Q: What should be written in the Discussion section of an article?
If the discussion section is about "So what," then what is the conclusion meant for?
There are two aspects to your question: what goes into the Discussion section of an article and what is the difference between the Discussion and conclusion (sections).
The Discussion section of an article, as the name suggests, is meant to discuss the results of the study with respect to the problem of the study. Thus, you need to address points such as the following:
- What do the results mean for the problem and hypothesis of the study?
- What are the implications for the target population?
- How do the findings add to the current literature (which you would have included in the Background section when writing about the literature review)?
- What are the gaps, if any, you found in your study after evaluating the results?
- Are there any suggestions for future research?
For more information on writing the Discussion section, you may refer to these resources:
- How to write the Discussion section in a qualitative paper?
- The secret to writing the results and discussion section of a manuscript
The conclusion is typically a part (the last part) of the Discussion section. You need to provide a short summary of your findings and its meaning for your broad research area. Most journals do not require a separate section for the conclusion. For those that do, you need to write this under a separate heading.
For more information on writing the conclusion, you may refer to these resources: