Results Section for a Scientific Manuscript
- Reviewers Expect to Find Only Results Here
- Results Must be Supported by Statistical Significance
- Report Primary Data (Tissue Slices, Brain Scans, etc.) as Well as Secondary Data
The Results should be written in the past tense, as these have already been obtained. Present them in a logical
order. Reserve extensive interpretation of the Results for the Discussion section, but use logic in your writing to
introduce new groups of results (see introducing methods and results.) Figures and Tables should be numbered in
the order in which they appear, and number these separately. Thus – Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3; NOT
– Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 3, Figure 4.
All statements of significance should be accompanied by a statistical description. For descriptive statistics (means
or medians) always include the associated measure of variability (standard deviation). For example, report 76.9
+ 19.8 branches/axon. For inferential statistics (e.g., chi-square, t test, F test), always include information about
the obtained magnitude of the test, the degrees of freedom, the probability level and the direction of the effect.
Reviewers demand well designed experiments that give readily interpretable results. Bar graphs and the like are
important, but 'seeing is believing' when it comes to results. Therefore, report primary data - images,
chromatograms, scans, etc. - whenever possible. Reviewers can immediately judge if your results are good or
bad, and you want to prove that you have good results!