The difference between analysis and findings in a research paper

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The difference between analysis and findings in a research paper
A good research paper has a clearly defined analysis and conclusion. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Writing a good research paper requires an understanding of how academic writing should be structured and what should be included in each section. The lines between analysis and conclusion can sometimes become a little blurred but there are clear differences between the two sections.

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Analysis

Analysing a subject requires you to break research material down into small segments and explain its relevance to the research question. Good analysis should contain a range of opinions and supporting points. In academic writing, you should try to find articles that offer different arguments and draw attention to the different views on a subject in your analysis. A balanced presentation of the views of other writers should be part of your analysis. Don’t include your own findings in this section as they should be left until the conclusion.

Academic writing

Your analysis should follow the basics of academic writing. Don’t include information that isn't relevant or doesn't add to the debate. Avoid repetition and keep your writing clear and concise. Use data from other research papers or direct quotes from sources, but always credit the original author in your references. Keep the analysis structured and see it as part of the building blocks leading to the findings and recommendations you will make in your conclusion.

Conclusion

Your conclusion will be covered in the final paragraphs of your research paper and should contain reasoned findings on your research, highlighting the significance of key points covered in your analysis. It should include a summary of the evidence and arguments contained in your analysis. The conclusion can include recommendations, discussion of wider implications or suggested lines of future research.

Findings

Whereas your analysis includes discussion about a range of research material, the conclusion is where you, as the author, cover your findings and recommendations on the question. Avoid quotes and make it clear that your personal views are being expressed. Try and finish with a sentence that directly answers the question you are writing about.

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