How to Write the Results Section of your Dissertation or Thesis?

PhD Results Section


As you progress on your journey towards completing your PhD or Post Graduate dissertation, one of the most critical sections that holds immense significance is the results section.

Results section serves as the pinnacle of your research, where you unveil the outcomes of your exhaustive efforts and shed light on the answers to your research questions. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of the results section and explore how to effectively present and interpret your findings to leave a lasting impact.

Whether you’re conducting research in the field of biology, psychology, computer science, or any other discipline, the results section is where your data takes center stage. It is a space where you showcase your meticulous analysis, statistical methods, and the discoveries you’ve made along the way. By understanding the key components and best practices for constructing a compelling results section, you can present your findings in a manner that resonates with both your academic peers and the wider research community.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the fundamental elements of the results section, from organizing your data to choosing the appropriate visual representations. We will explore the importance of clear and concise reporting, emphasizing the significance of providing contextual information and highlighting any unexpected or groundbreaking discoveries.

Furthermore, we will discuss strategies for effectively interpreting your results, discussing their implications, and connecting them back to your research objectives. By mastering these skills, you will be able to demonstrate the significance of your work, contribute to the existing body of knowledge, and potentially pave the way for further research in your field.

Throughout the blog post, I will provide concrete examples from various disciplines to illustrate the implementation of these techniques. Additionally, I will offer valuable tips on avoiding common pitfalls, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of your results, and seeking feedback from your advisors or peers to enhance the quality of your analysis.

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Organizing Your Results

Organizing the results of your study in a logical and coherent manner is crucial for effectively communicating your findings. By presenting your results in an organized structure, you enhance the clarity and readability of your dissertation. Here are some key considerations for organizing your results:

  1. Research studies often involve complex algorithms, software implementations, experimental data, and performance metrics. It is essential to organize these diverse elements in a cohesive manner to make it easier for readers to follow your research. A well-structured results section enables readers to understand the progression of your experiments and the relationship between different findings.
  2. Begin by reminding readers of the research questions or hypotheses that guided your study. This alignment helps establish a clear connection between the objectives of your research and the subsequent presentation of results. For example, if your research question focuses on evaluating the efficiency of a new sorting algorithm, you would present the experimental data, performance metrics, and comparative analyses specific to that algorithm in relation to the research question.
  3. Subsections are an effective way to organize the various aspects of your research within the results section. Consider dividing your results into subsections that correspond to different components or experimental setups in your study. For instance, if your research involved multiple experiments or evaluation methodologies, you could create subsections for each experiment or evaluation approach. Example:
    • Subsection 1: Evaluation of Sorting Algorithms
      • Subsubsection 1.1: Experimental Setup
      • Subsubsection 1.2: Experimental Results and Analysis
    • Subsection 2: Comparative Analysis with Existing Algorithms
      • Subsubsection 2.1: Performance Metrics
      • Subsubsection 2.2: Comparative Results and Discussion
    By using subsections, you create a clear and organized structure that guides readers through the different aspects of your research. This approach allows them to focus on specific components of interest and navigate directly to the relevant findings.

Remember to tailor the organization of your results section to the specific requirements of your research. The key is to provide a logical flow and structure that enables readers to easily comprehend and interpret your findings.

Providing Context

Providing context for the results of your study is essential to help readers understand the significance and implications of your findings. By offering background information and study design details, you establish a foundation upon which the results can be properly interpreted. Here are some key considerations for providing context:

  1. Before delving into the results, it is important to provide readers with relevant background information about the topic or problem being addressed. This may include a literature review of existing research, theories, or methodologies in the field. By doing so, you situate your work within the broader landscape of and demonstrate its relevance. Additionally, explain the design of your study, such as the specific algorithms, software frameworks, datasets, or hardware setups used. This ensures that readers understand the context in which your results were obtained.
  2. Contextualizing the results is crucial because it helps readers interpret the implications and limitations of your findings. By providing background information, you enable readers to grasp the motivation behind your research and the specific challenges you aimed to address. For example, if your study focuses on developing a new machine-learning algorithm for image recognition, you would need to provide an overview of existing image recognition techniques and their limitations. This context allows readers to understand the unique contribution and potential impact of your algorithm. Furthermore, explaining the study design details gives readers insights into the methodology and experimental setup. This information helps them assess the validity and reliability of your results. By describing the algorithms, software frameworks, or datasets used, you enable readers to replicate or compare your study, fostering scientific rigour and transparency. Example:
    • Provide a brief overview of the current state-of-the-art in image recognition algorithms and their limitations.
    • Explain the specific challenges or gaps in the existing methods that motivated your research.
    • Describe the design of your study, including the choice of machine learning techniques, datasets used for training and evaluation, preprocessing steps, and any hardware or software configurations.

By providing context, you allow readers to understand the background, motivation, and methodology behind your research. This sets the stage for better comprehension and interpretation of your results. Contextualizing your findings, as it helps establish the relevance, novelty, and potential impact of your research within the larger field.

