Ideas about Journal-Style Scientific Writing
Writing a good scientific paper is a real challenge for the majority of writers. Indeed,
there are lots of requirements and hidden problems associated with scientific writing.
Sometime the content is good but a paper does not meet precise style requirements,
or vice versa, it is writer as per certain formal requirements, however, presents little
helpful information and research facts. Journal style writing is even more complex. In
fact, failures in journal writing tasks are quite common, thus, it is important to consider
several points, namely:
Some people claim journal writing should start with making of an outline. However,
many authors prove it is possible to make an outline in the end. Indeed, it is possible
to write an “after-the-fact” outline. At the same time, this is an option for experienced
writers with excellent research and writing skills. Do start with an outline of paper
abstracts and sections if you are not seasoned in scientific writing. In case you refuse
to write an outline from the very beginning, do create a list of major points and topics
covered in the paper.
Journal writing is not about submitting a simple essay that only your friends will
hopefully read. The article or research needs to have its audience. It is important to
know your audience. Is the paper written for fellow authors, professors or maybe
general audience? The content of your paper will depend on the audience. A paper for a
narrow and strictly technical audience will contain precise tech info, figures, researches
etc. Of course, you should not use any complex terms and definitions, if the journal
article is written for a general audience. You will be just misunderstood.
Do not forget this is scientific writing. Thus, it is imperative to avoid any colloquial
expressions, such abbreviations as “don’t” or “can’t” etc. In fact, there is a list of
requirements for scientific writing which you have to make yourself familiar with. Often,
such requirements can vary depending on the discipline, however, the majority of rules
and norms are pretty much the same.
Writing a research in a scientific journal can be a daunting task. This is not like writing
a 3-page personal essay. Everything written in an article should be based on a research.
Even personal findings and opinions should be supported with scientific data. There
are many types of scientific research, so you may choose any of them. Moreover, it is
possible to combine various research methods, however, avoid blending them. You
may include preliminary research results in the research methods section to motivate
Tables and Graphs
Any scientific research becomes more understood and comprehensive if it is illustrated
with graphs and tables. Sure, some scientific fields require more graphic info, while
others may need a few tables. Anyway, it is great to have an appendix with graphs and
tables that illustrate findings of the research.
Numbers and stats
Use of statistics is necessary in lots of researches, especially when it comes to industry,
sociology, biology etc. Many researches are based on stats figures which are used in
formulas or serve as a foundation of various hypotheses. However, be reasonable,
since too many figures will hardly make a research readable and understood for your
Used materials and plagiarism
Of course, it is impossible to write a scientific article without using someone else’s
ideas (unless you are the new Einstein). Therefore, it is important to correctly cite all
parts of texts and ideas belonging to other people. Luckily, it is not difficult to find
style guides on the net. Bear in mind that plagiarism is intolerable in journal writing.
In fact, plagiarism is intolerable everywhere. However, submitting a copied paper to
your high school teacher and offering a plagiarized article to a scientific journal are
wholly different things. If you get caught, forget about your scientific or academic
career! So, make sure you use plagiarism detection tools and properly cite all sources of
No grammar mistakes
Well, this reminder may sound silly to you, but it is better to revise your paper before
submitting it to the journal. Editors of scientific journals are very scrupulous and
pedantic about mistakes. Thus, to keep a high profile reputation make sure the article
contains no mistakes. The best option is to have someone else revise your paper. As
known, when a person has been working on an article for a long time, he/she may not
notice silly mistakes that are evident to other folks. It is better to take time and revise
the paper 2-3 times, than to feel embarrassed afterwards.
Know your goals
Every publication has certain goals. Publishing for the sake of publishing is not a good
idea. The research should impress readers or lay foundation for further, more detailed
researches that will stun the scientific community.