Writing Your results

Congratulations – you are near the end of the research cycle! Once you have analyzed your data, it is time to begin telling scholars, policymakers, and the interested public what you’ve found.

Ideally, the writeup of your results will give several key pieces of information and context to the reader: you should tell the reader what conclusions you drew from your data analysis, but you should also explain how you went through the research cycle. What was the research question and how did you do the data gathering and analysis to support your conclusions? Providing this information helps the reader understand and contextualize your conclusions, and often makes the conclusions more persuasive. It also helps other scholars understand your research process and more productively compare different findings and studies.

Even though you are near the end of the cycle, make no mistake – the writing process can be incredibly challenging. You may have to distill months or years of work into just a few pages and balance the need to provide transparency and information to the reader with avoiding excessive and irrelevant detail. Writing empirical research results might take some practice, but there are standard approaches to organizing the writing that can help you get started. The portal contains a breakdown of general structures for reporting empirical research results, as well as some tips on issues that empirical writers encounter.