When writing a discussion in science, organize the section with the analysis of findings, current literature sources and limitations to your study.
Discussion in science is an essential technique to describe your current findings from an experiment. While performing science tests is a fun way to explore science, knowing the organization of a research paper or lab report is crucial. Typically, an introduction, materials and procedures, results, discussion, conclusion and references are the main parts of any science project presentation or paper. The discussion section of a research paper or project relies on your purpose of the study and analysis of your results.
The Discussion Section of a Research Paper
The discussion section of a research paper for a science fair project disseminates your findings in a clear and concise approach. So, you will need to describe the purpose of your study. Also, offer the readers the reasons you were drawn to investigate the topic and perform experiments. As part of your presentation in a science fair project, use the discussion section to inform the audience about your findings.
Many scientists refine the study findings and clear any misconceptions from previous research. Much like a lab report discussion section, the science writer evaluates and critiques the point of views from prior literature material. Regardless of the findings, the discussion in science offers an opportunity for judges and audiences to learn about your projects and future research.
Writing a Discussion Section
When writing a discussion section for a science project, consider the organization and format. In this way, your readers will know how to follow your research. Generally, the discussion section will have about six to seven paragraphs. In each item, describe the findings in the chronological or sequential order.
The first paragraph contains the summary of your purpose of the experiment and your objectives for the research. In the next paragraphs, inform the readers about an in-depth evaluation of the literature on the topic. Then, in the fourth paragraph, discuss any limitations to your research that prevented further study. Finally, consider summarizing your hypothesis, relevant investigations based on reliable evidence and offering insights for future studies in the last paragraphs.
Evaluation of Study Findings
As mentioned before, a discussion in science encompasses the critical evaluation of the findings of an experiment. Impressing judges at a science fair involves a few tips when writing your discussion section. When summarizing literature reviews, avoid mentioning all the references that support your research. Of course, you need the proper citation and the main ideas for your research.
Also, discuss the reasons for your limitations, if there were any to your study. For instance, many experiments have time constraints or sample size limits. Remember to offer your readers a critical overview of your findings from a comprehensive point of view in the discussion section of a research paper.
- Be careful using first-person writing. While allowed, too many "I" sentences can become confusing or distracting.
- Do not introduce any new material in the discussion.
Barbara earned a B. S. in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the Univ. of Houston and the Univ. of Central Florida, respectively. Besides working as a chemist for the pharmaceutical and water industry, she pursued her degree in secondary science teaching. Barbara now writes and researches educational content for blogs and higher-ed sites.