9 Manuscript Writing Mistakes You Can Avoid

Not only is a research manuscript critical to a researcher's success, but it is also an essential element of scientific progress. It is imperative that you prepare a well-written, impactful manuscript that indicates how your research makes a valuable contribution to your field. However, manuscript preparation and publication can be stressful. The silver lining is today, several online manuscript proofreading and manuscript editing services offer a variety of solutions to help authors at various stages of the publication process. A professional English editing service can help you elevate the overall quality of your manuscript by eliminating basic errors as well as polishing it to ensure that it is publication-ready. However, to begin with, you must ensure that you prepare the best copy possible and avoid some common mistakes that might dissuade journal reviewers from evaluating your research for its true value. Focus on the aspects listed below to prepare a well-structured manuscript.
1. Know your journal:
Different publications follow different styles/guidelines and, often, authors begin writing without referring to the manuscript preparation requirements of their target journal and this increases their chances of rejection. Before beginning to write, read and understand your target journal's requirements and set your word processor's settings correctly. Ensure that everything-including font type, size, margin length, headers/footers, annotations, and footnotes-is in accordance with the specified guidelines. Some research manuscript editing services also offer journal formatting.
2. Get the title page right: The title page is the first visible part of your research manuscript. Do not
- Write a lengthy title - The title of your article should be concise but informative and describe the main findings or the purpose of the study. This article shares some useful tips on writing effective titles.
- Forget the running head - It is easy to miss a small detail as the running head. Typically journals require a short running head or foot line of 40 characters (all character including spaces): of course, this may vary across journals.
- Omit the following:
• Consistency in author (and correspondence) details, based on your target journal's requirements
• Source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, etc.
• Disclaimers, if any
3. Summary/Abstract: The summary or abstract must cover the entire scope of your research. The most common mistake authors make is that of writing a hurried abstract at the end. Ensure that you set aside sufficient time to write an abstract that:
- Provides a brief background and states the intent(s) and purpose(s) of the study
- Succinctly states the basic methods, main results, principal conclusions, and the novel and important aspects of the study
- Defines all abbreviations, includes keywords, and excludes references
4. Introduce briefly, not eloquently: Researchers are often tempted to add content to build up to the crux of the subject. Keep your introduction crisp and precise. There is no point in trying to give an extensive review of the entire study in the introduction itself. Summarize. Discuss the importance of the study to the field. Acknowledge any prior papers, authors, or researchers whose work may have led you to explore your chosen research topic.
5. Materials and Methods: The methods and materials section of the research is instrumental in explaining the modus operandi used by you, the researcher, to arrive at your conclusions. Ensure that you include:
- A description of how you went about your research, in detail
- Sufficient details for any other researcher to be able to duplicate your work
- Details about the dependent variable (measured), independent variable (manipulated), all controls, and your selection of observational or experimental subjects
- Details of the apparatus you used (including manufacturer's name and location)
6. It's all about the results you achieve: The results section discusses the outcome of your research.
- Avoid listing results in a haphazard manner. Present them in order of priority.
- Don't compare your results to those from similar studies previously published.
- Describe comparisons as significant or not significant.
- Avoid using different levels of statistical significance.
7. Exaggerated conclusions: After you have described your study and methods, it is essential for you to share what you achieved, by writing a clear conclusion. It is common for authors to exaggerate the conclusions. The risk with this practice is that your conclusion may not always be entirely supported by the data in your paper.
A professional manuscript editing and proofreading service can also help you ensure that your manuscript is well-written, well-presented, and well-structured.
8. Double check tables and figures: If your paper has a lot of statistical data, be sure to go over all the numbers and data within your figures/tables with a fine-tooth comb. Data accuracy is considered vital in research and ensuring accuracy of data is every researcher's responsibility.
9. Make a list of commonly misspelled words: Making a list of commonly misspelled words and cross referencing your text against them is a great way to ensure that your paper does not include any spelling errors.
Preparing a manuscript for publication is a time- and effort-intensive process that requires you to focus on several aspects from language and structure to formatting and organization. Moreover, high journal rejection rates only add to the publication pressure. Approaching a professional manuscript editing or manuscript proofreading service provider will help you eliminate glaring errors, polish your manuscript, and make it publication-ready.
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." • Rudyard Kipling
And I am admittedly a word addict, ever enthralled by the infinite potential of words to enable people to reach out, express, forge relationships, and build our own languages, histories, and futures.

By Jayashree R

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