Three Principles for Academic Writing Principle 1: Using writing to clarify your own thinking It is difficult to establish what we think before we have put it down in words. If we cannot decide what we want to say without writing and if we cannot write without a solid idea about what we want to say, we are in a bind. The best way out of this bind is to write.
Three Principles for Academic Writing Principle 2: Committing to extensive revision More revision will improve writing; however, many writers believe the weakness of the first draft comes from their lack of writing skill rather than from the intrinsic weakness of any first draft. Accept the fact that the writing process is iterative. This awareness makes it easier to understand that writing will rarely be suitable for a reader without extensive revision.
Three Principles for Academic Writing Principle 3: Understanding the needs of your reader Reader’s needs are different from our own. Extensive revision is the solution for this dilemma. In summary, we write the first draft for ourselves; the drafts thereafter increasingly for the reader.
Choose the Journal There is no ‘generic’ good article that could fit any journal. Before you start writing, the most important task is to choose the journal. Where to publish will define what to publish and how you public your research.
Common Mistakes Too school-ish submission or articles formatted as a dissertation or school research project Belief that a conference presentation just need a few cosmetic changes to become a journal article Not adhering to submission guidelines (or word limits)
Successful Writer A good reader and a committed reviewer. One of the best ways to improve your writing is to read the scholarly writings of authors.
Common Mistakes An abstract is just a copy-paste of the introduction – and you ca throw in some references here The better you write your abstract, the more likely it is that your article will be selected by referees. The abstract must be clear and straightforward, considering the journal's specific audience and the main point of your manuscript.
Common Mistakes The same paper can be submitted to different journals at the same time. This belief is unethical behavior and it threatens the deeper core of academic publication.