How To Write Papers For Journals

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Everything in the paper should logically and structurally support that idea.

It can be a delight to creatively bend the rules, but you need to know them first.

Prune that purple prose Peter Gorsuch, managing editor, Nature Research Editing Service, London; former plant biologist. It sounds good, but the purpose of a scientific paper is to convey information. My advice is to make the writing only as complex as it needs to be.

That said, there are any number of ways of writing a paper that are far from effective.

Countless manuscripts are rejected because the discussion section is so weak that it’s obvious the writer does not clearly understand the existing literature.

Writers should put their results into a global context to demonstrate what makes those results significant or original.When the discussion is all speculation, it’s no good because it is not rooted in the author’s experience. It is one of the most highly tweeted papers so far.In the conclusion, include a one- or two-sentence statement on the research you plan to do in the future and on what else needs to be explored. In each paragraph, the first sentence defines the context, the body contains the new idea and the final sentence offers a conclusion.There is a narrow line between speculation and evidence-based conclusions.A writer can speculate in the discussion — but not too much. 2017) that lays out structural details for using a context–content–conclusion scheme to build a core concept.One of the most important is omitting crucial information from the methods section.It’s easy to do, especially in a complicated study, but missing information can make it difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce the study. It’s also important that the paper’s claims are consistent with collected evidence.Always think of your busy, tired reader when you write your paper — and try to deliver a paper that you would enjoy reading yourself. Author Helen Sword coined the phrase ‘zombie nouns’ to describe terms such as ‘implementation’ or ‘application’ that suck the lifeblood out of active verbs. Once the paper has a clear message, I suggest that writers try some vivid language to help to tell the story.Why does scientific writing have to be stodgy, dry and abstract? If we don’t engage that aspect of ourselves, it’s hard to absorb the meaning of what we’re reading. We should engage readers’ emotions and avoid formal, impersonal language. For example, I got some pushback on the title of one of my recent papers: ‘Eight habitats, 38 threats, and 55 experts: Assessing ecological risk in a multi-use marine region’. There’s probably less resistance out there than people might think.Think about the message you want to give to readers.If that is not clear, misinterpretations may arise later.


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