Five tips for drafting a research article and improving your writing skills

Academic writing focuses on answering the research question and informing the readers about the latest developments in the field of study. Academic writing is well-structured, and the content is written in a logical order by summing up the data and other relevant material. Academic writing helps in expressing your opinions and arguments.

You need to have a good command of the language to write a persuasive academic article. Avoid using informal expressions, colloquialism, and slang. There is more to academic writing than using appropriate language and maintaining a formal tone. The objective of academic writing is to inform, educate, and engage the readers. To simplify the writing process, here are five tips to help you work on improving your writing skills.

Brainstorm: Create an outline to identify the key topics you want to include in the paper. Develop a strong argument and list the points drawn from the various sections of the paper. For example, to write the introduction section, jot down the names of the topics you plan to work on such as the history, research problem, research context, and so on. This way you would have enough time to brainstorm and segregate the information. You can read other articles and academic essays published online to get an idea about the journal formatting and styling.

Frame the question: Frame a research question after developing an outline. You can read other academic papers that are published in your field of study. It will help you improve your reading skills as well as understand the writing and formatting style. Note down the points and ideas that you find useful. Keep your target audience in mind while framing the sentences and sections. Following are the points you need to keep in mind while drafting your research article:

  • Avoid using complex scientific terminologies and phrases
  • Remove words that are redundant and do not alter the meaning of the text
  • Avoid the use of jargon, as the readers may not be familiar with the meaning
  • Proofread the text and correct spelling and grammatical error
  • Check subject-verb agreement, use of tenses, and punctuations

Develop the main argument: A strong thesis statement forms the base of the research paper. While writing the introduction and body of the article, keep the key points in mind. Consider the main research argument of your paper. Analyze the evidence and weigh up whether or not it supports the main arguments. Assess and evaluate the evidence to substantiate your research. Establish a link between the central theme of your research and the main argument.

Eliminate unnecessary words: To improve your academic writing skills, focus on the vocabulary as well. Read your paper aloud and eliminate repetitive and unnecessary words. Limit the use of articles and skip words such as if, while, etc. Rewrite the sentence and insert new words, which will improve the language quality of your paper. Keep the sentences short and simple by using an active voice. Express your ideas and opinions clearly and delete idioms and metaphors, as it might confuse the readers. Use a spell checker and ensure that there are no spelling errors in your document. Re-read the article after running a spell check.

Proper research: Do online and offline research on the subject matter. Find credible sources of information and make notes. You can also access published studies online and examine primary sources of information. Look for footnotes and references to track valid sources. You can write a specific thesis statement based on your study and research.

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