Students often receive writing assignments like a research paper. This type of essay is not the easiest to write. It takes a lot of time and effort to complete such a paper in time and at high quality. Of course, every time this task becomes easier to do. Still, there are many elements of this work that come as challenging to students, to say the least. Writing the analysis section of a research paper is definitely one of those elements. Why is it so hard?
Usually, this section takes up as little as a few lines on the page. A student must complete an immense amount of work even before they reach this point. They have worked so much to write the piece. Now that it is almost done they feel like the hardest part is over. Well, not so fast. Knowing how to analyze a paper is one of the final yet essential skills that you must master when writing research papers. Let’s see who writes them and what should go into it.
What Is a Research Paper?
First of all, let’s recall what a research paper is. This is the writing assignment that strives to discuss and analyze certain topics, issues, and ideas. It aims to explore those things in-depth, leaving little room for doubts and ambiguity. The essence of this essay lies in the research part of the work. A student has to spend a lot of time seeking the sources and data that can prove their point. Overall, this assignment is one of the most complicated papers that students can receive in college. It requires a lot of time, skills, and experience as well as critical thinking and logic. By the end of such work, a student must explain their thesis statement and explain why their work was valuable for academia.
What Is the Discussion in a Research Paper?
The discussion in a research paper comes closer to the end of your work. This paragraph doesn’t take much space in the main body. Yet, it is one of the most important elements. At least, your instructor will surely think so when evaluating your work. Here you need to discuss what you have previously discovered. This part is meant for your readers more than others. How so? Well, during this stage, you explain the significance of your findings. Even if your readers are not experts in the field of your work, they should understand the meaning behind your study based on how you present it in this paragraph. You have to give a clear evaluation of not just your results but the meaning behind them.
How to Write a Research Analysis
First of all, you should always rely on the findings that you have already made in the previous pages. At this stage, you should not add any new or unfamiliar information. Here, you only need to use the materials and data that are already familiar to the readers. Secondly, just as in the text above, you should follow the same structure, formatting, and citing style as you have been doing in the entire work.
Use only the most relevant information. You should be brief and informative. Your goal is to make the perception of your findings easier. Hence, your target audience must gain more understanding of the results when reading this part of your work. In fact, you have to wait with the criticism of the results up until this moment. Only now can you have a chance to bring more clarity to the issues at hand.
Remember, accuracy and coherency are the two crucial elements of writing the analysis section. Your readers rely on you to explain to them what your results mean. Hence, you have to provide an accessible, easy-to-process evaluation of your work.
What Goes in the Discussion Section of a Research Paper?
You must have a clear idea about what you should and should not add to the analysis. At this point, you already have all the data you need for writing this part. However, you should know how to use it well. For example, you shouldn’t confuse this element with the result section. Unfortunately, it is a common mistake that can be easily avoided if only you pay enough attention to the specifics of both these elements. Here is a good data analysis section of a research paper example. This is everything that you should include in a few lines:
- justification of the used methods;
- brief description of these methods;
- description of the points you have made previously;
- include the criticism of those points and findings;
- discuss the techniques.
A result section, on the other hand, has to include rather different points, like this:
- basic description of the findings;
- all necessary data;
- easy explanation without going into detail or additional information.
As you can see, these are two different elements that should not be confused or mixed together. A common error here is when students restate their findings and data during the analysis. This is not the right place to do it. You had your chance to state your findings in the paragraph above. That was the right place to narrate your findings and provide your target audience with the necessary information. Now, it’s your turn to explain without repeating yourself. Use this section to describe what you have found without narrating the data one more time.
Last but not least, you should not forget about the negative results. Often, you will end up having at least one or two hypotheses that you couldn't prove. You must take a few sentences to explain them. Say why these results were negative and that might have affected your work. Explain the techniques you used when working on them. Perhaps mention what you could have done differently next time.
An analysis section in the research paper is one of the most important parts of writing such an assignment. It should provide readers with clear evaluations of the findings and their significance for the field. It should also discover what techniques and methods were used to gain such findings and how they were applied in the process.