writing course – common problems in the Results/Discussion Section

More useful writing tips from Pat Thomson’s blog!


It’s always as well to know what can go wrong when writing a journal article. And there are multiple areas in any paper to think about. Just because there seem to be fewer conventions for the Results/Discussion section doesn’t mean that there aren’t some common difficulties… Here’s some that often get in the way of a clear argument.

This first duo are the mirror image of each other. They relate to the way in which the balance between description and analysis has been managed:

Too much description and not enough analysis.
Too much description is where the writer spends most of their word budget telling the reader in great detail what the informants said, or what each set of results in the survey were, or how the research cases varied from one another. Minutiae. Repeated variations of the same quotation. Long slabs of narrative. Protracted reporting of field notes. What’s…

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