While most citations in a scholarly article refer to already published research or engage with theoretical materials, occasionally you will find it necessary to discuss magazine articles or reviews, online works, and other kinds of non-scholarly or non-academic sources. In part, engaging with these types of materials illustrates the continued relevancy of your research in the public realm. If you are discussing representations of war in literature, for example, it may be productive to think about reviews of such representations in contemporary popular culture. Connecting with public and popular media situates your research the “real world” and adds immediacy to your piece.

How do you summarize arguments for academic articles such as a literature review? Clearly, any argument you write should speak to other, previously published texts. You are in a conversation with your field and will want to engage with other scholarly works, theoretical pieces, or bodies of research. Your article’s engagement with these secondary sources will help to bolster your argument and form a basis for your discussion. However, you want to work with these earlier sources in an intelligent and sophisticated way.

Research articles, especially in the STEM fields, have a rigid structure that almost all journals will expect to be followed. This makes sense, as it forces publications to be uniform, easier to follow, and allows for the reading of particular sections. Someone interested in the statistical methods used, doesn’t need to skim through the whole article to find them. They will be included in the methods; thus only the methods would need to be read.

The challenges of choosing a specific research article topic can be daunting to a new scholar. You want one that is interesting to you and emerges from your current area of research. At the same time, it should be new, innovative, and valuable to the field. Here are some strategies to help produce a dynamic, effective research topic:

Narrow your area

Conferences are fantastic places to give an initial version of your current project when your research is dynamic and evolving. Fellow conference goers provide significant sources of initial feedback, especially from scholars you don’t know or with whom you interact less frequently. In addition, many conferences have associated journals, which have special editions with articles drawn from the conference. Given that journals often prefer already curated submissions to cold entries, your previous acceptance to the conference may help your submission to the associated journal.

We have all been there — the methods section of a research paper that seems to be talking in circles, when all you really need is a few facts about the statistical methods used. For many researchers, academic sources for their research articles can be overly complicated and too wordy to understand at times. No style of reading works for everyone, but there are general reading tips that are useful, whether used all together or mixed and matched. By using the tips below, you will be reading academic sources effectively without feeling overwhelmed.

Proofreading is essential for any written work. An otherwise excellent research publication can be ruined by multiple typos. Below are effective strategies for proofreading your research articles.

A good research question will guide and centre your research. It may consider the relationships between certain theories or ideas, or attempt to answer what is happening in a specific situation. Ideally, you should be interested in the topic you choose to investigate. If you are unfamiliar with the topic, you should also conduct preliminary research. A good literature review can summarize a given research area and lead to inspiration.

A literature review is an exhaustive discussion of the research previously done in a given subject area. It is an organized collection of published research about a topic. Literature reviews are conducted in order to provide a solid background of the topic, examine what areas of research exist, and find new routes of research. While it may be a summary of the material, usually the literature review shuffles information around to shed new light on research.

Research Publication Writing

Endnote is another excellent resource to manage references for research articles. It has all the same bibliography and reference usability described in our earlier post about Mendeley, but it also has some powerful extra features. Endnote is free if you use the web-version, but it is severely limited compared to the paid version. We will only talk about the paid version in this article.

Research Publication Writing

The style of your work is just as important as its content. You should write for your audience — a professor, a layperson, your colleagues, etc — and your style should indicate who you are writing for. Slang words and other colloquial terms should not be used unless they are relevant to your article’s focus. It is also essential to avoid biased language; you don’t want your article to be seen as sexist, racist, or stereotypical. Your article should be written intelligently. Having a peer who had not read your article before will help you with proofreading. You may be able to cut down on redundant information or add information for completeness when necessary with his or her feedback. Sometimes it is necessary to use jargon — vocabulary used by a specific group of people. When using jargon, you should define the word so that a general audience would be able to understand what it means.

Mendeley is a free and excellent resource to manage references for your research article. With Mendeley, you can do a variety of functions that will make research publication easier, especially when conducting a literature review. The first item on your Mendeley to-do list is curating your Mendeley library. Any research articles or other references you want to use in your article should be added to the library. You can drag and drop them into the open desktop application from your desktop or files folder. Sometimes, you will add duplicate documents to your library. Under ‘Tools,’ click ‘Check for Duplicates.’ You can merge duplicate documents. Select all duplicate documents and in the upper right corner, click on merge. From there, Mendeley will check the fields to verify information; click on ‘Confirm Merge’ to complete the process.

The style of your work is just as important as its content. You should write for your audience — a professor, a layperson, your colleagues, etc — and your style should indicate who you are writing for. Slang words and other colloquial terms should not be used unless they are relevant to your article’s focus. It is also essential to avoid biased language; you don’t want your article to be seen as sexist, racist, or stereotypical. Your article should be written intelligently. Having a peer who had not read your article before will help you with proofreading. You may be able to cut down on redundant information or add information for completeness when necessary with his or her feedback. Sometimes it is necessary to use jargon — vocabulary used by a specific group of people. When using jargon, you should define the word so that a general audience would be able to understand what it means.

Make the Best Choice for your Research

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The Sengi team is led by Dr. Brad Hall, a vision scientist and expert medical writer. A regular peer reviewer for several medical and ophthalmology journals, Dr. Hall has authored a multitude of articles personally, is a successful grant writer, medical writer, and master of the art of simplifying data and statistical analysis. Since launching in 2015, Sengi has provided medical writing and biostatistics analysis expertise to SMBs and researchers around the world that lacked the necessary means to share their scientific breakthroughs outside of the lab. Sengi’s work has enabled these companies to put advanced technology into the hands of those who need them most.