Things to have before you start
writing a paper.
Before beginning to write, select a journal.
- One good paper in a solid journal is worth more than
several in obscure journals. Check the impact factor in the field you want to reach. For
example Vision Research has a higher impact factor in the field of Ophthalmology than in
the field of Neuroscience.
- Look through previous issues and check that they publish similar
- Note the average number and style of the figures.
Print out the instructions to authors.
- Read the instructions to authors carefully.
Using another paper as a template.
- Find a paper you find especially clear. Use it as a
template for your paper.
- Analyze why you find it clear by examining its structure.
- Look at a particular section (e.g. introduction, methods
etc.). List the main topic of each paragraph. Why is the order effective?
- Look at a good paragraph. List the key phrase in each
sentence. Why is this order effective? Would any other order be better?
- Look at a particularly effective sentence. Find out why you
- The order in sentences, paragraphs, and sections is very important.
Decide whether point A must be understood before point B. The right order avoids
Copyright © 1995
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
University of Western Ontario
London Ontario Canada
Created 28 Sept 1995
10 January 2007