Quick tips for writing up the results of your science paper

0) Analyse your data, make the figs and decide where and how it fits in the story

Do this first! Indeed do this immediately once you generate the data!

1) Subsection Title 

State the overall answer to the question not the type of experiment. Eg “treatment x inhibits wound healing” instead of “wound healing studies” 

Keep it as short as possible but still accurate (don’t overstretch)

2) First sentence

What is it you wanted to find out? “In order to determine if …..” Or “next, we asked….”

Only do this if it is necessary – usually the first couple of sections don’t need it as your intro should be setting everything up.

3) Second sentence

How did you go about it? “To do so, we….”

Your methods are elsewhere but one sentence or even just one clause here that states how the experiment was done will help the reader. This is especially important where you have used either multiple approaches to ask related questions (i.e. almost always!) and when your methods are located away from your results (also almost always!)

Remember to include references to support your model and your experiment choice.

4) Description of data

Clear, distinct and focused. Include the actual values not just up and down.

Point the readers to the evidence (figures) in order. Make sure every panel of your figure is desrcirbed .

5) Wrap/Conclusion

A one sentence conclusion that answers the question you asked can sometimes be used. “These data demonstrate that…” 

No need to interpret too far here just keep it to the facts.

Use this to set up the next experiment. “However, we cannot rule out…”

6) Figures

Make these first. The figures and results sections should each be able to stand alone but each should add to the story. Your text should explain the key findings such that you don’t need to look at the figs to know the data. Your figs should be understandable enough that an experienced researcher can identify the key findings themselves if they want to. However, don’t make it the reader’s job to interpret the fig. Rather, use your data figs to provide the evidence you support your statements.

Figure prep guide here

Follow the simple formula on this page and your results will write themselves.

Once you are used to writing like this all your results sections will only take ~30 mins each. More importantly, your reader will clearly follow the story as you build it up and will demonstrate to your examiners/reviewers that you understand what you did, why you did it, and what it means.

This is the short version of a more comprehensive instructions on results; available here the longer form has more examples and expands on these points

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