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Manuscript Preparation

All academic authors should prioritize familiarizing themselves with the specifics of manuscript formatting because a well-written, well-structured research paper has higher chances of journal acceptance. However, the road leading to manuscript submission is relatively long and could be rather confusing for uninformed authors or those lacking relevant guidance. There are many things you need to focus on when writing a manuscript, e.g., grammar usage, flow of content, proper use of technical terminology, etc., all of which contribute to the how a particular paper and its author are perceived. Here, you will find helpful tips and resources on all aspects of academic manuscript writing--grammar, language, style, format, manuscript structure, and preparing tables and figures. The idea is to help you understand how to write a high-impact research manuscript.
Punctuating headings in research papers
Headings or headlines are a special kind of text and are not as rigidly governed by conventions of punctuation. Read more...
I'm having trouble with "was" vs. "were" in the following sentences: 1. Fuel-stained soil and street waste was discovered south of the site. 2. During the building excavation, 500 kg of soil were removed from the property. Is "was" correct in the first sentence and "were" in the second one?
  • Anonymous
  • Jan 27, 2014
Commonly confused words in research writing: "alternate" and "alternative"
Synonyms are words with similar meanings, although the exact shade of meaning may be different. This post, however, deals with pairs of words that are not synonyms but pairs in which one member is sometimes, and erroneously, mistaken for the other.  
The difference between “almost” and “nearly”
To know what a particular word means, we usually turn to a dictionary. The dictionary could be a general-purpose dictionary, such as the Oxford Dictionary of English [1], or a specialized dictionary if the word is technical and typical of a particular branch of knowledge (botan
Capitalization in bulleted lists
In a list of bullet points, whether each item begins with a capital letter depends on the punctuation mark that comes before the item. A capital letter typically marks the beginning of a sentence.
Use of pronouns in scientific writing
Novice researchers are often discouraged from using the first person pronouns I and we in their writing, and the most common reason given for avoiding the use of the first person
Word choice in scientific writing
Using such expressions as “for example,” “for instance,” and “including” correctly is important. What the expressions have in common is that they talk about some members of a class but not all of them.
Referring to tables and figures in text
The use of figures and tables as adjuncts to text is common in research papers. These adjuncts supplement the text: figures, for example, can convey information that may be impossible to convey through words
An earlier post discussed the use of tenses in research papers. Here, we will expand on this a bit and discuss tense usage in specific sections.
As a matter of style, most journals advise authors not to start any sentence with an abbreviation or a number. However, acronyms are generally acceptable in that position