How to Write a Results Section
By Kendra Cherry. Psychology Expert
Kendra Cherry is an author and educator with over a decade experience helping students make sense of psychology. She is the author of the Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition) and she has published thousands of articles on diverse topics in psychology including personality, social behavior, child therapy, research methods, and much more.
The results section of an APA format paper summarizes the data that was collected and the statistical analyses that were performed. The goal of this section is to report the results without any type of subjective interpretation.
- Report data in order to sufficiently justify your conclusions. Since you'll be talking about your own interpretation of the results in the discussion section, you need to be sure that the information reported in the results section justifies your claims.
- Do not include tables and figures if you are not going to talk about them in the body text of your results section.
- Always assume that your readers have a solid understanding of statistical concepts. There's no need to explain what a t-test is or how a one-way ANOVA works; just report the results.
- The Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Associationrecommends including effect sizes in your results section so that readers can appreciate the importance of your study's findings.
- The results section should be written in the past tense.
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- Focus on being concise and objective. You will have the opportunity to give your own interpretations of the results in the discussion section.
- Do not present the same data twice in your illustrative materials. If you have already presented some data in a table, do not present it again in a figure. If you have presented data in a figure, do not present it again in a table.
- Don't ignore negative results. Just because a result failed to support your hypothesis, it does not mean it is not important. Results that do not support your original hypothesis can be just as informative as results that do.
- Read the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for more information on how to write a results section in APA format .
- Visit your library and read some journal articles that are on your topic. Pay attention to how the authors present the results of their research.