structuring research articles

Writing a journal article? Here are some useful tips from Pat Thomson who challenges writers to think about the actual structure of an academic journal article.


There’s a lot of conventional wisdom out there about how to write a publishable journal article.

What do I mean by an academic journal article? Well, I think of an academic journal article as a reasoned presentation of material gained through a scholarly process – such as examining and deconstructing texts, hard thinking, generating and analyzing data. The writer builds up a logical argument, step by step, in order to persuade the reader about a particular point/result. The paper’s argument is situated in a context – for example, the extant literatures, policy and or practice, a debate of an ongoing blank or blind spot. And the paper is of course written for the particular readers of a specific journal.

The most usual advice given in books and online resources is to follow a scientific report-like structure for a scholarly paper – Introduction, Literature, Methods, Report, Discussion, Conclusion. ILMRDC we might call it. It’s true that…

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