How to Write the Analysis Section of My Research Paper

by Adam Simpson

Data collection is only the beginning of the research paper writing process. Writing up the analysis is the bulk of the project. As Purdue University's Online Writing Lab notes, analysis is a useful tool for investigating content you find in various print and other sources, like journals and video media.

Locate and collect documents. Make multiple photocopies of all relevant print materials. Label and store these in a way that provides easy access. Conduct your analysis.

Create a heading for the analysis section of your paper. Specify the criteria you looked for in the data. For instance, a research paper analyzing the possibility of life on other planets may look for the weight of evidence supporting a particular theory, or the scientific validity of particular publications.

Write about the patterns you found, and note the number of instances a particular idea emerged during analysis. For example, an analysis of Native American cultures may look for similarities between spiritual beliefs, gender roles or agricultural techniques. Researchers frequently repeat the process to find patterns that were missed during the first analysis. You can also write about your comparative analysis, if you did one. It is common to ask a colleague to perform the process and compare their findings with yours.

Summarize your analysis in a paragraph or two. Write the transition for the conclusions section of your paper.

Tip

  • Use compare and contrast language. Indicate where there are similarities and differences in the data through the use of phrases like ''in contrast'' and ''similarly.''

About the Author

Adam Simpson is an author and blogger who started writing professionally in 2006 and has written for OneStopEnglish and other Web sites. He has chapters in the volumes "Teaching and learning vocabulary in another language" and "Educational technology in the Arabian gulf," among others. Simpson attended the University of Central Lancashire where he earned a B.A. in international management.

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