Writing a research manuscript: Where to go from the first blank page
As you begin your research journey, you must have been told several times how important it is to get a few publications to your credit. For instance, getting a paper published could be a graduation requirement for you, or your supervisor might have asked you to publish a paper, or you yourself might be keen to get published. But when you get down to the task of actually preparing a manuscript, you might end up feeling lost and anxious. You might ask yourself questions like: Why is writing a research paper such a challenging task? There is so much literature out there, where do I even begin?
If these questions have been bothering you, you’re not alone! It’s absolutely natural for you to feel this way as a first-time author. And it’s not just first-timers who face this challenge – even researchers who have already published a few papers often feel this way when starting a new one. Although you could look up several available resources on academic writing, sometimes the best way to understand how to overcome a challenge in this area is to talk to someone who has experienced it and find out how they tackled it.
To help you understand how to get started with writing your research manuscript from scratch, we’ve invited PhD researcher Shruti Turner to share her own experience with manuscript writing and the strategies she uses to get those first words out on a blank page. Shruti wants to “normalize the anxiety of a blank page” and advise other researchers on “what to do when you don’t know what to do.”
In this webinar, Shruti will:
- Talk about the normality of uncertainty when starting a new manuscript
- Share her personal routine for starting a new research manuscript
- Provide an easy-to-follow 2-step guide for getting the first words down on a page
Step 1: Aim, Question, Hypothesis
Step 2: Bullet points outlining a plan
- Share which manuscript sections you need to focus on first in order to maximize your writing output
- Explain which aspects of the paper can be a distraction when you begin writing and therefore, need to be addressed at a later stage.
Date: June 30, 2021
Time: 9 AM ET (1 PM UTC)
About Shruti Turner
PhD Researcher, Imperial College London; MSc in Biomedical Engineering and BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Southampton
Shruti started a PhD with the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College London in January 2018. Her project combines her passion for education and research, while also allowing her to help amputees in need. It is focused on understanding the clinical utility of pressure sensors in lower limb prosthetic sockets to improve fit and evaluate what is meant by ‘good fit.’ Prior to this, Shruti did an MSc Biomedical Engineering and BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Southampton.
She maintains an interesting, insightful blog about her time as a PhD student called Shruti’s PhD. She decided to start this blog as a medium for self-reflection, and also in the hope that sharing her experience would inspire others to undertake a PhD.
The top three things close to Shruti’s heart are education, sustainability, and research. She also loves to travel, but unfortunately doesn’t do it nearly as much as she would like to!