Our Comprehensive Guide on Manuscript Writing
Let us start by defining the term manuscript. We consider a manuscript to be a written paper that an author submits to an editor or a publisher for publication purposes. A scientific manuscript, however, is a scientific paper not yet in its final form. It is yet to be peer reviewed, edited, and published.
As for the manuscript format, many publishers have their own guidelines according to which the author has to submit their work. Formats can vary depending on the subject matter of the paper, and preference of a particular publisher or editor. Authors preparing a manuscript should determine and apply relevant formatting guidelines as imposed by their specific publisher.
Before You Start Writing Your Manuscript
Writing a manuscript requires a lot of time and consideration. One of the first things you should ask yourself before you start is whether your future article is publishable. The answer will be favorable if your work contains enough new material, is relevant and interesting, well organized, and within the journal’s scope.
When it comes to choosing the type of manuscript to write, start by researching the information at hand. Will you have enough material to write a full article? You can also ask your colleagues or a supervisor for advice. Whether you decide to go for an original article or a review paper, make sure to submit only a single manuscript.
To raise the chances of a particular journal accepting your paper, read its recent publications and see what hot topics they cover. Also, you can look at the articles you used for your manuscript writing. Chances are, most of them are focused around the same journal types.
Once you make your choice, go to the journal’s webpage, and download their Guide for Authors. This is an essential document you need to follow if you want the journal to even consider publishing your work. It includes important information such as the editorial, copyright, and ethical guidelines, as well as submission procedures.
Finally, it’s essential to determine your audience. Are you writing for a specialized or generalized reader? This will frame the tone of your paper. Is your audience regional or global? This helps determine which journal to approach, as well as your language choice.
Structural Contents of a Good Manuscript
Be sure to organize your manuscript correctly. At the very beginning, your article will have a Title, followed by an Abstract and Keywords. The section order should be as follows: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This is commonly known as the IMRD format. Finally, your main text needs to be followed by the Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables, and Figures.
Title and Abstract
The Title and Abstract are your first chance to grab your audience’s attention. The Title should be concise, descriptive, and you should capitalize all words other than articles and prepositions. The Abstract should summarize your paper in a paragraph no longer than 250 words. It should include the object of your study, employed methods, results, and conclusions. It’s best to write the Abstract at the end when you’ve already written all other sections of your paper.
The Introduction should briefly explain why you did the research and why it is relevant. This section shouldn’t be longer than a double-spaced typed page. The key purpose of the Introduction is to attract the reader. You need to state the clear hypothesis and study aim at the end of this section, as this information is fundamental to your manuscript. There needs to be a logical order in your statements, with the main problem being evident to the reader.
The Methods section is essential for your peers and other scientists to gain insight into what you did and also how to replicate your study. Start this part with an “Approach to the Problem” section where the reader can understand how your approach can challenge the initial hypothesis. Include the following subheadings: Subjects, Procedures, and Statistical Analysis.
The Results section should have a hierarchical flow, with the most important results presented first. You can include Figure forms for the most important data sets and use tables and paragraphs for less important results. This way, the most important findings will be evident. Make sure only to present and not discuss the results, as the latter will come in the next section.
In the Discussion section, consider the following key points:
- Emphasize key findings first.
- Do comparative analysis with other studies in your primary literature.
- Explain any unexpected results.
- Describe problems you encountered while writing and mention how the material could be altered for better results.
- Mention future experiments or discuss the general meaning of your results.
Other Structural Elements
In the Acknowledgements section, make sure to mention individuals or organizations that made your study possible.
Under References, list all the cited references from your article. Make sure to follow your publisher’s guidelines on the citing format.
In the Tables and Figures section, present your data in tables, graphs, maps, photos, etc. Use different graph types rather than tables. The former will help the reader visualize data trends better.
Prompts for Writing & General tips
Here are some general tips for writing to help you achieve a more professional look, whether you’re working on a manuscript or a nonfiction book:
- Use Times New Roman (size 12) as the preferred font for your manuscript.
- Use double-spacing for the text, and don’t leave extra space between paragraphs.
- Justify the text.
- Leave single spacing after periods or any other punctuation marks.
- Don’t number the title page.
- Start new chapter titles on a new page and make them all caps. Also, your manuscript title or book title should all be in caps.
- Use black text on a white background.
- Include a header with the page number in the upper right-hand corner of your paper.
- Use the following word processor file formats: doc, docx, rtf, TeX/LaTeX.
When it comes to general submission guidelines, here’s what you should do before submitting your work:
- Make sure to submit the paper to the most relevant journal.
- Get familiar with the costs to avoid any financial surprises.
- Double-check your manuscript for any potential mistakes. Make sure your work meets the given word count.
- Don’t break the copyright agreement.
Once you’re ready to submit:
- Make sure to follow the general formatting guidelines for your article type.
- Include the supporting information such as the author information, cover letter.
- If the journal’s policy allows for it, recommend or exclude potential experts who can provide peer reviews on your paper.
Reconsider these questions before publishing:
- Who are your readers?
- Is the message you are sending clear?
- Did you include enough relevant sources in your work?
- Did you present your results in the best possible way?
AKJournal’s Guidelines for Authors
If you want to publish your work in Akadémiai Kiadó’s journals, know that we welcome worldwide submissions. That said, we have a special service to help non-English speakers with text editing services.
Some of our journals only publish Open Access articles, while for others, this way of publishing is the author’s choice. You can find detailed information on both the Open Access and the traditional Subscription-based publishing model.
AKJournals takes full responsibility for preserving all content published electronically. Every published article is stored by a partner digital preservation service, Portico.