How to Start a New Section

  •  Explain the Logic
  •  Introduce the New Topic


Here's an example of using logic to introduce the Discussion section.  I wrote this for a paper we recently
submitted.  I chose this approach because the Results of the paper were different from this laboratories' (even
other labs) previous publications - they had never published on cell death.

This study explains the rapid proliferation of L929 cells grown on PHBHHx. To
guide the following discussion
concerning the results, we present our logic for the experimental design.  First, we considered two potential
mechanisms by which PHBHHx increases cell proliferation:  Either polymer degradation products enter the cell to
produce an effect, or the polymer activates a receptor coupled to a signal transduction pathway inside the cell.  
We addressed the first possibility in this study, but not the second.  Of the several possible degradation products,
we choose HB, as it is found in and synthesized by cells.  Next, we considered two means that cells might
accumulate in culture in response to HB treatment:  Either by increased cell cycle progression, or by decreased
cell death.  Finally, we considered that an increase in cell number in a given volume will increase cell-to-cell
contacts, and therefore included experiments with high cell density.  We report that HB engendered L929 cell
proliferation for cultures initially plated at high density, not via the cell cycle, but by inhibiting necrotic cell death.

My comments:
In the second sentence, I tell the reader what will follow.  Then, I note decisions and why these were made,
excluding several possibilities from the discussion.  Finally, I end with the Topic Statement for this manuscript,
hanging the connecting clause to the next paragraph on the tail of the sentence.
Theory and Practice Home
"Guide" alerts the reader
that I am laying down a
path for them to follow.