The exact format of a research paper varies across disciplines, but they share certain features in common. They have the following sections (which may have different names in different fields): Introduction, literature review (these first two are often combined), methodology, data analysis, results (or findings), discussion and conclusion. (These last two are also often combined.)

Basic Description of Analysis and Findings

In the analysis section, you describe what you did with your data. If it is a quantitative paper, this will include details of statistical procedures. If it is a qualitative paper, it may include SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

In the findings section, sometimes called results, you report what the analysis revealed, but only the factual matter of the results, not their implication or meaning.

What is Needed to Write the Analysis and Findings Sections

To write the analysis section, you need to know what the analysis consisted of, but you do not necessarily need data, unless the analysis changed as a result of looking at the data.

To write the findings section, you need to have already performed the analysis.

Who Should Write the Analysis and Findings Sections

If the paper has more than one author (as many research papers do), then different people may write the analysis and findings sections. The author who writes the analysis section should be knowledgeable about the methods used. If it is a quantitative paper, he or she may be a statistician or data analyst. The author who writes the findings section should be knowledgeable about the way findings in the field are reported. He will often be the lead author of the paper.

Style of the Analysis and Findings Sections

The analysis section often includes a justification of the methods used. It is often technical in nature, and may be skipped by many readers. The findings section is purely descriptive, and should be easily understood by all members of the paper's targeted audience.