Chapter 5: Writing the Results Section

Results Goal 4: Expanding the Niche

The final goal in the Results section is called Expanding the Niche. The main aim of Goal 4 is to further develop the evaluations of the results that come from Goal 3. This expanded commentary helps to relate your current study to the broader context of the discipline.

Like Goal 3, this particular objective (Goal 4) may or may not appear in the Results section. If your paper is organized with the Results and Discussion sections combined, Goal 4 is more likely to appear. Nevertheless, if the Results section and Discussion section are separate, Goal 4 may not appear in the Results but would be in the Discussion section instead.

Strategies for Results Communicative Goal 4: Expanding the Niche

  • Generalizing results
  • Stating the value
  • Noting implications
  • Proposing directions

We’ll now discuss each of these and provide some examples from published research.

Results Goal 4 Strategy: Generalizing Results

Generalizing results infers, or deduces meaning, from results and develops general claims or conclusions. Authors typically generalize results by summarizing or synthesizing major findings or making deductions from the findings to broaden the scope of specific results, expand the meaning of the principle findings outside the framework of the study, or deliberate on (consider) the generalizability, transferability, and/or validity of the results.

Here are two examples of how you can accomplish this step:


  • In conclusion, through the separate experiments, we determined that the addition of 1-CO2H to an ethanol solution of zinc acetate does not result in quenching of the emission.[1]
  • Because of their disabilities, combat veterans have trouble working, which leads them to stop looking for work and leave the labor force. This is further evidence that combat veterans experience direct cumulative disadvantage. Figure 3 presents predicted probabilities of disability by age and combat status, demonstrating that combat veterans were somewhat more likely than non-veterans and much more likely than non-combat veterans to be disabled throughout the work life.[2]


Results Goal 4 Strategy: Stating the Value

Stating the value is another important strategy in Goal 4. You can use this strategy to demonstrate the noteworthiness, or importance, of your study by pointing out the most relevant findings. By employing this strategy, authors can advocate for the importance of their results and/or the study as a whole and can highlight their specific contribution[s] to the discipline.

Consider the following examples:


  • In an historical context, these findings are especially significant in that local governments were the most vehement opponents of CAMA, and especially its local planning requirements, when the statute was enacted some 25 years ago (Heath, 1974).[3]
  • The most noteworthy finding is that GEB24 a variety well known for all filled spikelets and Jaya—also known for good grain filling, exhibited high AGPase activity until 20 dpa. In contrast, in the hybrid CoRH2, known to have high number of spikelets but a significant number being unfilled, the AGPase activity was lower and dropped after 15 dpa.[4]


Following are some examples from the Academic Phrasebank website that you might consider using as sentence starters:

  • What stands out in the results is …
  • It is apparent from these results that …
  • The most interesting aspect of the findings is …
  • What is striking about the results is …
  • What is interesting about the outcomes is that …
  • This finding is quite revealing in several ways.

Results Goal 4 Strategy: Noting Implications

Noting implications informs readers of the potential implications and/or application of the results and/or the entire study. This strategy helps you explain how your results could be applied more broadly to research, practice, theory, etc. in the discipline, show the larger impact of the results and/or study beyond the current work, and point out possible consequences of either the findings or of the study itself.

The examples below illustrate this strategy in use.


  • With the added advantage of inclusion of only those lines maturing in the target area of its use, this panel will be an excellent resource for future association studies.[5]
  • In summary, the micro-PIV measurements suggest that the theoretical solution for a fully developed laminar channel flow expressed in Eq. 1 can be used to effectively estimate the flow velocity distribution inside the square microchannel even though the micro-flow was in transient state during the flow decay process.[6]


Following are some examples from the Academic Phrasebank website that you might consider using as sentence starters:

  • It can therefore be assumed that the …
  • It can therefore be assumed that the …
  • An implication of this is the possibility that …
  • The present study raises the possibility that …
  • One of the issues that emerges from these findings is …
  • Some of the issues emerging from this finding relate specifically to …
  • These findings may help us to understand …
  • This finding, while preliminary, suggests that .…
  • This finding has important implications for developing …
  • This observational study suggests that a diet rich in X may help prevent …
  • These findings raise intriguing questions regarding the nature and extent of …
  • This combination of findings provides some support for the conceptual premise that …

Key Takeaways

There are four strategies that can help you attain the objective of Goal 4: Expanding the Niche:

  • Generalizing results, and/or
  • Stating the value, and/or
  • Noting implications, and/or
  • Proposing directions

  1. Rossini, J. E., Huss, A. S., Bohnsack, J. N., Blank, D. A., Mann, K. R., & Gladfelter, W. L. (2011). Binding and static quenching behavior of a terthiophene carboxylate on monodispersed zinc oxide nanocrystals. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C115(1), 11-17.
  2. MacLean, A. (2010). The things they carry: Combat, disability, and unemployment among US men. American Sociological Review, 75(4), 563-585.
  3. Norton, R. K. (2005). More and better local planning: State-mandated local planning in coastal North Carolina. Journal of the American Planning Association, 71(1), 55-71.
  4. Devi, T. A., Sarla, N., Siddiq, E. A., & Sirdeshmukh, R. (2010). Activity and expression of adenosine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase in developing rice grains: Varietal differences and implications on grain filling. Plant Science178(2), 123-129.
  5. Hansey, C. N., Johnson, J. M., Sekhon, R. S., Kaeppler, S. M., & De Leon, N. (2011). Genetic diversity of a maize association population with restricted phenology. Crop Science, 51(2), 704-715.
  6. Wang, B., Demuren, A., Gyuricsko, E., & Hu, H. (2011). An experimental study of pulsed micro-flows pertinent to continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy. Experiments in Fluids, 51(1), 65-74.


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