Discussion Lab Report.
Writing the Discussion Section
The Discussion section is where you will be discussing your results: what they mean, why you may have gotten the results you got, and with references to similar experiments or sources that might help to explain your observations.
The Discussion section is similar to the Introduction section: it is written in a descriptive, essay-like format, and includes references.
You are required to include no fewer than 5 references, 3 of which must be primary. You may use no more than 3 references from your Introduction for the Discussion section. The Discussion section must be at least 2 pages long – anything shorter, and you probably haven’t explained your Results very well.
Your Discussion Sections should contain at least 4 paragraphs, structured as below:
- This paragraph will explain the Results listed in Table 1 and Figure 1 (since they show basically the same thing). Note any patterns that may be apparent from Figure 1, and explain – using references – why your data may look the way it looks. Be sure to specifically refer to Table/Figure 1 here!
- This paragraph will explain the Results listed in Figure 2 (the T-Test). Note what the p-value was, whether or not it was statistically significant, and what that means in practical terms (again, using references). Be sure to specifically refer to Figure 2 here!
- This paragraph should go over your Results as a whole, and offer possible explanations – backed up by references – as to why you may have gotten the Results you got. It is also here that you’ll address whether your hypothesis and predictions were confirmed or denied by the data.
- A) The last paragraph should tie everything together, and discuss what it all means for freshwater ecosystems as a whole (again, for the last time, using references).
- B) This is also a good time to discuss any potential flaws in your experimental design. Maybe, for example, the fact that equal numbers of people were surveying ponds of different sizes meant that the data is skewed one way or another. Really, anything you can think of that might be a complicating factor is fair game.
- C) Lastly, you should suggest ideas for future research surveys that might help elaborate on the topic.
And there you have it – a beautiful, elegant Discussion section, fit for framing.