In the various projects I've worked on, professors have insisted that a writeup for a journal submission should state and prove only the final results (rather than describe the process of arriving at those results). I see how this makes things concise, but it seems to obscure the process of discovery.
Here's an example of this situation from a mathematics paper I've worked on.
What I did:
- I have a direct proof for "X".
- After looking at my direct proof for "X", I see that I could generalize "X" if I prove "Y" (it was not immediately clear that proving "Y" was useful for proving "X").
- I prove "Y", then prove "Generalized X" (duplicating some work from the proof of "X").
What the paper does:
- Prove "Y".
- Use "Y" to prove "Generalized X".
- Refine the proof of "Generalized X" ever so slightly to get "X".
I feel like the paper is good reference material, but it's not educational. I think a reader would stand to benefit much more from a direct proof of "X", since it shows why I would try to show "Y" in the first place.