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Why the Discussion Section of Your Research Paper Is So Important

The discussion section of the paper is vitally important. It is assumed that you have written well and built upon excellent research. You come up with a number of important points. But there is a statement which goes somewhere which is unexplained. The answer provided raises even more questions.

This is a common situation in people who write research papers. They come to a conclusion and they make the point very well. But their answer touches on or eludes to or raises other points. This is where the discussion section of your research paper comes into its own.

What is the purpose of a discussion section?

This is your explanation section. This is where you refer to indirect points which have arisen as a result of what you said in your research paper. The person reading your work understands what you said but then wonders what the link to the point you’ve made is or what is the explanation of an unresolved issue in your research paper.

You have to be proactive. In reading what you've written you have to see what lies beneath the obvious. You have to second guess the reader. They read your research paper and then wonder about what you haven't said. This is the purpose of a discussion section. You get in first. Before the reader, probably your teacher or professor and the person marking your paper, can give you a lower score or make a critical comment that you didn't fully explain such and such, you do so in the discussion section. Well done you.

The problems found in a discussion section

Some students writing a research paper look for the points which need further explanation and to tackle the subject by doing next to nothing. They look at the consequence of a point they have raised and regard it as being unimportant. They knock it on the head by simply saying it's irrelevant.

Now they might be right but even if they are it's a problem if you dismiss a potential subject in your research paper by treating it with disrespect. In almost all circumstances there will be some discussion which can take place about a point you need to explain.

The better you explain this point, and in as few words as possible, the better will be the discussion section of your research paper.

Can you criticize yourself?

Many people reading a research paper are impressed when the writer launches into an attack on their own work. This doesn't mean that they decry the value of their work, obviously not. But it does pay to be able to consider the way they went about researching the research paper and then make a critical comment about it.

Did you use tried and tested methods of sampling? If not, are you prepared to say so and thus be self-critical?

Use it to improve your work

The discussion section of your research paper is an excellent aspect of your work where you can improve your status and score. By writing a detailed discussion section and canvassing all the factors listed above, you give yourself the opportunity to embellish and improve your writing.

This is not simply another part of your research paper but a mini essay within the essay. Here you are exploring things you haven’t explored in detail elsewhere. Here you are showing the depth of your reading and the ways and means you have used to reach your conclusions. Take advantage of this section and use it to turn what might be a good research paper into being an excellent one.


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