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Learn How to Write an Academic Article for Journals

Information on how to write an academic article for a journal

When you set out to write an academic article which you intend to publish in any of the academic journals, your paper must satisfy all the necessary requirements for such publication. You have to start with proper planning. This is where you decide what you want to write about and the reason you want to write on such topic. Also, ascertain whether you want to write for research assessment, to give a different opinion in the chosen field, or to build a profile in a particular field. Now, because you are writing an academic article for a journal, which will determine the style, structure, focus and content of what you write, you also have to choose the journal to write the article for before you start writing so that you will work within their requirements. To know how to write an academic article for the chosen journal, get some of their previous publications and look at the structure and focus of previous articles written in your field. Concentrate on their first and last sentences.

The next step is to make an outline for your own article. This should involve the headlines and points you want to push out. It should be a skeleton to guide you in the writing process. Another milestone in learning how to write an academic article should be to discuss what you want to write with people that are knowledgeable in the field. Their feedback will help you to modify your thoughts and ideas. After this, you can now make your writing goals by deciding on the verb usage, content type, word length and other specifics. After this, you have to begin the writing. You can practice the concept of community writing. When you write in groups, it will help you to develop the habit and discipline of writing regularly. This increases your focus, fluency and writing confidence. It helps you to master how to write an academic article easily. A warm up writing will help you. This will include a 5-minute answering of questions like, “what is it that I want to achieve in the short, long and medium terms with this writing?

When you are through with the writing, submit your work to reviewers. Never imbibe the practice of being angry at the reviewer’s comments. If you do, you will never learn how to write an academic article properly. Pay attention to the things they point out and make a list of all the revision actions they suggested. Do them and use them as a template for subsequent writings. You can’t learn everything about how to write an academic article at once. Some writing qualities are developed over time. Take your time and improve as you write more.

How to write an academic article in one week

If you have an academic article to write within a 7-day deadline, you can plan the writing with specific tasks for each day. Before you start the writing, you must have gotten your data, made the initial analysis and chosen the type of academic article you want to pursue. You must have also chosen where you want to publish the article.

Day one should take care of the method of writing, is it an agenda setting paper, a review paper, a theory paper, a method paper, or data-driven paper. Also, decide on the audience you are writing for and what they want to read.

On the second day, you should do the abstract, state the aim of the paper, its main arguments, the research and writing methodology and others. Also, add the title of the article today. Strict adherence to these will help rookies to learn how to write an academic article easily.

The third day should take care of the draft. Pick your pen and jot down any new idea about the topic that comes into your head. It is a draft which you have to revisit severally, so just write.

On the fourth day, you take this to a new dimension by making a big list. All the points you have contemplated about the article should be lined up in one big list. The details, issues, facts and results of your research should all be listed.

The fifth day is the day you clean up the mess. Look at all you have listed and see how strong or weak they are. Check your literature, data, your claims, arguments and speculations and see whether you have enough of them. Sieve the strong points from the straw.

The sixth day is for the organization. Make the footnotes, organize your texts according to paragraphs, headings and subheadings. Check and see if you can cut off some words or place some in brackets. Eliminate all the fuzz, wordiness and anything that indicates that you don’t know how to write an academic article. Anything that does not add value to the text should go.

The seventh day is when you edit and proofread your work. After editing, send your work to some of the authors you referenced to edit for you too. Decide on how you want to market the article and implement all the corrections from the experts. If you follow this guideline judiciously, you have learnt how to write an academic article.

How to publish an academic article in journals

When you are through with the academic article, the next thing is to send it to the journal for review. It doesn’t end in knowing how to write an academic article, a publication is another task. There are some suggestions from the masters that you will need. The first one is to be sure that you are targeting the right journal for the publication. Be mindful of the competition that goes on in the top professional journals because of the volume and type of articles they receive daily. If you are a student, you may opt for the journals that are student friendly. Consider the review time and other submission policies before you choose. Some journals won’t publish an article that is being published by another journal at the same time.

The next is that your article must bring something new to the table. For those who know how to write an academic article, while reviewing old literatures, they also ask and answer new questions on the topic. You must do through editing. Make use of simple expressions that are easy to understand. Don’t use passages that are confusing. Stick to short and concise sentences. No journal publishes what it does not understand. Pay attention to your referencing and make it strategic. Use only academic sources that have been extensively referenced. For your article to be approved, write according to the journal’s requirements and guidelines on formatting and referencing. This is one of the key points of knowing how to write an academic article.


Mistakes to avoid in publishing academic articles

There are some mistakes you must avoid when fine-tuning your for publication, otherwise they will reveal that you don’t know how to write an academic article. Before the article is sent out for review, you should stipulate your research question and its relationship with the current literature on the topic. Avoid all forms of serial reviews where you cite one literature in each paragraph without linking them together. This is not how to write an academic article. Make sure the entire literature is organized in a synthesis that links to your work. If your literature review does not have a direct link to the research questions, then you don’t know how to write an academic article and your article will not be published. Now, you have to cross check your argument, make your methods clear and understandable, and ensure that your data in the analysis answers your research questions. In the conclusion, make sure that in the course of reiterating your findings, possible limitations are mentioned and directions given for further studies and research on the topic. This is how to write an academic article.


Standard academic paper outline

In the process of learning how to write an academic article, you have to understand that on the general level, journal articles should be started broad before getting to the specifics. The introduction should discuss the aims. The body should give the details while the conclusion refers to the bigger picture.

  • For the standard empirical papers, the structure should include the title, an abstract, the introduction, followed by the methods, results and discussion, then the conclusion which precedes the acknowledgments and references. The methods, discussion and results may have some subheadings.
  • Essay papers do not have specific rules, but just keep them logical and comprehensible. Subheadings are also important.
  • For review papers, the journal you are reviewing for provides the structure. Most journals will prefer the meta-analysis or quantitative reviews system. But in general, all will go with the standard paper structure.


How to write a journal article review

You must know how to write an academic article before reviewing a journal article. Look at the objectives to see what the article sets out to do and whether it achieved it. Do a check on the theoretical framework, the central concepts, and the central argument, the methodology used for the tests, the availability of evidence, and the clarity or otherwise of the values position, how the work relates to the broader literature and what it contributes to knowledge on the topic. Also, consider the language of the author and how clear it is.

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