This can be one of the more questions that are challenging have ever asked me, because after looking through a large number of journal articles in my Mendeley database, I could not find a lot of them who used Discussion sections. I believe this notion of this Discussion part of an journal that is academic (or book chapter, in some cases) comes from the IMRAD style of publishing, that is, papers that have at the least listed here five sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Analysis and Discussion (hence the acronym).
Personally, I neither like, nor do I often write this type of journal article. Even if I happened to be a chemical engineer, I can’t recall as they all had a variation (merging Discussion with Results, or Results with Conclusion, or Discussion with Conclusion) that I read many papers in the IMRAD model,. When I said on Twitter, I read engineering, natural science and social science literatures. Thusly, the Discussion sections that I read vary QUITE A BIT.
All Discussion sections I’ve read are
- analytical, not descriptive,
- specific inside their interpretation of research results,
- robust within their linkage of research findings with theories, other empirical reports and various literatures,
- proficient at explaining how a paper’s results may contradict earlier work, extend it, advance our comprehension of X or Y phenomenon and, most definitely:
- NOT the conclusion for the paper. Continue reading