Structure

The Discussion section is probably the most difficult and challenging to write because you have to think carefully about the specific results you obtained in your experiment, relate them to the aim, interpret them and generalise from them. In this way you relate your own results to the store of scientific knowledge. Each discussion will have a unique structure.

Finding the balance between what to put in the results section and what to put in the discussion can also be a problem for student writers. Remember to put explanations of the significance of your results in the discussion NOT in the results. Also, tables, figures, or flow diagrams can occasionally be included in a discussion to help explain something you are discussing.

The staging of the discussion is not always straightforward because the order in which you sequence the information depends on the aim of the experiment and the kinds of results you obtained. Remember that your discussion is an argument about how you see your results; what you think they mean. If you have a number of results to discuss, the sequence of the stages may need to be repeated for each result.

You may also need to begin with a more general stage that provides brief background information. Briefly remind your reader of the aim of your experiment, the method employed, relevant previous history, or theory. In the same way, you may need a brief concluding stage to summarise the significance of the experiment as a whole.

» Screen 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Next