How to get maximum impact with minimum time and energy
Welcome to Tuesday’s Pro Tips brought to you by the Edanz Learning Lab team!
Our posts on Tuesdays highlight tips and tricks from our lived experience dealing with all aspects of research and publishing. Stand on the shoulders of our researchers and trainers and learn from their experiences to achieve your potential.
Here’s a tip based on one of the most common questions researchers ask: How can you write up your next research paper to ensure maximum impact, while at the same time saving time and energy?
We know: This is very important in today’s busy academic world. We’ve distilled our expertise, knowledge, and experience into easy to understand bite-sized tips and tricks for academic writing and publishing. We went though the pain and made lots of mistakes so you don’t have to!
Writing up a research paper can be made much easier, faster, and effective if you firstly prepare yourself to write. Don’t just sit down at the keyboard and start hammering away!
There are three key things to think about before starting to write an academic paper: Your message, your audience, and your article structure.
What is the key takeaway from the research? What is the one thing you want readers to learn from your work? It’s important to have this in mind before starting so you can constantly repeat it and use this key message in your Title and Abstract.
Which journal are you going to target with your next paper? It’s important to have a target journal in mind before you start to write. Check out our Journal Selection Tool. Your target journal also gives you your writing structure.
What will the shape of your article be and which parts will you write first? Most people tend to write their Results and Methods sections before the rest of the paper and then put the Title and Abstract together at the end. Our training can help with all aspects of paper writing.
The Write Order
This is called writing a paper in the Write Order: Don’t just ‘sit down and start at the beginning and then keep on going until you get to the end and then stop’ (Alice in Wonderland). We can help you to develop effective strategies for writing the different parts of your papers and will give you templates you can use in your own articles.
Length and word count
The other important thing to keep in mind when writing up a research article for publication is length. Did you know that most academic papers are between 5,000 and 6,000 words in overall length?
This means that you have to balance your article writing: You can’t write a 10,000 word introduction and then teeny tiny little Methods and Results.
Free word count template for members!
One of the templates for writing structure we provide our Premium members in the Learning Lab is a carefully tailored word count template for the different sections of articles.
Using this PDF template, you’ll be able to much more effectively plan your writing, knowing what to put where, and why.