7. Results Section Individual Projects Page 1 of 2
Project Part Seven: Writing the Results Section of your Project Report
Write the Results Section of your Research Report. Be careful to look at your data without “wishful thinking,” when describing what happened. In describing your baseline, if you give an average value, give the average for the entire baseline, not for each week. Similarly, talk of a trend only when you have at least six data points that are generally going up or down. Your graphs and any drawings go in figures and figures are labeled at the bottom. Call your graphs and/or other graphics, Figure 1, Figure 2 etc. and refer to them as such in your text. For your data, Baseline and Treatment phases go on the same graph (this permits comparisons), with a line drawn between the last day of baseline and the first day of treatment. If you have several graphs, each with baseline and treatment phases (as in multiple baseline designs, or when showing data from several individual participants), make sure that the vertical axes for all graphs use the same range of numbers. That is, if one goes from 1 to 20, make sure others also go from 1 to 20. Columns of numbers, lists, or tables without drawings should be put into Tables and Table captions go at the top. Refer to them as Table 1, Table 2, etc. Wherever you report numbers, if you do not use whole numbers use an appropriate number of decimals. It exaggerates the precision of data to show the average number of times a day (for example), that Tom volunteers during baseline as 3.04598. For both Figures and Tables, indicate where they go in the text at the end of the paragraph in which they are first mentioned, like this: __________________________________ Insert Figure 3 here __________________________________ In writing your Results Section, stick to the facts, but describe whatever effects you see. Do not just tell what your figures show. (That is do not say, “On day one the student talked up 3 times. This increased to 4 on day two...”). Do point out any unusual days, giving possible explanations. Describe general performance levels and variability, and any trends: Note for trends, you need more than four or five days (unless your variability is very low and even then it is best to say “looks like the beginning of an [increasing or decreasing] trend.”) Give any conclusions you think can be safely drawn. (For example, do say, “Wednesday Oct. 6 was Sarah's birthday, which may account for the high number of ... on that day.”)
7. Results Section Individual Projects Page 2 of 2
Here you should also include what your participant(s) did that does not show in your data, but that would help your reader get a feeling of what it was like to do the study — for example comments made by participants. Finally, include a summary of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your treatment.
Points 2 4
Evaluation Checklist for the Results Section Results Section reiterates what the treatment was so that the reader can understand the graphs. Figures are labeled at the bottom, and are appropriate for the project. Horizontal axis has actual dates rather than session numbers. Baselines and treatment phases are on the same graph with phase lines correctly drawn. Axes are labeled and phase labels describe treatments used. (That is, not just “Treatment 1,” but rather what Treatment 1 consisted of — for example “Positive notes written to supervisor.”) No critical graph is left out. If there are two graphs in one figure, they should have the same range of numbers on the vertical axis. Description of baseline or first phase data is accurate and refers to the figure. Description does not “read” the graph, but summarizes the baseline. (Higher than you expected? More variable? Any expected or unexpected trends? Exceptional days noted and commented upon?) Description of data when you went to the treatment phase is accurate — again NOT a reading of the graph but a description that you would make to a colleague about the effectiveness observed. Summary descriptive statistics for each phase (not week) are compared. Comments from data sheets are used to describe problems you encountered along the way that made you alter or clarify your strategies, or things you found of interest in your participant's behavior or your own. Summary statements of your results are warranted from your data. Overall quality: clarity, sequencing, and detail.