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Useful tips for making sure your journal paper is consistent

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

One of the keys to producing a really clear journal paper is to make sure that the story you tell in that paper is consistent. So, I thought it might be helpful to post a few writing tips that will help the reader to see the consistency of your paper:

Tip 1 Make sure that you repeat title words in the introduction section.

The introduction is there to orientate the reader and to prime them on what comes later. By making sure that the important title words are repeated in the introduction, you can be pretty confident that the reader will see the connection between the title, which is likely to be what attracted them to your paper in the first place, and the paper itself.

Tip 2 Check for consistency of message between the Introduction and the Conclusion.

In the rounds of redrafting that take place when refining a paper for publication, it is possible for the conclusion to stray somewhat from what you promised in the introduction. To avoid this danger, just make sure that what you told the reader you were going to do in the paper is what you have actually delivered.

Tip 3 Make sure that you have discussed each sub-argument to the main storyline with equal depth, so that you produce a paper that feels balanced for the reader.

A journal paper will normally have one main message (or 'storyline' as I call it). There will probably then be a small number of sub-arguments, or discussion points that feed into that main message. Make sure that you discuss each of those sub-points with equal depth. Glossing over one sub-point because you have run out of word count not only will unbalance paper, but may also make the reader feel a little short-changed.

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