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  • Micheal Daniel Micheal Daniel
  • 10 min read

How to Write a Manuscript of a Research Paper



In  academia, writing a research paper manuscript can sometimes feel like navigating a maze blindfolded. It’s not just about putting words on paper – it’s about telling a compelling story with your data, one that captures the attention of your peers and adds something meaningful to the conversation.

But let’s be real, it’s tough. From figuring out journal requirements to deciphering your own results, the journey can be exhausting. However, it’s also a chance to showcase your passion, creativity, and dedication to your field. This will be offering practical advice and insider tips to help you navigate the twists and turns of manuscript writing with clarity and confidence.


What is manuscript for a reseach paper

A manuscript for a research paper is the written document that presents the findings, methodology, analysis, and conclusions of a research study. It is the culmination of a researcher’s work, where they detail their research question, objectives, hypotheses, experimental design (if applicable), data collection methods, results, and interpretation of findings. The manuscript is typically formatted according to the guidelines of a specific academic journal or publication, and it undergoes a rigorous peer review process before publication. In essence, the manuscript serves as a vehicle for communicating the research process and outcomes to the scholarly community, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in a particular field.

Difference between manuscript and a research paper

The terms “manuscript” and “research paper” are often used interchangeably, but they refer to slightly different concepts in the context of academic writing:
  1. Manuscript: In a broad sense, a manuscript refers to any written document that is prepared for publication. It can encompass various types of documents, including research papers, articles, essays, reports, and books. A manuscript typically undergoes multiple drafts and revisions before it is finalized for submission to a publisher or journal. In the context of a research paper, the manuscript specifically refers to the written document that presents the findings, methodology, analysis, and conclusions of a research study. It is the final product of the research process, prepared for submission to an academic journal or conference for peer review and publication.
  2. Research Paper: A research paper is a specific type of academic writing that presents the results of original research or a systematic review of existing literature. It follows a standardized format and structure, including sections such as Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. A research paper aims to contribute new knowledge to the field by presenting empirical evidence, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on the findings. Research papers are typically published in academic journals or presented at conferences to disseminate research findings to the scholarly community.

What are the 3 parts of manuscript?

In the context of a research paper, the three main parts of a manuscript typically include:
  1. Introduction: This section provides background information on the topic of the research, outlines the research question or objective, and explains the significance of the study. It sets the stage for the reader by presenting the context and rationale for the research, as well as identifying any gaps in existing literature that the study aims to address.
  2. Body: The body of the manuscript comprises the Methods, Results, and Discussion sections:
    • Methods: This section describes the research methodology in detail, including the study design, participant recruitment and selection criteria, data collection methods, and any instruments or materials used. It should provide sufficient detail to allow other researchers to replicate the study.
    • Results: Here, the findings of the research are presented in a clear and organized manner. Data analysis procedures are described, and key results are summarized using tables, figures, and graphs. The Results section should present the findings objectively, without interpretation.
    • Discussion: In this section, the results are interpreted in the context of existing literature and theoretical frameworks. The implications of the findings are discussed, including any limitations of the study and suggestions for future research. Alternative explanations for the results may also be considered and addressed.
  3. Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the main findings of the study and restates the significance of the research in advancing knowledge in the field. It reinforces the key messages of the study and discusses the broader implications of the findings. The conclusion may also suggest avenues for further research or practical applications of the research findings.

How to Write a Manuscript for a research paper

Writing a comprehensive manuscript for a research paper requires careful planning, meticulous execution, and effective communication of your study’s objectives, methods, results, and implications. Let us  navigate each step of the manuscript writing process:

  • Understand the Journal’s Guidelines

Start by thoroughly reviewing the submission guidelines of the journal you plan to submit your manuscript to. Pay close attention to formatting requirements, word limits, referencing styles, and any specific instructions for authors.

  • Develop a Clear Outline

Create a structured outline that outlines the main sections of your manuscript. Typically, this will include an Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Within each section, outline the key points you intend to cover.

  • Introduction

Begin your manuscript with a well-crafted introduction that sets the stage for your research. Provide background information on the topic, highlight the significance of the study, and clearly state your research question or objective. Engage the reader by presenting the rationale for your research and identifying the gap in existing literature that your study aims to address.

  • Methods

In the Methods section, describe your research methodology in sufficient detail to allow other researchers to replicate your study. Outline the study design, participant selection criteria, data collection methods, and any instruments or materials used. Include information on ethical considerations and any approvals obtained from institutional review boards.

