The purpose of a discussion section of a research paper is to relate the results (results section) back to the initial hypotheses of the study (introduction section). The discussion section provides an interpretation of the results, presents conclusions, and supports all the conclusions with evidence from the study and generally accepted knowledge. The discussion section should describe (a) what new knowledge has been gained in the study and (b) where research should go next.
Discussion of research findings must be based on basic research concepts. When the researcher explains a phenomenon, he or she must explain mechanisms. If the researcher's results agree with the expectations, the researcher should describe the theory that the evidence supported. If the researcher's results differ from the expectations, then he or ...
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