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How to write an empirical article for journal submission

The first draft of your article is ready, but you are not sure if the journal you choose will publish your article or not. I am sure that you have referred to many research articles to understand how they organize the sections and wondered how to apply the frame in your article.

Before organising the sections, you need to know that academic writing is all about establishing your credibility to contribute to your field. Academic journals publish only those research articles that are credible. How to know that you are credible?

Ask these questions:

Are you contributing any new knowledge? Are you innovating a new method? Are you addressing any challenges? Are you contributing to the existing literature from a different perspective?

If your answer is yes to at least one of these questions, you are good to go to choose a journal of your choice.

There is no one-size-fit-all style in academic writing. The journal you choose defines what to publish and how you present your research to the academic world. The scope (application or theoretical oriented), focus (specific theme/discipline), readership (global or local), contemporary relevance, focus on ethical considerations, and sometimes word limit may define your research article.

Keeping these points in mind, change the way you write the introduction, review the literature, ask the research questions, and discuss the findings while the methodology and findings remain the same.

Create the title of your article by including the key concepts/variables of your study or focus of the study and the relationship between the concepts/variables.  

An abstract makes the readers decide whether to read the whole paper or not. This is the reason we make an effort to write a powerful abstract. Write the abstract in the same format (IMRaD) as your article. Provide an overview of all the sections. It should be focused and precise that represent the essence of the article.

I am assuming that you already know the IMRaD style of organizing your article. But do you know what constitutes each section that will help you to organize them scientifically? What is the purpose of each section, and how do you organize the components of each section?

Introduction–  Introduce the problem you want to study, state why that problem needs to be studied, establish the setting (contextualize) of the problem, review relevant literature to locate your research, identify a research gap if there’s any, and develop a research question. This section informs ‘What’ and ‘Why’ are you investigating the problem.

Methods– Start writing the research approach/design you adopted to investigate the study, methods of sampling (if any), data collection, analysis, validity, reliability and limitations of the study. Many authors include ethical considerations in the study in this section. This section informs the scientific approach of ‘How’ are you conducting the study.

Results– Present and describe the output of data analysis, highlight the key findings of the study, and should contain only data, tables, graphs, excerpts and an explanation of each. This section provides objective information/data that you have collected during the study.

Discussion– Examine and interpret the results, explain the meaning of your findings, discuss how your findings show similarities or differences with other studies, and reflect on the theories (if you have used them). This section contextualises your study.

The conclusion section usually accompanies the discussion section and iterates the research question. Write if your research questions have been answered. Yes- So What? State what your study has contributed in the larger debate or literature or advancement in your field.

Write the reference of all the sources you have cited in your article to avoid plagiarism. Read the journal’s reference style and arrange them accordingly.

Run the article through software such as Grammarly for proofreading.


Know more on Literature Review Section of a Research Article

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