Writing good results and discussion

Last time we talked about writing good Abstract, Introduction, and Method sections. In this post, we synthesise the criteria of good Results and Discussion section.

By: Hao Ran Lai

Results

1. Report findings only, do NOT discuss (that is for later)

2. A results section needs to be mostly text & narrative, using figures and tables to help readers make connections and to provide evidence for your statements. A results section should never just be a list of tables & figures with no or little connecting text. Continue reading

Tips for writing a good methods section

Following our last post on writing good Introduction and Abstract, we discussed what a good Materials and Methods section should look like.

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  • The golden rule to writing a good methods section is to ask yourself whether your reader could replicate your study based on just the information you provided. Sufficient information should be provided so anybody could repeat your experiment and produce similar results. The challenge is to write this as concisely as possible. You are not conducting a high school experiment, so don’t have to tell the readers that you washed your test tubes or recorded field data with a blue ball point pen! Continue reading

New Oikos article about plant movement & invasions

Yvonne and Paul Caplat et al. published a Forum paper on Oikos on the “Movement, impacts and management of plant distributions in response to climate change: insights from invasions” to synthesis the discussion of the ESA-meeting 2011.

A brief summary of the paper can be found on the Oikos journal blog: http://oikosjournal.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/moving-plants-and-invasions/

You can download the article for FREE here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00430.x/abstract

oikos2013publication

How to write a good abstract and introduction

During the last lab meeting, each lab member read a scientific article and analysed the factors that contribute to good abstract and introduction.

Exchanging ideas and experiences in scientific writing. Photo: Hao Ran Lai.

Exchanging ideas and experiences in scientific writing. Photo: Hao Ran Lai.

Abstract

1. Broad statement (1 sentence)

  • Statement of broad field of research/context
  • Introduces the ecological concept/problem
  • What we know of the field
  • Competing and unresolved explanations

2. Narrow down the problem (1 sentence)

  • Significance to the problem
  • Consequences of the problem
  • What we’re going to do about it
  • Brief description of an hypothesis that could resolve the problem
  • Indicating the research gap Continue reading