That is probably the most challenging questions people have ever asked me, because after looking through a large number of journal articles in my own Mendeley database, i really could not find a lot of them who used Discussion sections. I believe this notion of this Discussion component of an academic journal article (or book chapter, in some cases) comes from the IMRAD model of publishing, this is certainly, papers which have at the least the following five sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Analysis and Discussion (hence the acronym).
Personally, I neither like, nor do I often write this type of journal article. Even when I became 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 within their linkage of research findings with theories, other empirical reports and literatures that are various
- 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 the conclusion for the paper.
What I think is essential to keep in mind when writing the Discussion part of a paper, is to really ANALYZE, not describe just. Link theories, methods, data, other work.
My post on the difference between Description and Analysis 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 rhetorical moves.
As usual within my blog posts, I here backlink to a resources that are few may be of help (compiled by other authors).
- Dr. Pat Thomson, as always providing great advice on Results/Discussion sections of journal articles.
- A handout that is handy what goes into all the IMRAD sections.
- Note how this short article by Sollaci and Pereira on 50 many years of IMRAD articles doesn’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 results to create a discussion section that is solid.
- In this specific article, Цner Sanli and coauthors provide great suggestions on simple tips to write a Discussion area of a article that is journal.
During my Twitter thread, I suggested methods to discern (and learned from) how authors have written their discussion sections.
In the event that you now browse the Discussion section, you’ll see that during my yellow highlights, I’ve noted how this article that is particular into the literature. That is part of what is going within the Discussion section. Significantly more than explaining results, how your outcomes url to broader debates. pic.twitter.com/a19hE5FB9d
Discussion sections are particularly utilized in articles that stick to the IMRAD model https://t.co/FzunG4tnce I prefer this charged power Point on what 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 occasions when scholars blend Discussion and Conclusions, or Results and Discussions sections. This is not even discipline-dependent, it is author-dependent.
For instance, in this #Free2DownloadAndRead World Development article, the discussion section is blended with the results. https://t.co/cgB82kYXla It is common, and I also personally have no objection to carrying this out. As for PhD dissertation and discussion chapters: this might be challenging
Another example, now from 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 I have observed in most Discussion sections of journal articles (in engineering, public health and some pysch). pic.twitter.com/wpH9jGghjk