- Structure of a Research Paper: Tips to Improve Your Manuscript - Enago Academy
- Dig into the research process.
- Format for a Research Paper
Print a double space copy with font size 14 and re-read your paper in several steps. Try reading your paper line by line with the rest of the text covered with a piece of paper. When you are forced to see only a small portion of your writing, you are less likely to get distracted and are more likely to notice problems.
You will end up spotting more unnecessary words, wrongly worded phrases, or unparallel constructions. After you apply all these strategies, you are ready to share your writing with your friends, colleagues, and a writing advisor in the writing center. Get as much feedback as you can, especially from non-specialists in your field. You may decide what you want to change and how after you receive the feedback and sort it in your head.
Even though some researchers make the revision an endless process and can hardly stop after a 14th draft; having from five to seven drafts of your paper is a norm in the sciences. Deadlines always help. It is late at night again. You are still in your lab finishing revisions and getting ready to submit your paper. You will submit your paper tomorrow, and regardless of the outcome, you know that you can do it. If one journal does not take your paper, you will take advantage of the feedback and resubmit again. You will have a publication, and this is the most important achievement.
What is even more important is that you have your scheduled writing time that you are going to keep for your future publications, for reading and taking notes, for writing grants, and for reviewing papers. You are not going to lose stamina this time, and you will become a productive scientist. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Yale J Biol Med. Elena D. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. To whom all correspondence should be addressed: Elena D. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License, which permits for noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any digital medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not altered in any way.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Writing a research manuscript is an intimidating process for many novice writers in the sciences. Keywords: scientific paper, writing process, revision. Schedule your writing time in Outlook Whether you have written papers or you are struggling with your first, starting the process is the most difficult part unless you have a rigid writing schedule.
Rule 1: Create regular time blocks for writing as appointments in your calendar and keep these appointments. Start with an outline Now that you have scheduled time, you need to decide how to start writing. Table 1 Outline — Level 1. What is the topic of my paper? Why is this topic important? How could I formulate my hypothesis? What are my results include visuals? What is my major finding? Open in a separate window. Table 2 Outline — Level 2. Introduction 1. Why is your research important? What is known about the topic? What are your hypotheses?
What are your objectives?
Structure of a Research Paper: Tips to Improve Your Manuscript - Enago Academy
Materials and Methods 1. What materials did you use? Who were the subjects of your study? What was the design of your research? What procedure did you follow? Results 1. What are your most significant results? What are your supporting results? Discussion and Conclusions 1.
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What are the studies major findings? Rule 2: Create a detailed outline and discuss it with your mentor and peers. Continue with drafts After you get enough feedback and decide on the journal you will submit to, the process of real writing begins. Starting with Materials and Methods If you still struggle with starting a paper, then write the Materials and Methods section first. So do not run into the same problems as the writers of the sentences in 1 : 1a. Bacteria were pelleted by centrifugation.
To isolate T cells, lymph nodes were collected.
Dig into the research process.
The sentences can be improved when information is added, as in 2a and 2b , respectfully: 2a. Stem cells were isolated, according to Johnson . Rule 3: Be meticulous and accurate in describing the Materials and Methods. Do not change the point of view within one paragraph. Writing Results Section For many authors, writing the Results section is more intimidating than writing the Materials and Methods section.
Table 3 clearly shows that … 7b. It is obvious from figure 4 that … Another source of wordiness is nominalizations, i. We tested the hypothesis that there is a disruption of membrane asymmetry. In this paper we provide an argument that stem cells repopulate injured organs.
We tested the hypothesis that the membrane asymmetry is disrupted. In this paper we argue that stem cells repopulate injured organs.
Rule 4: Be clear, concise, and objective in describing your Results. Table 3 Moves in Research Paper Introductions. Move 1. Establish a research territory a. Show that the general research area is important, central, interesting, and problematic in some way; Move 2. Find a niche a.
Indicate a gap in the previous research, or extend previous knowledge in some way. Move 3. Occupy the niche a. Outline purposes or state the nature of the present research; b. List research questions or hypotheses; c. Announce principle findings; d. State the value of the present research; e. Indicate the structure of the research paper. Rule 5: Interest your reader in the Introduction section by signalling all its elements and stating the novelty of the work. Discussion of the results For many scientists, writing a Discussion section is as scary as starting a paper.
Table 4 Moves in Research Paper Discussions. Explain the meaning and importance of your finding. Consider alternative explanations of the findings.follow url
Format for a Research Paper
Move 2. Research Context a. Compare and contrast your findings with those of other published results. Explain any discrepancies and unexpected findings. State the limitations, weaknesses, and assumptions of your study. Closing the paper a. Summarize the answers to the research questions. Indicate the importance of the work by stating applications, recommendations, and implications. Rule 6: Present the principles, relationships, and generalizations in a concise and convincing tone. Choosing the best working revision strategies Now that you have created the first draft, your attitude toward your writing should have improved.
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Rule 7: Revise your paper at the macrostructure and the microstructure level using different strategies and techniques. Receive feedback and revise again.