussion with Results, or Results with Conclusion, or Discussion with Conclusion) that I read many papers in the IMRAD model,. I read engineering, natural science and social science literatures as I said on Twitter. Thusly, the Discussion sections that I read vary QUITE A LOT.
All Discussion sections I’ve read are
- analytical, not descriptive,
- specific inside their interpretation of research results,
- robust inside their linkage of research findings with theories, other empirical reports and various literatures,
- good at explaining how a paper’s results may contradict earlier work, extend it, advance our understanding of X or Y phenomenon and, most definitely:
- NOT in conclusion of this paper.
The things I think is important to keep in mind when writing the Discussion element of a paper, would be to really ANALYZE, not describe just. Link theories, methods, data, other work.
My post regarding the difference between analysis and description should help you write Discussion sections. https://t.co/oxz8uIY3Pd you should all read Graf and Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say https://t.co/yDXHawbez1 as preparation to create Discussions – for the moves that are rhetorical.
As always within my blog posts, I here url to a resources that are few could be of help (compiled by other authors).
- Dr. Pat Thomson, as always providing advice that is great Results/Discussion sections of journal articles.
- A handy handout on what goes in all the IMRAD sections.
- Note how this article by Sollaci and Pereira on 50 years of IMRAD articles won’t have a Conclusion section (oh, the irony!). However, their Discussion section is very nice, albeit brief.
- This informative article by Hцfler et al offers good advice on integrating substantive knowledge with leads to create a solid Discussion section.
- In this specific article, Цner Sanli and coauthors provide great suggestions on just how to write a Discussion part of a article that is journal.
Within my Twitter thread, I suggested techniques to discern (and learned from) how authors have written their discussion sections.
If you now read the Discussion section, you’ll see that within my yellow highlights, I’ve noted how this article that is particular towards the literature. This really is section of what should go when you look at the Discussion section. A lot more than explaining results, how your outcomes link to broader debates. pic.twitter.com/a19hE5FB9d
Discussion sections are particularly utilized in articles that follow the IMRAD model https://t.co/FzunG4tnce I like this Power Point on which is going in each one of the IMRAD sections https://t.co/SQLVLsD6JB – what I’ve found is the fact that often times, Discussion sections are blended/morphed
There are times when scholars blend Discussion and Conclusions, or Results and Discussions sections. This is not even discipline-dependent, it is author-dependent.
The discussion section is blended with the results for example, in this # Free2DownloadAndRead World Development article. https://t.co/cgB82kYXla This really is common, and I also personally do not have objection to carrying this out. As for PhD dissertation and discussion chapters: this might be challenging
Another example, now through the criminal justice field.
That they bring back their empirical results to the broader debates if you notice how these authors start their Discussion section, you’ll see. That’s what We have noticed in most Discussion sections of journal articles (in engineering, public health and some pysch). pic.twitter.com/wpH9jGghjk