Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Write Like a ChemistA Guide and Resource$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Marin S Robinson, Fredricka L Stoller, Molly Constanza-Robinson, and James K Jones

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195367423.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Writing the Discussion Section

Writing the Discussion Section

(p.163) 5 Writing the Discussion Section
Write Like a Chemist

Marin S Robinson

Fredricka L Stoller

Molly Constanza-Robinson

James K Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Discussion section, the last part of the standard IMRD structure for a journal article. The Discussion section, as mentioned in chapter 4, can stand alone or can be part of a combined Results and Discussion (R&D) section. In either case, it serves the same major purpose: to interpret the results of the study. In this chapter, we analyze excerpts from various Discussion sections, including those that accompany results presented in chapter 4 (excerpts 4B“4G). Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to do the following: ◾ Organize a Discussion section following the major moves ◾ Interpret your results (but avoid overinterpretation) ◾ Describe the greater importance of your findings ◾ Follow appropriate writing conventions As you work through this chapter, you will write a Discussion section for your own paper. The Writing on Your Own tasks throughout the chapter will guide you step by step as you do the following: 5A Read the literature 5B Prepare to write 5C Draft your Discussion section 5D Practice peer review 5E Fine-tune your Discussion section In the Discussion section of a journal article, authors interpret their data, address why and how questions (e.g., Why was the reaction faster? How did the mechanism proceed?), and, ultimately, extend their findings to a larger context (e.g., What value will these findings have to the scientific community?). Ideally, the Discussion section explains the story revealed by the data, postulates reasons for the observed behaviors, and furthers our fundamental understanding of the underlying science. Although interpretation is the primary goal of the Discussion section, authors must be careful not to overinterpret their data, misinterpret their results, overstate their assumptions, or stray too far from scientific evidence. The excerpts selected for this chapter illustrate ways to avoid these pitfalls. Similarly, the excerpts illustrate that the language of the Discussion section is typified by restraint and understatement. Such words as fact, truth, and prove are rarely used in a Discussion section. Hedging words, such as theory and evidence, are much more common, as are such verbs as appear, indicate, seem, and suggest.

Keywords:   Hyphenated two-word modifiers, Journal articles, conclusions, Take-home message, Two-word modifiers, hyphenation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .