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Results Section. Shainn-Wei Wang, Ph.D. NCKU, College of Medicine Institute of Molecular Medicine. “What did you find” is in Results. Dogma. Why a scientific format?. Logic: U niform manner for efficient communication of scientific findings Simplicity:

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Results section

Results Section

Shainn-Wei Wang, Ph.D.

NCKU, College of Medicine

Institute of Molecular Medicine

Why a scientific format
Why a scientific format?

  • Logic:

    Uniform manner for efficient communication of scientific findings

  • Simplicity:

    allows the paper to be read at several different levels

Some exceptions
Some exceptions

  • Occasionally, certain scientific papers require organization modifications

    • incorporate the Materials and Methods and Results into an "Experimental" section

    • immediate discussion of result observations requiring a combined Results and Discussion section

    • a wide variety of variations of the standard format in descriptive areas of science

    • the Instructions to Authors of the target journal explain the options available to prospective authors

What are the results
What are the "results"?

  • Accumulate observations and analysis about your samples or experimental phenomena

  • Accumulate experimental observations and analysis for your testable hypothesis

  • In general, the conclusion of your observation is the " key result".

  • Describe the “key result” with the supporting evidence from “your data”

Results the core of the paper
Results-the core of the paper

  • Should be presented according to the experimentation design that yielded them

  • The logic decision of data selection

    • which data are representative and should be included

    • which data are repetitive and have no value

    • The compulsion to include everything, leaving nothing out, does not prove that one has unlimited information; it proves that one lacks discrimination

  • Results should be short and sweet with crystal clarity

    • The entire success of the paper is dependent upon the results

    • Graphic techniques should be used with great advantage to illustrate trends and data relationships

  • It is not the readers responsibility to analyze data

    • it is the authors job to identify and direct the authors attention to major features or trends of the data

    • great care should be taken in graphics construction since they must be in the printing process.

    • Do not abuse data graphics by referring to them as; "It is clearly seen in Table 1 that…".

The major difference between results discussions what are the discussions
The major difference between Results & discussions…What are the “Discussions”?

  • The function of the Discussion

    • to interpret your results in light of what was already knownabout the subject of the investigation

    • to explain new understandingof the problem after taking your results into consideration

Discussion the antenna for communications
Discussion-the antenna for communications

  • Connect and communicate with the Introduction

  • Communicate with the literatures (the fundamental questions to answer)

Connect and communicate with the introduction
Connect and communicate with the Introduction

  • it tells how your study has moved us forward from the place you left us at the end of the Introduction

  • by way of the question(s) or hypotheses you posed and the literature you cited, but it does not simply repeat or rearrange the Introduction

  • Introduction“ and the „Discussion“ should be closely related to the results of your study (although after a literature search it is tempting at times to feature the whole field in a „review-like“ presentation).

Communicate with the literatures
Communicate with the literatures

  • Do your results provide answers to your testable hypotheses? If so, how do you interpret your findings?

  • Do your findings agree with what others have shown? If not, do they suggest an alternative explanation or perhaps a unforeseen design flaw in your experiment (or theirs?)

  • Given your conclusions, what is our new understanding of the problem you investigated and outlined in the Introduction

  • If warranted, what would be the next step in your study, e.g., what experiments would you do next?

Writing the results section the logic sequence
Writing the Results Section- the logic sequence

1. Analyze and interpret the results once

the data are collected

2. Write the Table and Figure legends

3. Write the Results Section

1 analyze and interpret the results
1. Analyze and interpret the results

  • Analysis will include

    • data summaries (mathematic calculation / quantitation / judgment based on: Pos/Neg controls, means, variances, and etc.)

    • mathematic evaluations or statistical tests to verify conclusions

  • About the use of the word significant(ly):

    • this word implies that a statistical test was employed to make a decision about the data

  • Interpetation

    • Data analysis + Central idea + Logic evaluation

    • Most scientists lay out their Tables and Figuresupon completion of the data analysis before writing the Results section

2 write the table and figure legends
2. Write the Table and Figure legends

  • Write one or two key resultsthat each Table or Figure conveys and use this information as a basis for writing the outline of the Results section.

  • Sequence and number the Tables and Figures in the order which best enables the reader to reach your conclusions.

Example the outlines
Example-the outlines

  • Virus particle production by NC mutants. (major title A,

    • “platitudinous” outline is acceptible when you have inconsistent or many different observations to talk about. In this case, I would expect that subtitle/suboutline to be more specific)

      subtitle 1…

      (a hidden title…should be a topic sentence that allows you to describe your observations or analysis)

      subtitle 2….

  • Stability and recovery of NC mutant viral particles. (major title B)

  • RNA incorporation in NC mutants.(major title C)

  • Role of RNA in PRparticle stability.(major title D)

Example the outlines1
Example-the outlines

  • Outline (major title) A: Particle production of M1-2/BR, a mutant virus thatshows reduced RNA incorporation. (showing a major conclusion/key result/take home message)

    subtitle 1: you are going to talk about the yields of mutant and wt particles (this may include a suggestion of meaning)

    subtitle 2: you are going to talk about the amounts of RNA inside the mutant and wt particles (this may include a suggestion of meaning)

    subtitle 3: you are going to give a major conclusion (key result) or suggestions for your observations, if you think the data are very complicated and require another paragraph to get across the idea of your observations

3 write the results section
3.Write the Results Section

  • Including text and illustrative materials (Tables and Figures)

    • Use the text component to guide the reader through your key results

    • Outline and connectyour key results

    • Each Table and Figure must be referenced. you must tell the reader what the key result(s) is that each Table or Figure conveys.

4 major brewing processes
4 major brewing processes

  • Knowing what information to include or


  • How to logically state the results of your study

  • How to efficiently refer the reader to a table or figure

  • How to give the data the “Suggestion of meaning” based on the presented data

Knowing what information to include or exclude
Knowing what information to include or exclude

  • Gathering the supporting evidence

    • do not deviate from the central idea

    • select the one that best describe the phenomenon but not your own expectation

    • The fool collects facts; the wise person selects them

  • Each figure or table should have a central idea

  • Be honest with your data

  • Conflicting data

    • requires an explanation (details in discussion)

    • more experiments to confirm this

Suggestion of meaning
Suggestion of meaning

  • Suggestion should be logic and close

    related to your data

  • Virions with aberrant morphology could

    be observed in both pM1-2/BR/PR (Fig.

    2a) and pHXB2/PR (Fig. 2b), suggesting

    that the aberrant morphology is more likely

    the result of the mutation in PR than in

    NC. (suggestions should be closely related to your data)

Report negative results they are important
Report negative results - they are important!

  • If you did not get the anticipated results:

    • it may mean your hypothesis was incorrect and needs to be reformulated

    • or perhaps you have stumbled onto something unexpected that warrants further study

    • In either case, your results may be of importance to others even though they did not support your hypothesis.

  • Do not fall into the trap of thinking that results contrary to what you expected are "bad data"

    • If you carried out the work well, they are simply your results and need interpretation.

    • Many important discoveries can be traced to "bad data".


  • Outline the key results of your data

  • Data are best illustrated by figures and tables

  • Figures and tables should be made to stand alone

  • Logic description and guiding based on the data

  • An ideal paper usually has 7 figures and 3 tables


1. Title

2. Table body

3. Descriptions


1. Figure body

2. descriptions:

better to have

a short title

The format of tables and figures
The format of tables and figures

  • has several lines of text in the legend

    - explain the information that is being presented

    - made to stand alone

  • A table's legend appears above it, while the legend for a figure appears below the figure 

The statistics
The Statistics

  • If your table includes the results of a statistical analysis, be sure to provide the information necessary for the reader to properly evaluate the analysis (probability levels, degrees of freedom, sample size, etc.).

Tips 1

  • Do not include in the text the same data in both a table and a figure

  • Best to present the numeral data in a table unless there is visual information that can be gained by using a figure


  • SIVspecific IgG responses were weak, ranging from 1:100 to 1:2,560 on the day of challenge (Table 4)

Importance of writing the title or outlines of your results
Importance of writing the title (or outlines of your “Results)

  • This links to the structure of your manuscripts

  • Try this: Begin at the end!

    • Write down conclusions (key results) as clearly/precisely as possible

    • Then try to design a tentative yet meaningful title (outlines).

    • Try to incorporate into your title a result, a conclusion, some kind of “take-home message“, something you want the reader to remember.

    • Try to avoid platitudinous titles (or outlines) like „Analysis of 47 tumors for“, or „Investigation of the level of.....“. To the critical reader/reviewer this indicates that your study has not produced a meaningful result

    • This tip also apply to the “Introduction“ and the “Discussion“ : initially choose a number of headlines, under which you present your thoughts. Eventually remove the headlines and combine each section or chapter.

  • As the next step you should write a tentative abstract, as short version of what you want to say.

    • This will guide you in deciding of what you want to write/focus in the main body of the manuscript

Some general suggestions
Some general suggestions “Results)

1. Save words

  • Be simple and brief:

    • should not be confused with deleting information

    • …the most frequent among its localizations is the nuclear one.“

      …it is most frequently localized in the nucleus

    • Aim at a balance between “as much as necessary“ and “not more than neccessary“.

  • Avoid phrases like:

    • the next highly interesting result was obtained...

    • As shown in Fig. 3, the sky was blue.

      The sky was blue (Fig. 3)

    • The data of the analysis on cell cycle parameters are shown in Fig. 1. They have revealed that the cell cycle is advanced by factor X...

      Factor X advances the cell cycle (Fig. 1), indicating that ...

2. Consistency “Results)

  • Be consistent in definitions. Always use the very same term for the same procedure, the same context to identify a clone, a cell line etc.

    3. Structure

  • Write a step by step procedure in a logical order.

    • adding the phages after three washes...

      after three washes the phages were added...

  • Describe things always in the same order you have started with.

    • If you have started A, B and C it is only confusing if you use in the next chapter a B, A, C order.

4. Avoid Redundancy “Results)

  • Do not repeat the same opinion, argument, fact in successive sentences to try making something more clear to the reader, instead use the most precise phrase, and only once.

  • sometimes you detect something in the literature that is new to you. BE AWARE: This might not be new to the reader of your paper. So don’t go into any more detail on this than if it would be known to you well.

    5. Avoid Emotions

  • No emotions/ personal feelings

  • avoid words like: surprising, interesting, astonishing,....

6. Avoid Uncertainty “Results)

  • Use only one degree of uncertainty per sentence

    • This appears to indicate that factor A possiblymayhave a tendency to interact with factor

      This indicates (suggests) that factor A interacts with factor B

      7. Avoid Ambiguous terms

  • be precise!

  • No: quite, as described above, aforementioned, very, rather, fairly, relatively, comparatively, several, much, a lot, a couple, further down

    8. Spellings

  • Try to use a good dictionary (i.e. Webster’s) to check spellings.

  • Be careful to use the right spelling from the first draft.

9. Comma “Results)

  • some basic rules for using a comma:

    • a. A comma is used when the subject changes.

      ...the slides were washed, and the phages were dropped....

    • b. Try to understand the difference:

      • Those bacteria that were purified were all resistant.... (no comma)

      • The neomycin resistant bacteria,which can be selected by growing them on agar plates containing antibiotic, all should contain the neoR-plasmid (the “which“ following the comma is an explanation).

    • c. “ ,respectively, “ ; but be careful to use this word in a way that is correct

    • d. Also, early at the beginning of sentences, like:

      „Next, we analyzed............“

      „There, the difference........“

10. Paragraphs “Results)

  • Order one coherent thought into one paragraph. Use a logical order of thoughts. Avoid repetitions.

  • And remember: one sentence does not make a paragraph!

11. Style “Results)

  • There is only one style in scientific writing

    • It is dictated by precision in expressing what you want to say.

    • This requires discipline and concentration. Because this is hard work, the fewer words you use the better it is for you.

    • Precipitation of DNA was achieved by the addition of alcohol

      DNA was precipitated with alcohol

  • Follow four rules:

    - be simple and concise

    - make sure of the meaning of every word

    • use verbs instead of nouns e.g.

    • Check each sentence:does it provide the information in a way that it is not misunderstood?

12. Possessiveness “Results)

  • Do not use possessive pronouns! Avoid

    we, we, we, we, we, I, I, I, I, I, I, our, us, ....

  • Just present the facts!...previous studies have shown (Ref.)...

    • this gene localizes in our contig ....

      ...localizes to the contig previously published (Ref.)...

      13. Importance (Avoid self-adulation!!!)

  • Some authors have a tendency to point out that their work is extremely important. Some readers (including reviewers!) are annoyed by this habit.

  • It is actually better to avoid phrases like

    -...we have found for the first time..

    ... this study presents additional (or similar) information....

    -... we were the first to report....

    -... we have for a long time predicted and now we have shown...

    ... this study confirms our previously published ideas ...

14. Emphasis “Results)

  • Be restrictive in using:

    • Very

    • Extremely

      15. Avoid alluding to other sections in the manuscript

    • “ described above/before...“

    • “ will be described later...“

16. Avoid the ”Materials and Methods” in the Results

  • The main sentence should not address what you are doing, it is reserved for the result (observations & findings)

  • The „doing“ should be dealt with under „materials and methods“.

  • May briefly describe experimental approaches in a way necessary to understand the experiment

    17. Avoid extensive interpretations in the Results

  • these are reserved for the „Discussion“..

  • “The resulting phages were analysed. They showed ...“

    ”Analysis of the resulting phages showed ....!

18. Prepare brilliant illustrations Results

  • Before preparing illustrations, please look at some reputated journals and try to find an illustration that is similar to the style of the one you want to prepare.

  • Sending small, stamp-like figures to an Editor is a waste of time, the manuscript most likely will be returned.

  • Please understand that reviewers ,when they have difficulties to decipher the meaning of illustrations, tend to reject the manuscript.

    19.Use a good letter size, avoid wasting space.

  • Putting a tiny picture on a large piece of paper is a wast of space!

  • Use electronic files for arranging groups of pictures. Particular attention should be given to colour illustrations that are grouped together on a page. Again, inspect a number of manuscripts in reputable journals

20. When results were discussed in the “Discussions” Results

  • Do not refer to original data or illustrations. (fig. 3)

  • Do not repeat data in the Discussion.

    • Our analysis had revealed that 20% of the chromosomes were broken. Additionally, in 10% of the broken chromosomes the gene X was mutated. This shows that there is a preferential ...

      “The incidence of 20% broken chromosomes of which 10% had gene X mutations shows a preferential...”

  • No data in the main sentence

21. Nomenclature Results

  • General:species and all Latin derivates are in italics (in vivo, post mortem, etc.)

  • Human genes:all caps and italics (MYCN)

  • Mouse genes: first letter cap, rest lower case, italics (Brca 2)

  • Proteins: first letter cap, rest lower case, no italics (Brca 2)

  • Restriction enzymes: check supplier, but usually it is a combination of italics and non-italics (e.g. BamH )

22. Miscellaneous Results

  • ...a number of genes have been ...(often used, but incorrect, subject is singular)

    ...many genes have been....

  • A majority of aberrations were concordant...

    Most aberrations were concordant...........

  • There are a variety of data that suggests......... Or: ........this data was ascertained...

    Several data suggest that.......... these data were ascertained.....

    - ...single clones were obtained and cell lysates prepared ... (don’t omit the verb)

    ...single clones were obtained, and cell lysates were prepared

Discussion section
Discussion Section Results

Shainn-Wei Wang, Ph.D.

NCKU, College of Medicine

Institute of Molecular Medicine

What do these findings mean? Results

Your answer is the Discussions

Something about the discussions
Something about the “Discussions” Results

  • More difficult to define than the other sections

  • Rejection & inadequate discussion preparation

  • Where you will analyze and interpret the results of your experiment.

  • Most discussions tend to be too long for their intended purpose or for the available results

  • The "squid" technique prevails and the author, not knowing what to say about the results, hides behind a protective cloud of ink

  • You should state your conclusions in this section. Do not use the word prove in your conclusions.

    • Your results will support, verify,orconfirm your hypothesis,

    • or they will negate, refute, or contradict your hypothesis;

    • the word prove is not appropriate in scientific writing.

The discussion should attempt to
The discussion should attempt to: Results

  • Present the principles, relationships and generalizations shown by the results. It should discuss, not reformulate the results. (PP)

  • Summarize the evidence of the study for each conclusion. (SE)

  • Point out any exceptions or lack of correlation and define any unsettled points. (PC)

  • Show how your results and interpretations agree or disagree with previously published works. (SAD)

  • Discuss any theoretical implications or practical applications of the results. (DIA)

  • Reaffirm the major conclusions or findings as clearly as possible. (RC)

Before writing the discussions
Before writing the Discussions Results

1. Complete your Introduction and Results sections before you begin writing the discussion.

  • As you study the information in the Introduction section and your data in the Results section, write down relationships and integrate these relationships into a rough draft of your discussion.

    2. The figures and tables in the Results section will be particularly important as you begin to think about your discussion.

  • The tables allow you to present your results clearly to the reader

  • graphs allow you to visualize the effects that the independent variable has had on the dependent variables in your experiment.

  • Studying these data will be one of the first steps in interpreting your results.

Helpful guides
Helpful guides Results

The following steps may be helpful to you as you begin to organize your discussion (Gray et al., 1988) :

  • Restate your question, hypothesis, and prediction.

  • Answer the question:

    • Write down the specific data, including results of statistical tests.

    • State whether your results did or did not confirm your prediction and support or negate your hypothesis.

  • Write down what you know about the biology involved in your experiment.

    • How do your results fit in with what you know?

    • What is the significance of your results?

  • List weaknesses you have identified in your experimental design.

    • You will need to tell the reader how these imperfections may have affected your results.

  • List any problems that arose during the experiment itself.

    • Unforeseen difficulties with the procedure may affect the data and should be described in the discussion.

  • Having completed this list, integrate all of this information into several simple, clear, concise paragraphs.

The brewing steps

The brewing steps Results

  • Authors use “Discussions” section to examine their own work in the larger context of the research field.

    • Sometimes this section is combined with the result section as the “results and discussion section”.

    • Rarely, this section is called conclusions.

  • Interpretation of your results

    • how your results modify and fit in with what we previously understood about the problem.

    • Review the literature again at this time.

    • After completing the experiments you will have much greater insight into the subject, and by going through some of the literature again, information that seemed trivial before, or was overlooked, may tie something together and therefore prove very important to your own interpretation.

    • Be sure to cite the works that you refer to.

Contents of the discussion section

Contents of the discussion section Results

  • The principles, relationships, and generalization shown by the results. DO NOT recapitulate the results.

  • How your results agree or contrast with previously published work.

  • Discuss the theoretical implication of your results.

  • Summarize your evidence for each conclusion.

  • Avoid including topics that do not fit into the story (if possible).

The usual order of your contents in discussion section

The usual order of your contents in discussion section Results

  • Original hypothesis

  • Findings

  • Explanation for findings

  • (implications of the study)

  • Limitation

  • Need for further research

The goal stress the significance of your report

The goal: stress the significance of your report Results

  • In the first paragraph, state concisely the central conclusion, or answer, to be drawn from the data presented in Results.

  • Provide the necessary additional evidence, including data from your previous study or other investigators to support your “answers” or conclusions.

  • If some evidence appears to lead to a conclusion different from yours, you should logically resolve the difference. Do not try to obscure the differences.

Example the first paragraph
Example: the first paragraph Results

We have carried out a small pilot study to investigate whether SIV-specific mucosal immunity can be induced by a DNA vaccine candidate that produces noninfectious virus and whether virus-specific IgA antibodies are a desirable component of a vaccine aimed toward the prevention of mucosally transmitted AIDS. From this study, we can infer the following. (i) A DNA construct that expresses all the SIV proteins except Nef and produces a noninfectious virus due to mutations in three structural genes is a safe and immunogenic reagent in macaques. (ii) This DNA vaccine administered to macaques in a liposome formulation at the rectal mucosa can stimulate significant levels of antigen-specific IgA in mucosal secretions. These levels are higher than those achieved through natural infection. (iii) Virus-specific IgA antibodies present in rectal secretions may have a role in decreasing the infectivity of the initial viral inoculum but alone are unlikely to be sufficient to prevent infection. (iv) Simultaneous DNA vaccination via multiple routes as described here did not result in efficient priming of various immunological compartments.

Example 2, the first paragraph Results

The retroviral NC protein appears to have roles at multiple stages of the virus life cycle. As a domain of the Gag precursor, it is involved in Gag-Gag interactions that are critical to assembly and in RNA binding and packaging (see references 46 and 51 and references therein). The processed NC p7 may be involved in early steps of the infection process (48). In this report, we show that the basic charge present in NC is crucial to NC-RNA interactions but not as crucial to Gag-Gag interactions at the cell membrane. No major defects in membrane association or in the amount of Gag released in the supernatant were observed for the pM1-2/BR mutant. Therefore, it is unlikely that the basic residues present in the two zinc binding motifs mediate the role played by NC in virus assembly. We also show that there is a direct correlation between the percentage of Gag that is associated with RNA and the amount of Gag that can be pelleted as particle associated. Particles that band at the appropriate density for a retrovirus are particles that incorporate RNA. Two possible interpretations can be offered for the origin of the Gag proteins found in the supernatant that are not particle associated. They can derive from RNA-deficient, barge-associated Gag complexes that do not complete the proper assembly and budding process and are released in some manner from the cell. Alternatively, assembly and budding are completed successfully, independently of the presence of RNA in the barge complexes; particles that do not package RNA are highly unstable after release and become quickly disrupted, leading to the accumulation of viral proteins in the supernatant. We favor the latter hypothesis.

Point out any lack of correlation

Point out any lack of correlation Results

  • Never take the high-risk alternative of trying to cover up or fudge data that do not quite fit.

Do not be shy

Do not be shy! Results

  • Discuss the theoretical implication of your work, as well as any possible practical applications.

  • The significance of the results is often not discussed or not discussed adequately.

  • The discuss should end with a short summary or conclusion regarding the significance of the work.

The bottom line to show your sound logic in presenting your report

The bottom line: Resultsto show your sound logic in presenting your report


Scientists find the organs responsible

for the leaping of a frog

The leg?

The heart?

The eyes?

The stomach?

The kidney?

The liver?

The brain?

How to conclude the discussion

How to conclude the discussion? Results

  • A good paper, like a good music need a good climax in the end.

  • Discussion on to what extent findings in a research can be generalize to all similar situations?

  • If no generalization can be deduced, suggest how the discrepancy could be resolved ( in a new study).

  • Do not extend speculations and implications too far.

Example 1 the last paragraph of the discussion
Example 1: The last paragraph of the “Discussion” Results

The small size of the groups does not lend statistical power to any conclusions about protection. Nevertheless, it is intriguing that the observed protection of one in three animals in two of the vaccine groups is comparable to the rate of success obtained in other SIV DNA vaccine studies (13, 45). A more

thorough evaluation of the role of mucosal immunity in protection from infection will require a more extensive investigation with a larger number of animals. Nevertheless, our ability to easily induce a high level of SIV-specific IgA in rectal secretions by local DNA vaccination provides a simple immunization strategy that could be easily transferred to the clinical

setting, if stimulation of mucosal immunity is a desirable feature in an SIV and/or HIV vaccine.

Example 2 the last paragraph of the discussion
Example 2:The last paragraph of the “Discussion” Results

Taken together, the data presented here provide evidence in support of the role played by the viral RNA in particle structure stability but exclude a role for NC-mediated RNA binding in assembly. Our results also indicate that processing is the event that requires appropriate NC-RNA interactions to retain

particle stability. Thus, the viral genomic RNA molecule functions both as the genome of the retrovirus and as an essential structural component of mature retroviral virions via its interaction with NC.

Which tense to use

Which tense to use? Results

  • Simple past tense for the findings of the

    current study.

  • Simple present for general facts.

  • For discussion of possible reason,

    limitations of the findings, past, present,

    and modal auxiliaries (modifiers) may be


Tips 11
Tips-1 Results

  • You should interpret your results in light of other published results

    • by adding additional information from sources you cited in the Introduction section as well as by introducing new sources.

    • Make sure you provide accurate citations. 

Tips 2
Tips-2 Results

  • Relate your discussion back to the objectives and questions you raised in the Introduction section

    • However, do not simply re-state the objectives.

    • Make statements that synthesize all the evidence (including previous work and the current work). 

Tips 3
Tips-3 Results

  • Do not make statements that are too broad:

    • Limit your conclusions to those that your data can actually support

    • such as "We did not find a significant effect of the HIV Tat protein in stimulating XXX expression in DC in this experiment." 

    • You can then proceed to speculate on why this occurred and whether you expected this to occur, based on other workers' findings. 

Tips 4
Tips-4 Results

  • Suggest future directions for research, new methods, explanations for deviations from previously published results, etc. 

Tips 5
Tips-5 Results

  • If necessary, note problems with the methods and explain anomalies in the data

    • Do not simply list the problems but provide thoughtful discussion about the implications of the errors in terms of your conclusions.

How to cite sources
How to Cite Sources Results

  • Cite references as evidence of the claims you are making

  • Give a full citation in the Literature cited section for all sources mentioned in the text.

There are ways of citing sources in the text yet the flow of the reading is not badly interrupted
There are ways of citing sources in the text, yet the flow of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • Smith (1983) found that N-fixing plants could be infected by several different species of Rhizobium.

  • Walnut trees are known to be allelopathic (Smith 1949, Bond et al. 1955, Jones and Green 1963).

  • Although the presence of Rhizobium normally increases the growth of legumes (Nguyen 1987), the opposite effect has been observed (Washington 1999).

  • Note that articles by one or two authors are always cited in the text using their last names. However, if there are more than two authors, the last name of the 1st author is given followed by the abbreviation et al. which is Latin for "and others". 

  • The second citation gives the statement more validity in its context and suggests that your research was thorough.  Note also that the sources are ordered by publication date, so that the earliest citation comes first.


Syntax of the reading is not badly interrupted.

Syntax must be bad, having both sin and tax in it.

  • Lying on top of the intestine, you will probably find a transparent thread.

  • By filtering through Whatman filter paper, we separated the components.

  • Antibiotic-Combination Drugs Used to Treat ColdsBanned by FDA

  • A wise advise: no “dangling modifiers”


Pronouns of the reading is not badly interrupted.

Be careful about them…

  • Free information is available about sex-transmitted disease. To get it, you have to go the health office and see the nurse.

Double negatives

Double negatives of the reading is not badly interrupted.

Some mistakes that we do not make…

  • There ain’t nobody in this room knowing nothing about correct English.

Which is the correct expression

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • The optimum conditions for measuring cellular activities were found in this study.

  • The optimal conditions for measuring cellular activities were found in this study.

  • optimum

  • The best or most suitable (dose)

  • optimal

  • The best, the most favourable

Which is the correct expression1

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • A RNA virus

  • An RNA virus

  • An bacterium

  • A bacteria

  • A bacterium

  • two bacteriae

  • Two bacteria

Which is the correct expression2

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • Finally, the findings described in this paper are the strongest evidence to support…

  • At last, the findings described in this paper are the strongest evidence to support…

At last and finally are rather similar in meaning as they suggest that we have been waiting for something for a long time (in the end). However, at last is normally used only for things that you are pleased have happened whereas finally can be used for both positive and negative things. By the end means at some point before the end

Which is the correct expression3

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • This data contributes significantly to the understanding of the phenomenon.

  • These data contributes significantly to the understanding of the phenomenon.

  • These data contribute significantly to the understanding of the phenomenon.

  • Strictly speaking, data is the plural of datum, and should be used with a plural verb (like facts).

  • a growing tendency to use it as an equivalent to the uncountable noun information, followed by a singular verb. This is now regarded as generally acceptable in American use, and in the context of information technology.

  • The traditional usage is still preferable, at least in Britain, but it may soon become a lost cause

Which is the correct expression4

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • The previous literature in this area has focused on…

  • Previous researchers in this field have focused on…

Which is the correct expression5

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • The cells were analyzed by a flow cytometer.

  • The cells were analyzed with a flow cytometer.

  • The cells were analyzed by flow cytometery.

  • The cells were analyzed with flow cytometery

  • cells were fixed in 1% paraformaldehyde in PBS and analyzed on a Becton-Dickinson FACS calibur.

Which is the correct expression6

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • The treatment of the mice consisted of skin cutting, drug injection, and exhausting exercise.

  • The treatment of the mice comprised of skin cutting, drug injection, and exhausting exercise.

  • The treatment of the mice composed of skin cutting, drug injection, and exhausting exercise.

Which is the correct expression7

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • A significant amount of our equipment has been replaced by newer models.

  • A significant number of our equipment has been replaced by newer models.

Which is the correct expression8

Which is the correct expression? of the reading is not badly interrupted.

  • Despite we tried various reaction conditions, the results could not be repeated.

  • Although we tried various reaction conditions, the results could not be repeated.