How to Write Results Section of Your Research Paper

Results section f Research Paper


The result section is the third major part of the research paper and it’s probably the most important part because it contains actual outcomes about your experiment. The other sections contain a plan, hope and interpretations but the result section is the actual truth of your study.

In the result section, one should aim to narrate his/her finding without trying to interpret or evaluate them. Basically, the result section explains any issues you faced during your data collection, the main results of the experiment and any other interesting trends in the data.

With the results, we want to convey our data in the most accessible way, so we usually use visual elements like graphs and tables to make it easier to understand. The facts, figures, and findings are to be presented in a logical manner leading to the hypothesis and following the sequence of the method section. Mention must be made for the negative results as it would substantiate the discussion section later on. Interpretation of the meaning of the results section is done in the discussion section.


How Results Section is Structured?

When structuring the results section, it is important that your information is presented in a logical

Now, when it comes to the organization of the result section, as a generic rule

  • Always start with textual content, not a Table or Figure
  • Make sure you show the Tables and Figures after they are mentioned in the text
  • Explain any missing data or problems you had while collecting the data.

The results section gives you the opportunity to:

  1. Summarize the  Data Preprocessing Steps

2. Report on the Findings 

3. Summarize the Research Findings

How to Summarize the Data Preprocessing Steps in the Results Section?

At the beginning of the result section, you can discuss how you have collected, transformed and analyzed your data. This step is usually known as data preprocessing.

The data collection step may involve collecting data from various hardware, software or internet sources.

If your research requires data cleaning, then explain the steps and procedures used for data cleaning. Here, the researchers can describe how they transformed data to facilitate analysis (e.g. converting data from one format to another format). If there was missing data, explain how you have substituted missing values and with what techniques you have substituted your data.

You can mention what software or statistical procedures you have used to analyze and interpret the data.  Demonstrate with the help of charts or tables the cleansed data ready to be used for getting results.   In a few research papers, you may find these steps appearing at the end of the method section. 


How to Present your Research Findings in Research Section?

Second, present your findings in a structured way (such as thematically or chronologically), bringing the readers’ attention to any important, interesting, or significant findings.

Be sure to include a combination of text and visuals. Data illustrations should not be used to substitute or replace text, but to enhance the narrative of your findings.  

Resultant data are to be presented either through text, figures, graphs or tables or in a combination of all of the best suited for leading to the hypothesis. Care should be taken to prevent any duplication of the text, figures, graphs, and tables. If any result is presented in figures or graphs, it need not be explained through text. Similarly, any data presented through the graph should not be repeated in the table.

Each table and graph should be clearly labelled and titled. Each different finding should be made in a separate sub-section under the proper sub-heading following the sequence adopted in Method Section.

If you are not comfortable with data analysis then you can take professional services for research data analysis.


 Identify and list the figures which are relevant to your results. For example, if you are working on the problem statement of ” Identifying the pathological issues with pomegranate fruits”, then you can add the figures of pomegranate fruits with good quality and bad quality along with their stage of infection. If you are working on pomegranate cultivar-related issues, put the figures of pomegranate fruits belonging to different cultivars. 

The key takeaway here is not to add any figures which may not directly contribute to results. These diagrams may include generic block diagrams, and images conveying generic information like farm fields, plantations etc.

While putting the figures, as much as possible use grayscale images as many users take the photocopies in black and white mode. In certain scenarios you are 

 In the case of figures, the captions should come below, called Fig. 1, Fig. 2 and so on. 

You can visit my article on The Power of Images in Research Papers: How They Enhance the Quality of Your Paper?. This article will help you how images or figures enhances the possibility of selection of your paper to top quality journals and conferences.


Tables are good for showing the exact values or showing much different information in one place. Graphs are good for showing overall trends and are much easier to understand quickly. It also depends on your data.

Tables are labelled at the top as Table 1,  Table 2 and so on.  Every table must have a caption. It’s good if one can put independent variable conditions on the left side vertically, and the things you have measured horizontally so one can easily compare the measurements across the categories. But you need to decide for each table you make, what is easiest to understand, and what fits on the paper.

