Education Research Papers: The Discussion Section is Very Important

The discussion section of an educational research paper is the final set of paragraphs, and its purpose is to summarize the research that has been described, make coherent sense of the overall body of work, and leave the reader with some additional insights or recommendations that might inform future educational policy.

On top of this basic, textual function, the discussion section has one more role that perhaps is even more important: it determines how the reader will remember the essay. A strong, punchy, and interesting discussion section will give the reader a greater impression of the overall work, and can result in a much higher grade, all things being otherwise equal, But how to end that discussion section in a captivating, moving way? See below for some suggestions.

Consider the Stakes

In an educational research paper, some social problem or educational quandary has been explored at length. It is often an issue of great importance. Your goal, as you write the discussion section of your paper, should be to remind the reader of how important this topic truly is. An anecdote that illustrates the necessity of exploring your topic may help; if you’re discussing the effects of participatory exercises in group instruction, for example, give the reader an example of how in-class participation made a big difference for a particular student or class. If the reader remembers what is at stake, they will take the paper more seriously and evaluate it more positively.

Recap the Information

If at all possible, you should leave the reader with a sense that they have learned something crucial about your topic by reading the paper. To accomplish this, restate some particularly interesting information, or just briefly outline what was discussed throughout the paper. If your research paper is about a topic that is somewhat obscure or unfamiliar to many readers, remind the reader of this. An essay that gives its reader a useful knowledge base will be remembered long after one that simply restates existing data.

Make Recommendations

If you topic relates to public policy at all, you should also give the reader a recommendation for how the current educational system could be improved. This will make the essay both interesting and inspiring, and may even motivate your reader to take action! If you’re writing about the effects of dilapidated educational buildings on learning, for instance, you could make a recommendation that more public funds be devoted to fixing up old school buildings. If your topic is bullying in K-12 education, you can direct the reader to valuable anti-bullying organizations, information sources, or interventions. If you close your discussion section in this manner, the reader will leave your essay feeling both informed and empowered.

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