  • Results

Present your findings in a clear and organized manner, using tables, figures, and graphs to illustrate key results. Describe your data analysis procedures and present both quantitative and qualitative findings. Ensure that your results are presented objectively and without interpretation.

  • Discussion

Interpret your results in the context of existing literature and theoretical frameworks. Discuss the implications of your findings, including any practical or theoretical implications. Address any limitations of the study and suggest directions for future research. Compare your results with previous studies and consider alternative explanations for your findings.

  • Conclusion

Summarize the main findings of your study and reiterate the significance of your research in advancing knowledge in the field. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion and instead focus on reinforcing the key messages of your study. Emphasize the broader implications of your findings and the potential impact on theory, practice, or policy.

  • References

Ensure that all sources cited in your manuscript are accurately referenced using the appropriate citation style. Compile a comprehensive list of references that includes all sources cited in the text, following the formatting guidelines provided by the journal.

  • Revision and Proofreading

Take time to revise and edit your manuscript for clarity, coherence, and accuracy. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and consider seeking feedback from colleagues or mentors. Revise your manuscript based on feedback received and proofread it carefully before submission.

  • Submit Your Manuscript

Follow the journal’s submission instructions to prepare your manuscript for submission. Include any required supplementary materials or declarations, and be prepared to address any reviewer comments or revisions requested by the journal editor during the peer review process.

What to do if manuscript paper is rejected

Receiving a rejection for a manuscript can be disheartening, but it’s important to remember that it’s a common experience for researchers and does not necessarily reflect the quality or significance of your work. Following are some steps you should take if your manuscript is rejected:

  1. Understand the Reasons: Carefully review the feedback provided by the reviewers and the editor to understand the reasons for the rejection. Common reasons for rejection include methodological flaws, insufficient novelty or significance, lack of clarity in writing, and poor fit with the journal’s scope or audience.
  2. Revise and Resubmit: If the reviewers provide constructive feedback and suggest revisions, consider addressing their comments and revising your manuscript accordingly. Make sure to provide a point-by-point response to each reviewer’s comments and clearly indicate the changes made in the revised manuscript. Highlight any updates or improvements that strengthen the manuscript.
  3. Seek Feedback: Consider seeking feedback from colleagues, mentors, or collaborators on your manuscript. They may offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving the clarity, coherence, and impact of your work. Peer review within your research community can help identify potential weaknesses and areas for improvement.
  4. Consider a Different Journal: If the reviewers’ comments indicate that your manuscript is not a good fit for the original journal, explore other journals in your field that may be a better match. Look for journals with similar scope, audience, and publication standards, and tailor your manuscript to meet their specific requirements. Be prepared to adapt your manuscript and cover letter accordingly.
  5. Reassess and Improve: Take the opportunity to reassess your research and identify areas for improvement. Consider whether additional data, analyses, or literature citations could strengthen your argument or enhance the significance of your findings. Continuously strive to improve the quality and impact of your research, regardless of publication outcomes.
  6. Persist and Persevere: Rejection is a natural part of the publication process, and many successful researchers have experienced multiple rejections before achieving publication success. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, and maintain confidence in the value of your research. Keep refining your manuscript, seeking feedback, and submitting to appropriate journals until you find the right fit.
  7. Reflect and Learn: Use the rejection as an opportunity for reflection and learning. Consider what you can learn from the experience, both in terms of improving the manuscript and developing your skills as a researcher and writer. Embrace constructive criticism as a chance for growth and development in your academic journey.

Number of pages /words for research manuscript

The number of pages or words for a research manuscript can vary depending on several factors, including the journal’s guidelines, the complexity of the research, and the depth of analysis. However, there are some general guidelines and common practices to consider:

  1. Word Count: Many journals specify a maximum word count for research manuscripts, typically ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 words for original research articles. This word count usually includes the main text (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion), but excludes abstract, references, tables, and figures.
  2. Page Count: The number of pages for a research manuscript can vary depending on factors such as font size, line spacing, and formatting. However, a typical research manuscript may range from about 8 to 20 pages in length, including all sections and supplementary materials.
  3. Abstract: The abstract is usually limited to a specific word count, often around 150 to 250 words. It should provide a concise summary of the research, including the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions.
  4. Tables and Figures: Tables and figures are often used to present data and results in a clear and concise manner. They should be included within the manuscript as needed, with appropriate captions and references in the text. The number of tables and figures may vary depending on the complexity of the research.
  5. References: The reference list should include all sources cited in the manuscript, following the citation style specified by the journal. The number of references can vary widely depending on the scope of the literature review and the depth of analysis.

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