Visit article on Best Practices for Designing and Formatting Tables in Research Papers for further details on proper representation of tables at proper places.


You can use various types of graphs in your results like a line graph, bar graph, scatter plot, a line graph with colours, a box with whiskers plot and a histogram.

In general, continuous variables like temperature, growth, age, and time can be better displayed in a line graph on a scatter plot or maybe on histograms.

If you have comparative data that you would like to represent through a chart then a bar chart would be the best option. This type of chart is one of the more familiar options as it is easy to interpret.

These charts are useful for displaying data that is classified into nominal or ordinal categories. In any case, you need to decide which is the best option for each particular example you have,  but never put a graph and a table with the same data in your paper.

In the case of graphs, the captions should come below, called Fig. 1, Fig. 2 and so on. 

A limited number of professional tools provide you the chance to add some life to your graphs, charts, and figures and present your data in a way that will astound your audience as much as your astounding results.

My article on Maximizing the Impact of Your Research Paper with Graphs and Charts will help you in drawing eye catching and informative graphs and charts for your research paper.

How to Summarize the Research Findings in the Results Section?

The results section should include a closing paragraph that clearly summarizes the key findings of the study. This paves the way for the discussion section of the research paper, wherein the results are interpreted and put in conversation with existing literature.

Any unusual correlation observed between variables should be noted in the result section. But any speculation about the reason for such an unusual correlation should be avoided. Such speculations are the domains of the discussion section.

Comparisons between samples or controls are to be clearly defined by specifically mentioning the common quality and the degree of difference between the comparable samples or controls. Results should always be presented in the past tense.

Common Phrasal Verbs Used in Results Section

Common academic phrases that can be used in the results section of a paper or research article. I have included a table with examples to illustrate how these phrases might be used:

Descriptive statistics: This phrase is used to describe the basic statistical properties of the data, such as mean, median, and standard deviation.“The mean accuracy of the machine learning model was 0.85, with a standard deviation of 0.05.”
Inferential statistics: This phrase is used to describe statistical tests used to infer relationships or differences between groups.“A one-way ANOVA showed a significant difference in performance between the three groups, F(2, 57) = 4.67, p < 0.05.”
Visualizations: This phrase is used to describe any graphs, charts, or other visual representations of the data.“Figure 1 shows a scatter plot of the relationship between the number of hidden layers in a neural network and its accuracy on the test dataset.”
Model comparison: This phrase is used to compare the performance of different machine learning models.“The random forest classifier outperformed the logistic regression model, achieving an AUC of 0.95 compared to 0.83.”
Hypothesis testing: This phrase is used to test specific hypotheses about the data or the system being evaluated.“The null hypothesis that there is no difference in accuracy between the two machine learning models was rejected, t(98) = -3.56, p < 0.01.”
Qualitative analysis: This phrase is used to describe any non-numerical analysis of the data, such as text analysis or content analysis.“The open-ended survey responses were analyzed using a grounded theory approach to identify key themes and patterns in the data.”
Error analysis: This phrase is used to analyze errors or mistakes in the system or the data.“The confusion matrix shows that the system had high false negative rates for some classes, indicating a potential bias in the data or the model.”
Common Phrasal Verbs Used in Results Section


What are Common Mistakes Observed in the Results Section?


research results mistakes
Mistakes in Results Section

Let’s look at some of the common mistakes which can be observed in the result section.

  1. One should not include raw data which are not directly related to your objectives. Readers will not be able to interpret your intentions and may unnecessarily collect unwanted data while replicating your experiments.
  2. Do not just tell the readers to look at the Table and Figure and figure it out by themselves, e.g “The results are shown in the following Tables and Graphs”.
  3. Do not give too much explanation about Figures and Tables.


Case Study

“An Optimized Fuzzy Based Short Term Object Motion Prediction for Real-Life Robot Navigation Environment”  (Paper Link)

Object motions with different motion patterns are generated by a simulator in different directions to generate the initial rule base. The rules generated are clustered based on the direction of the motion pattern into the directional space clusters. Table 1 shows the number of rules that remained in each directional space after removing inconsistencies and redundancies.


