13 TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT JOURNAL ARTICLE: This short video by John Bond of Riverwinds Consulting gives tips on writing a journal article. FIND OUT more about John Bond and his publishing consulting practice at www.RiverwindsConsulting.com
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Hi there. I am John Bond from Riverwinds Consulting and this is Publishing Defined.
Today I have 13 tips for writing a great academic article or paper.
First, let us start before any writing has occurred. Think about whether the effort is justified. Is the topic new and novel in the field? Is the article about a particularly timely topic in your area? Don’t just write an article because you can; rather look to make a difference.
Second, think about where you want to submit the manuscript. Be a loyal reader of any journal you intend to submit to; do not just pick one out of an online search. Know the mission of the publication. This will allow you to focus your writing on that journal.
Third, follow the instruction or guidelines for authors for that journal very closely, particularly in regard to length and format.
Now, let us look at mechanics. The fourth tip is to follow closely the appropriate style manual. Whether the AMA, APA, Chicago style guides, or others, you will benefit by understanding these guidelines in your field.
Fifth, short and concise is always better. This applies to the entire manuscript but also to sentence length and paragraph length as well. No one ever said, “I wish that paper was longer.” Ruthlessly delete all extraneous materials.
Sixth, follow accepted practices in regard to grammar and style. If you do not know the expected practices find someone that does. Also, read the articles in the journals you are submitting to so you can understand the tone of these articles.
Now, let us look at the content presentation. Seventh, when the paper is written, review the abstract very, very closely. Many people will read only the abstract and it needs to be flawless. Make sure it conforms to the abstract format in your intended publication.
Eight, consider the article title very carefully. Avoid a boring title which is really just a label. Consider something thought provoking or maybe even provocative, but do not stray so far that it is corny or sensational.
Ninth, make sure any tables, charts, images, or graphics are essential and created in a quality fashion. Does each item standalone by itself?
Lastly, let us consider the review of the manuscript before submission. My tenth tip is to read the final manuscript aloud several times. This helps for clarity and language.
Eleventh, aside from having the content reviewed by your peers before submission, have others outside your field read the paper as well. Listen closely to any suggestions they have.
Twelfth, avoid any hint of plagiarism. Always cite your sources. Never take any passage or ideas from others. An error here can affect your career or reputation.
Finally, I know many people that watch these videos are non-English language speakers that may be submitting to an English language journal. If so, I suggest having a native English language colleague or speaker read and help craft the paper before submission. This will likely increase the quality of the final product and therefore increase the likelihood of acceptance. If you do not know anyone to help with this, there are many editorial services that will now assist for a fee. Or email me for suggestions of editors that can help with this.
At the end of the day, there is no secret to success. Attention to detail and a careful review of the language will hopefully improve your work.
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