A Shortcut to Rejection: How Not to Write the Results Section of a Paper Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This article discusses common errors in writing up the results of papers. It covers the following: (1) giving details about irrelevant topics, such as what program was used to enter the data, while ignoring important ones (for example, which options were chosen for various statistical tests); (2) reporting P levels of 0.0000 and negative values for t tests; (3) giving the P levels but not the actual values of the statistical tests; (4) not including confidence intervals and measures of the magnitude of an effect; (5) testing irrelevant hypotheses, such as whether reliability or validity coefficients are significantly different from zero; (6) attributing reliability and validity to tests rather than to the circumstances under which they are given; and (7) reporting levels of accuracy that cannot be supported by the data. Suggestions are made regarding the proper way to report findings.

publication date

  • June 2007