Our predictor algorithm is tested for a real-life benchmark dataset (EC Funded CAVIAR project/IST 2001 37540) to check for relative error. The data set consists of different human motion patterns observed at INRIA Lab at Grenoble, France and Shop Centre. These motion patterns consist of frames captured at 25 frames/second. A typical scenario of the INRIA Lab and the Shop Centre is shown in the Figure below.


Human capture Shop Centre

                                                      Fig.1: A typical scenario of the INRIA Lab and the Shop Centre

For each test case, the average response time is calculated to find its suitability for a real-life environment. The prediction algorithm is tested by processing the frame data of moving human patterns stored in the database at intervals of 50 frames (02 Seconds).

The navigation environment is presented in the form of a Prediction graph where the x-axis represents the Range parameter and the y-axis represents the Angle parameter. The predicted Angle and Range values are compared with actual values obtained from the real-life environment.

Relative Error
Fig. 2: The Performance of the predictor

The performance of the predictor is tested when more than one object is sensed by the sensor. The tests are carried out assuming at most 6-8 objects can be visible and can affect the decisions to be made regarding robot traversal.


The results section is an essential component of any research paper, as it provides readers with a detailed understanding of the study’s findings. In this blog post, we discussed three important steps for writing a results section: summarizing the data preprocessing steps, reporting on the findings, and summarizing the research findings.

Firstly, summarizing the data preprocessing steps is crucial in the results section, as it provides readers with an understanding of how the raw data was processed and transformed. This step includes data cleaning, data transformation, and data reduction techniques. By summarizing the data preprocessing steps, readers can understand how the data was prepared for analysis, which is critical for interpreting the study’s findings accurately.

Secondly, reporting on the findings is an important step in the results section. It involves presenting the study’s results in a clear and concise manner, using tables, graphs, and statistical analyses where necessary. This step should be focused on answering the research question or hypothesis and should present the findings in a way that is easily understood by the reader. Reporting on the findings can also include providing detailed interpretations of the results, as well as any potential limitations of the study.

Finally, summarizing the research findings is crucial in the results section, as it provides readers with a concise summary of the study’s main results and conclusions. This step should be written in a clear and straightforward manner, highlighting the most important findings and explaining their significance. Additionally, it should relate the study’s findings to the research question or hypothesis and provide a conclusion that is well-supported by the results.

Overall, the results section of a research paper is a critical component that requires careful attention to detail. By following the guidelines discussed in this blog post, researchers can present their findings in a clear and concise manner, helping readers to understand the research process and the resulting conclusions.




Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a results section be of a research paper?

An IMRaD paper format suggests around 35% of the text should be dedicated to the results and discussion section. For a research paper of length 10 pages, the results and discussion section should occupy 3-4 pages.

Should the results of a research paper be given in the introduction or in another section?

The results of a research paper should be given in a separate section. However, the highlights of the results can be discussed in the introduction section.

What is the difference between the “discussion” and the “results” section of a research paper?

The results section only depicts the results obtained by implementing the methodology used. The results will be in the form of figures, tables, charts or graphs. The discussion section elaborates the analysis of the results obtained in the results section.

Does the summary be part of the result section in the research article?

The summary can be part of the results section of a research paper. However, the results obtained can be summarized in the form of a table in results section of a research paper.

Why do some scientific papers not include a ‘methods and results’ section?

Survey papers and papers which are focussed on theoretical proofs do not involve separate methods and results sections.

How do you introduce a results section?

The results section is introduced by the data collection steps and the setting up of equipment in different scenarios for obtaining the results.

Why do researchers need to avoid making speculations in the results section of a research paper?

Making speculations in the results section may lead to wrong interpretations by the researcher who is planning to replicate the methodology used for obtaining the results. This may further lead to wrong comparative analysis.

Subscribe To Blog
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
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]

Leave a Reply