What does it take for Journal Writing
The journal article is considered to be the one of the best mediums for an academician to publish the research findings to the broader audience of other academicians. Like the format a book review or a literature review a standard format is generally used for this. Although the overall structure may remain the same, slight variations in the further details can be found in case of different types of journal. In the following, first I will discuss the steps one should follow before starting the exact writing and then the different components of the structure of an article will be elaborated.
Before Writing Journal Article:
Before getting into the writing, you should first bring your thoughts together on the content of the paper. Like in case of writing an essay, you can also make a mind map to jot down what you would like to communicate through this article. Along with it, you should decide the following:
- What is the central message of the paper?
- What is the unique contribution this paper is going to make?
- In what manner you are going to convince the reader?
- At this stage you should be completely sure about your thesis statement.
Also one more thing, before writing the paper you should do a thorough search of the literature as some new studies might have come up since you have last reviewed the literature. In this case, maintaining an annotated bibliography on your research area will always help you to place your research findings in the context of the recently published articles.
Source: Inside Research Blogspot
Structure of the article:
Provide a specific, but general title to describe the content of the paper. The Title should summarize the subject matter of the paper, at times it can also indicate the results.
Generally, who have conducted the primary research and substantially contributed in writing the paper can qualify as the first author. Other people who have made substantial contribution in primary research, analysis, and writing can also be included as co-authors. Usually, the person made the maximum contribution is listed as the first author and the least as the last author.
Abstract is a very important component of a research paper as most often readers might only read this portion and decide whether to read the entire paper or not. The first few lines should describe the context of the paper and should introduce the thesis statement. Then the methods should be described in a line. Followed by that, results and discussion should be mentioned in next 2-3 lines. The abstract should be short, maximum within 300 words.
In the introduction, you should primarily focus on setting the broad context of the paper. You should justify why this research is necessary and how it is going to help the society. Along with it, in the introduction it is always good to summarize the already existing body of literature concentrated on the same context. This will also help to establish the relevance of the primary research.
Materials and Methods:
This section should be predominantly dedicated to describing the materials in terms of sources of data and methods used in conducting the primary research. If there is some complicated protocol then it is better to include some diagram, table or flowchart to explain the details. Don’t forget to mention various ethical considerations that you have gone through while conducting the primary research.
In this section you should present the results of the primary research. Only the relevant portion of the data should be represented properly. Tables and graphs should be used judiciously to represent the data. Each table and graphs should be numbered and titled properly, so that these can be easily embedded in the main body of text.
There are steps to write a good discussion. Highlight again, only the most important results, without repeating the way you have written it in the result section. Demonstrate how this result answers the key questions about the article. If some unexpectedness exists in the results, then you should explain why it is so? You should also analyse the overall contribution of a study in the context of the larger society. As a scholar, you are expected to be critical of your own research and should show the possible areas where the research could have improved.
In the article, you should strictly follow the referencing style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) as per the target journal. You should include in-text citation in the main body of the text accordingly. At the end of the paper, create a detailed bibliography following the format prescribed in the particular referencing style. The bibliography should be organized alphabetically according to the last name of the first author of each publication.
We hope that this document will definitely help you to write a research article. Always remember that writing is a difficult ask and needs tedious planning, irrespective of whether you are writing your first journal article or yours 50th.