Presenting the Data in Results Section

Presenting data in a clear and organized manner is crucial for effectively communicating your results. The way you present your data can greatly impact the reader’s understanding and interpretation of your findings. Here are some key considerations for presenting data:

  1. There are various ways to present data depending on the nature of your research and the type of information you want to convey. For instance, if you have numerical data that needs to be compared or summarized, tables can be an effective choice. If you have trends, relationships, or distributions to illustrate, figures, charts, or graphs (e.g., bar charts, line graphs, scatter plots) can be more appropriate. Determine the most suitable format for your data to enhance its clarity and visual impact. Example:
    • Presenting performance metrics of different algorithms using a table to allow for easy comparison.
    • Using a line graph to depict the improvement in accuracy over training iterations in a machine learning model.
    • Employing a bar chart to compare the execution times of different algorithms on a specific dataset.
  2. Clear labelling and formatting of your data ensure that readers can easily understand and interpret the information presented. Label each table, figure, chart, or graph with a concise and descriptive title. Ensure that axes, legends, and labels are clearly labelled and units of measurement are specified. Use appropriate fonts, colours, and styles to enhance readability. Consider providing captions or footnotes to provide additional context or explanations where necessary.
  3. When presenting tables, figures, charts, or graphs, it is crucial to refer to each one in the main text of your dissertation. Briefly explain the purpose and significance of each table or figure, highlighting the key findings or trends they represent. This ensures that readers understand the relevance of the presented data and its connection to your research questions or hypotheses. Example:
    • In the text, refer to a specific table presenting the accuracy results of different algorithms and explain how these results support your research hypothesis or contribute to the field.
    • Discuss a figure showing the relationship between the number of training examples and the performance of a machine learning model, emphasizing its implications for scalability and generalization.

By presenting data in a visually appealing and well-organized manner, you enhance the clarity and accessibility of your results. Proper labelling, formatting, and referring to each table or figure in the text help readers navigate the information and grasp its significance. Remember to choose the most appropriate format for your data and use visuals to support and reinforce your findings.

Describing Statistical Analysis

The inclusion of statistical analyses in the results section is crucial for providing objective and quantitative evidence to support your findings. Statistical analyses help you draw meaningful conclusions from your data and determine the significance of observed results. Here are some key considerations for describing statistical analyses:

  1. Statistical analyses play a vital role in determining the reliability and significance of your findings. They provide a systematic and objective framework for interpreting the data and testing hypotheses. Discuss the importance of including statistical analyses in the results section to demonstrate the rigour and validity of your research.
  2. Describe the specific statistical methods or tests you employed to analyze your data. This may include techniques such as t-tests, chi-square tests, ANOVA, regression analysis, or machine learning algorithms for classification or prediction tasks. Explain the rationale behind the chosen statistical tests, such as their suitability for the type of data, research question, or experimental design. Example:
    • Describe using a t-test to compare the means of two groups in a user study, as it is appropriate for assessing the statistical significance of differences.
    • Explain employing logistic regression to model the relationship between independent variables and a binary outcome in a predictive analytics study.
  3. Accuracy in presenting statistical values and interpretations is crucial for the integrity and credibility of your research. Provide the actual statistical values, such as p-values, effect sizes, confidence intervals, or F-statistics, along with the appropriate units of measurement. Ensure that the reported values are consistent with the statistical analyses conducted. Furthermore, accurately interpret the statistical results and explain their implications for your research questions or hypotheses. Avoid overstating or misrepresenting the findings. Consider discussing the practical significance of the results alongside the statistical significance. Example:
    • Report the p-value as 0.032, indicating a statistically significant difference between the two groups at the 0.05 significance level.
    • Interpret an effect size of 0.40 as a medium-sized effect, highlighting its practical importance in the context of the research.

By describing the statistical analyses conducted, explaining the rationale behind the chosen tests, and accurately presenting the statistical values and interpretations, you strengthen the validity and reliability of your findings. Statistical analyses provide an objective framework for drawing conclusions from your data and lend credibility to your research in the computer science domain.

Reporting the Findings in Results Section

Reporting the findings of your research in an objective, concise, and clear manner is essential for effectively communicating your results. Here are some key considerations for reporting the findings:

  1. Summarizing the results requires condensing the key findings of your research without sacrificing important details. Start by identifying the most significant outcomes or trends that address your research questions or hypotheses. Focus on presenting the essential information that supports your claims or contributes to the field. Avoid exaggeration or selective reporting, as it can undermine the integrity of your work. Example:
    • Summarize the key findings of a machine learning study by stating that “the proposed algorithm achieved an average accuracy of 85% on the test dataset, outperforming existing state-of-the-art methods by 10%.”
  2. Address each research question or hypothesis individually in the findings section. Start by restating the research question or hypothesis and then present the relevant results that directly answer or support it. Provide a clear and concise explanation of how the results align with or contribute to each research question or hypothesis. For Example:
    • For a research question about the impact of different programming languages on software performance, present specific metrics such as execution time or memory usage for each language, along with a comparison and interpretation of the results.
  3. Use clear and concise language to convey your findings, avoiding unnecessary technical jargon or complex explanations. Present the information in a logical and organized manner, using paragraphs or subsections to group related findings. Use headings or bullet points to highlight important points and facilitate readability. For Example:
    • Instead of using overly technical language, communicate the results in a more accessible way: “The experimental results showed a significant correlation between the number of training samples and the accuracy of the model, indicating that a larger training dataset leads to improved prediction performance.”

By guiding readers on summarizing the results objectively and concisely, addressing each research question or hypothesis, and using clear and concise language, you ensure that your findings are communicated effectively. This approach allows readers to understand the core contributions of your research and how they align with the research questions or hypotheses you set out to investigate.

Supporting the Findings

Providing strong evidence from the data to support your findings, addressing unexpected or contradictory results, and discussing limitations and potential explanations are essential components of reporting research findings. Here are some key considerations for supporting the findings:

  1. Evidence from the data is crucial for validating your findings and establishing their credibility. Emphasize the importance of presenting quantitative or qualitative evidence that directly supports the conclusions drawn from the data. This evidence could include experimental results, statistical analyses, observations, or user feedback. For example
    • Present empirical evidence from a user study, such as participant feedback or performance metrics, to support the usability and effectiveness of a proposed user interface design.
  2. Unexpected or contradictory results are not uncommon in research. It is important to acknowledge and address them in an honest and transparent manner. Discuss potential reasons or factors that might have contributed to these unexpected outcomes. Consider exploring alternative explanations, analyzing outliers, or conducting further investigations to understand the causes behind the unexpected or contradictory results. For example:
    • If a software system performed unexpectedly poorly in certain scenarios, discuss potential factors such as data bias, implementation issues, or limitations of the evaluation methodology that could have influenced the results.
  3. Every research study has limitations, and it is essential to acknowledge and discuss them in the findings section. Describe the constraints or factors that might have affected the validity or generalizability of your results. Additionally, provide potential explanations for any limitations or challenges encountered during the research process. This demonstrates critical thinking and helps readers contextualize the findings. For example:
    • Acknowledge limitations such as a small sample size, limited dataset availability, or computational constraints that might affect the generalizability or robustness of the results.
    • Discuss potential explanations for unexpected results, such as issues with data quality, algorithmic complexity, or model assumptions.

By providing evidence from the data to support the findings, addressing unexpected or contradictory results, and discussing limitations and potential explanations, you demonstrate a rigorous and reflective approach to your research in the computer science domain. This allows readers to assess the strength and reliability of your findings and gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and implications of your work.

Visual Representation in Results Section

Using visual representations, such as tables, graphs, and figures, alongside the text can greatly enhance the understanding and impact of your findings. Here are some key considerations for visual representation:

Visual representations offer several benefits in presenting research findings. They provide a concise and intuitive way to convey complex information, trends, and patterns. Visuals can help readers grasp key insights at a glance, enhance the overall readability of the document, and make the findings more memorable. Visual representations also facilitate effective comparisons, highlight important relationships, and aid in storytelling. Example:

When creating visual representations, consider the following tips to ensure clarity and effectiveness: a. Choose the appropriate visual format: Select the most suitable format, such as tables, line graphs, scatter plots, or heatmaps, based on the nature of the data and the message you want to convey.

b. Simplify and declutter: Avoid overwhelming the visuals with excessive data points, labels, or unnecessary decorations. Keep the design clean and focused on conveying the essential information.

c. Label and title clearly: Provide descriptive and informative titles for tables, graphs, and figures. Label the axes, data points, or components clearly to facilitate understanding.

d. Use colors and visual cues purposefully: Utilize colors and visual cues to highlight important information or differentiate between categories. Ensure that the chosen colors are distinguishable and accessible. e. Provide legends and captions: Include legends to explain symbols, colors, or abbreviations used in the visuals. Provide informative captions or annotations to guide readers in interpreting the visuals accurately. Example:

By incorporating clear and effective visual representations alongside the text, you enhance the presentation and understanding of your research findings in the computer science domain. Well-designed tables, graphs, and figures can simplify complex information, facilitate comparisons, and enhance the visual appeal of your dissertation. Remember to choose appropriate formats, keep the visuals uncluttered, label clearly, and use colors and visual cues purposefully to maximize their impact.


Writing the results section of a dissertation or thesis is a critical task that requires careful attention to detail, organization, and effective communication. Throughout this blog post, we have explored key elements to consider when crafting this section.

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Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Author: Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit is a researcher in Computer Science. He loves to educate researchers and research scholars on Research Paper Writing, Thesis Writing, Research Grants, Patenting Research Work and the latest Research-related issues. You can reach him @ [email protected]