So you need to write a journal article?

Many students have problems writing their first journal article. This is especially so for science students who may not have had much practise in writing for some time. Of course, your tutor will assist you and guide you through the publication process, but the problem is usually that students, especially science ones just don’t have experience of writing academic papers.

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Arguably, the most important steps in the process of writing a journal article are the ones that are done before the actual writing of the article. Your research is, naturally, of paramount importance and you have to organise it carefully. You need to read a lot and make notes of what you have read, either by hand or electronically. These are extremely useful when you come to write your article. You should save the articles you read that are related to your research in a reference management system so that you can keep a record of them and later create a list of references for future journal articles, or other pieces of academic writing.

Before you start writing your journal article you need to have a well thought out research goal and objectives.

It’s up to you if you want to start writing before your analysis of your data is completed, but most scientists suggest that you only start writing when your analysis is finished. You will also need to work on tables that support your research objectives and goal(s). When you have done these things, you have to come up with a narrative that explains your results and data together in a coherent way. You will also need to develop your discussion of your findings and results coherently.

A scientific journal article consists of ten sections:

  • the title, followed by the abstract
  • an introduction
  • methodology
  • results
  • discussion
  • conclusion of the study
  • acknowledgements
  • references
  • The title should clearly reflect what the research is about.
  • The abstract is a summary of the article, usually it’s just one paragraph of about 300 words. It should cover basic purpose of your study, the research problems that were investigated, the overall design of the study, and the main findings. It should also highlight your research question or hypothesis.
  • The introduction is intended to put your research into its broad context. Then you narrow the focus to your particular research study. Describe your goals and objectives in this section.
  • The methodology you used in your study should be described in detail, so that the study can be replicated by others who wish to validate or refute your results.
  • In the results section, you need to discuss your findings in detail. This is where your analysis of data goes.
  • The discussion section is where you refer to your and other people’s research and where you make a coherent narrative putting your research into perspective for the reader. By the time you finish your discussion, you should have addressed your goals and objectives which you described in your introduction.
  • Your conclusion should begin by reiterating your research question or hypothesis
  • The acknowledgement section is where you mention others who have contributed to your research. These might be colleagues, research assistants, or perhaps the organisation that funded the research.
  • The reference section is a list of the materials you relied upon for your study.

You don’t have to start with the abstract, if you would prefer you can start with the results section, or the methodology section.

You have to be patient when writing a journal article for publication, as usually you will have to write multiple drafts. No one gets one right first time.

It’s useful to ask colleagues for feedback as you write, so that you can amend your journal article as you go along.

Writing does not have to be a solitary task. Many people prefer to write when surrounded by others who share the same interests. That way you can ask for feedback as and when you need it.

When you think that you have finished editing the article, ask a friend, colleague of family member to read it, checking for any typos and weird grammar constructions. Often when you proofread and edit your own work. you miss items that need to be corrected because you read what you know should be written, but in fact what you wrote was wrong. Read the article many times to be sure that all errors have been corrected.

Writing for academic journals can be very stressful. You really shouldn’t sit and write for hours. Write for an hour at a time and then get up and walk around or make a coffee. There can be health issues if you are sedentary for long periods of time.

You will have to write a literature review for a dissertation, but for an article, this is not a basic requirement.

Get professional help with your journal article. You will need a good editor if your article is to be accepted by a reputable journal. The type of editor you need will depend on the topic you write about; for example, if you write a scientific article, you will need the services of a scientific editor and proof-reader. Publishers insist on having articles checked and edited as necessary.

The better your article, the less work the proof reader and editor will have to do, so why not hire our writing services to perfect your article? You can be sure that we will be totally professional in our approach to your work and we assure all our clients of our discretion and confidentiality. Preparing an article for publication is often time-consuming, so free up your time and let our professionals take charge.

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