In this post, you will learn some amazing tips about how to maintain consistency while drafting a research paper, So let’s start.
Publishing an academic manuscript forms an important part of an author’s career. It allows the authors to share their work with the research community and gain recognition. An edited and formatted manuscript has a higher chance of acceptance.
Authors should know how to maintain consistency while forming the sentences and writing the manuscript. Consistency in terms of writing includes linking different elements and giving a structure so that the language is clear and understandable.
A manuscript is composed of many different components that are placed in an order. It not only adds logic but also makes the research paper comprehensive. Creating an outline helps the authors to finalize the placement of each component so that they can organize their manuscript properly.
To ensure 100% consistency, the author should have a complete understanding of the subject area and the chosen topic. A research paper should always be written using a formal tone.
Why should writers maintain consistency while composing a research-based manuscript?
Journal publishers follow a strict protocol to assess the quality of a manuscript in terms of styling, formatting, and content. Use of complex sentences and incorrect use of tense and verb form not only disrupt the reader’s flow but it also gives a bad impression to editors and readers. Even if the author’s research has significance, it can still be rejected on the grounds of poor language quality and inconsistency.
Importance of writing a research paper with absolute consistency:
A research paper that is consistent and logical helps the authors focus on the core content and methodology. They can determine how to select, analyze, and interpret data. Readers can understand the scientific concepts much better, and it also helps the authors gain credibility. Consistency should be maintained while writing the title, research problem, and question to improve logic.
Title: It is descriptive and usually consists of at least six to eight words. It contains the central idea that helps the researchers come up with the appropriate methodology and literature review. Authors should consider “take the 4W’s and 1H” into account while formulating a research title.
Research question: Explains what research problem the author is trying to resolve. The goal and objective of research are described in the question, and a relationship is established between the variable using the 4W’s and 1H.
Purpose: In this section, the author mentions what needs to be done and what has been done until now to address the main research problem.
Guidelines for authors to maintain consistency while drafting a paper:
1- Create an outline
2- Identify the target audience
3- Use only one font size and font type
4-Avoid using jargon or abbreviations
5- Use descriptive words
6- Add margins, bullet points, and numberings
7-Use the correct form of verb tense
8- Add spacing between lines and paragraphs
9- Create references/footnote/citation
How to maintain consistency throughout the manuscript?
1. Structure: To maintain consistency, the same format should be used to draft all the pages. Authors can follow the specific guidelines provided by the journal. The headlines should be checked for consistency. For example, if the author has written the first alphabet of the words in capital letters, that is, used title case style, then every heading should be written in the same format.
Tips: Use the same font size and font type to write down the sub-headings, tables, and figures.
2. Language: Clear and simple vocabulary should be used to draft the manuscript so that the target audience can understand the concepts clearly. The choice of words and sentence patterns alters the overall style and tone of the manuscript, and for this reason, the author should identify the target audience first.
Demonstrative pronouns such as ‘This’ and ‘That’ should be used as adjectives.
Use of slang/colloquialism, vague pronouns, and abbreviations should be kept to a minimum.
3. Citations: In-text citations are the references mentioned in the body of the text. The formatting style for citations will depend on the journal’s requirements. Adding citations helps authors avoid plagiarism.
Add the author’s last name, date of publication, and page number from which the quote has been taken.
Put the in-text citation within brackets.
Present the citation as a superscript number.
4. Abbreviations: Define the full form of the abbreviation when using it for the first time. Some journals may ask to redefine the acronyms as well as abbreviations in different sections of the manuscript such as conclusion, heading, table, or figure.
Tips: If an abbreviation is used to begin a sentence, then the author should follow the same format throughout the manuscript.
5. Punctuation: The use of punctuation marks such as the terminal comma should be consistent. The author can prepare a list of punctuation marks that they have used to include quotations, references, or citations in the manuscript. For example, an author cannot use open punctuation in one section and close punctuation in another section.
Use single/double space throughout
Use or remove period
Use the same length to add hyphen and dashes
6. Parallel writing: It is a form of writing that includes using the same grammatical and tense pattern. Parallel construction is created to compare two or more similar ideas. Use parallel writing in the following case:
While using coordinating conjunctions such as and, or, but, etc.
While using correlative conjunctions such as but also, either, etc.
While using the phrase of comparison such as ‘than’ or ‘as.’
While comparing multiple items in a list.
7. Capitalization: Authors should capitalize the titles uniformly. If the title is capitalized and underlined in one document, then it should be written using the same format throughout the manuscript.
8. Vocabulary: A research paper is either written in UK English or American English depending on their chosen style and journal selection. For example, in American English, ‘color’ is the preferred spelling whereas in British English, it is spelt as ‘colour’.
9. Editing and proofreading: The final draft must be revised and edited at least twice to ensure that it is error-free and suitable for submission.
Tips for improving the writing style of research paper:
1. Language usage: Excessive use of complex vocabulary and scientific terminology should be avoided.
2. Sentence length: Write in small paragraphs so that intended meaning can be conveyed to the target readers.
3. Avoid redundancy: Remove words and phrases that are used excessively.
4. Modifiers: Avoid using modifiers as sometimes they can alter the original meaning of the text.
5. Use active voice: It helps the author to be more direct and reduce the average word count.
6. Parallel form: Construct meaningful and clear sentences by using the parallel form of writing.
7. Be specific: Use descriptive words that convey a specific meaning.