Before you begin

Preparing your paper

If you come up with a unique hypothesis and you want to share theoretical insight, and practical implications of your work, you can start to write the paper.

The good manuscript should include:


Meaningful and brief


An abstract is a concise summary of a research paper. They are more like an outline of the work and are usually very short – 100 words or less.

Try for one sentence each on motive, method, key results, conclusions. 


The introduction requires a short review of the literature pertaining to the research topic. Outline the problem and why it was worth tackling.

  • What is the problem and why is it interesting?
  • Who are the main contributors?
  • What did they do?
  • What novel thing will you reveal?

Review the literature, recording briefly the main contributors and summarising the status of the field when you started the research.

Importance of literature review and .

Step by step approach for literature survey .


This should be an easy section to write. Describe the methods used in your study. Build up a reference list as you go (Use Microsoft Word References Tool- ). A paper should contain sufficient detail to allow the work to be repeated by reader.

  • Experimental paper: equipment, materials, method
  • Modelling paper: assumptions, mathematical tools, method
  • Computational paper: inputs, computational tools, method
  • Explain key procedure and technique used
  • Use block diagram and flow charts to explain the research methods, procedures
  • What is especially different about your method?
  • Give sufficient detail that the reader can reproduce what you did
  • Don’t mix Method with Results or Discussion—they come next


Report your results simply, without opinion or interpretation at this stage. Present data in a form other people can use. The data itself should be presented in tables, graphs and figures. Give error-bars or confidence-limits for numerical or graphical data.

  • Present the output of the experiments, model or computation
  • Figures and tables are the most effective results
  • One picture is worth a thousand words
  • Results are the mainspring of the Publication
  • No opinion or interpretation
  • Don’t mix Results with Discussion


Here you are seeking to extract principles, relationships, or generalisations from the results. Sometimes the results speak for themselves. The function of the Discussion is to describe the ideas, models and theories. Use the results to construct a logical argument that supports or rejects your hypothesis.  Be clear and concise.

  • Quote principles, relationships and generalisations.
  • Present analysis, model or theory.
  • Correlate the results and analysis, model or theory.
  • Summarize the most important findings


The reader scanning your paper will read the Abstract and the Conclusions, glance at the Figures and move on.

  • Draw together the most important results and their consequences.
  • List any reservations or limitations.
  • Do not duplicate the Abstract as the Conclusions or vice versa.
  • Your closing sentence should make your readers glad they read your paper


  • Thank people who have helped you with ideas, technical assistance, materials or finance
  • Keep it simple, give full names and affiliation
  • Don’t get sentimental


Include all references that have been cited in the text. References tell the reader where an idea, prior results and data have come from. It is important that you reference all such sources. It is a conventional courtesy to reference the originators of key ideas or theories or models, even if you modify them.

  • Cite significant previous work.
  • Cite sources of theories, data, or anything else you have taken from elsewhere.
  • References must be complete: name, initials, year, title, journal, volume, start-page and finish-page.


Anyone scanning your paper will look at the figures and their captions, even if they do not read the text. Make each figure as self-contained as possible, and give it both a title and an informative caption. Make sure that the axes are properly labelled, that units are defined. Label each curve of graphs.

  • Flow charts show methods, procedures.
  • Graphs plot data.
  • Schematics show how equipment works, or illustrate a mechanism or model.
  • Drawings and photographs illustrate equipment, microstructures etc.
  • Captions and legends must be detailed figures and tables self explanatory.


Essential material that would interrupt the flow of the main text. It is the place for tedious but essential derivations, or for data tables or descriptions of procedures, that would disrupt the flow of ideas in the main text. It should be well structured and stand by itself.

Grammar & Spelling:

Grammar tells the reader the function of words and their relationship. Mess up the grammar and you confuse the reader. What follows is a brief summary of the simplest essentials of grammar. Poor English is one of the most common reasons for rejection.  Use grammar and spelling checker such as ,