How to write a scientific article

Scientific articles are written by students, graduate students and scientists. The publication of scientific articles  is an obligatory part of the work on the thesis.The purpose of this article is to answer the main questions arising from the person who first encountered the need to write a scientific article. The article will consider the process of working on such an article.

What is a scientific article

First of all, let’s define what a scientific article is. A scientific article examines one or more interrelated problems of a particular subject. We can say that a scientific article is a full-fledged mini-research on a certain narrow topic.

There are the following types of scientific articles:

  1. Scientific-theoretical – describing the results of studies performed on the basis of theoretical search and explanation of phenomena and their patterns.
  2. Scientific and practical (empirical) – built on the basis of experiments and real experience.
  3. Survey – devoted to the analysis of scientific achievements in a certain field over the past few years.

The scientific article presupposes the presentation of its own conclusions and the intermediate or final results of its scientific research, experimental or analytical activity. Such an article should contain author’s work, conclusions, recommendations.

This means that, first of all, the scientific article should have the novelty effect: the results stated in it should not be previously published. By publishing a scientific article, the author fixes a priority in the chosen field of research.

Where to begin

If you are preparing an article for a certain publication, journal, collection, you should, first of all, study the requirements for articles received in it: volume, design, a circle of topics. For example, the requirements for articles submitted by the magazine “Young Scientist” are fairly simple and understandable.

Then you can ponder over the topic of the article. First, review the material already available and consider how it can be used to write an article. The narrower and more specialized the theme of the article is, the better. Do not try to embrace the immensity. The topic should be relevant for science and interesting for you.

Having determined the topic, sketch out the approximate plan of the article, think about how and in what order to state the material. Now you need to decide what materials you lack for full and reasoned conclusions.

Go to the laboratory, the archives, the library, to collect the missing information, to conduct additional experiments. Be sure to pay attention to new publications on your topic that have appeared in the last year or two. Browse through scientific journals, conference collections, magazines, newspapers. The content of the article should be relevant and based on the latest developments of other researchers.

After gathering the necessary material, group it, analyze and summarize it. To better understand the scope of the work performed and the results of your work, present the material in a visual form: draw charts, diagrams, graphs, tables. This will not only help you to organize the information yourself, but your readers will better understand you and use your material in their activities.

Do not know where to start writing the text itself? Start from the middle. First, just write down everything that came into your head. Do not try to immediately find the right words and correct phrases, the main thing is to form the skeleton of the future article. Postpone the written text for a few days. All this time your brain will continue to work, and when you open the file again with your entries, the work will go much faster. First, write the main part of the article, then the conclusions and introduction, and then proceed to the title, annotations and keywords.

Structure of the scientific article

The scientific article consists of the following main parts:

Title of the article (heading), abstract, key words, introduction, main part, conclusion (conclusions, analysis, generalization, criticism), references.

Let’s consider features of each of them.

Header

The title of the article should fulfill two tasks: to reflect the content of the article and to attract the interest of readers. Just like the text of the article itself, the title is written in scientific style and reflects its content as correctly as possible.

It is advisable to include in the title several keywords relevant to the subject matter. When you publish such an article on the Internet or in the library’s electronic catalog, a headline using keywords increases the chances that your articles will be found by those interested in this issue. The length of the title of the article should not exceed 10-12 words.

Examples of successful headlines that well reveal the essence of the scientific article:

“Mathematical modeling of detachment flows on the basis of nonstationary Navier-Stokes equations”
“Study of losses in the propagation of a cellular radio signal based on statistical models”
“Scientific activity as a necessary condition for the development of an individual style of a university teacher”

Errors in compiling the header:

1. The title of the article is too general and covers a much broader range of issues than the text itself. The title should be as specific as possible. For example: “Teacher’s work” ; “Coaching” – examples of bad headlines.
“Coaching as a tool for effective training and development of personnel” ; “From the experience of working with children of younger preschool age” – examples of good headings

2. The title does not reflect the essence of the issue under consideration and misleads the reader.

3. Sensational headline. Such headlines are good in advertising and news texts, but they are not suitable for a scientific article. Example: “Clogging the environment – as we pay for it” – a bad heading.
“The methodology for calculating payment for environmental damage caused by anthropogenic impact” is good.

If the question is not new and has been repeatedly raised in scientific papers, but you are contributing to the development of the topic or considering only some aspects of the problem, then you can start the title with the words: “To the question of …”, “To the problem … “,” To the analysis … “.

Annotation

The heading is followed by an abstract – a condensed description of the article. The presence of an annotation is optional, but it is desirable. The abstract should be concise, but meaningful. The recommended size of the annotation is no more than 500 symbols, i.e. 4-5 sentences. The annotation gives information about the author / authors of the article, briefly highlights the scientific problem, the goals and the main author’s conclusions in a condensed form. Also in the annotation the scientific novelty of the article is reflected.

Abstract should not contain borrowings (quotations), generally known facts, details. It should be written in simple, understandable language, short sentences, in an impersonal form (examined, disclosed, measured, installed, etc.).

The abstract performs two main tasks:

  • it helps the reader to orient in a huge amount of information, where not all are of interest to him; on the basis of the annotation, the potential reader decides whether to read the article itself;
  • serves to search for information in automated search engines.

An example of an annotation:

The article reveals the notion of political socialization as a process of including the individual in the political culture of society. The definitions of the types of political socialization (direct, indirect, spontaneous, latent, partial, pragmatic, unifying, dissociative, etc.) are given. It is concluded that political socialization as a sociocultural phenomenon can be successfully analyzed only taking into account a number of conditions, including the dynamic nature of the analysis and the specifics of basic installations.

Keywords

Keywords – a kind of search key to the article. Bibliographic databases provide search by keywords. Keywords can reflect the main provisions, results, terms. They should be of value to express the content of the article and to search for it. In addition to concepts reflecting the main theme of the article, use concepts that reflect a side theme. Key words can be either individual words or phrases. Usually it’s enough to pick 5-10 keywords.

For example, for an article titled “Discussion moments of the interpretation of expressiveness as a category of lexicology”, such key words as lexical semantics, semantic features, connotation, expressive unit will be relevant .

Be sure to try the experimental service of automatic keyword formation!

Introduction

In the introduction, you should familiarize yourself with the object and the subject of research, outline the research methods used (equipment, measurement parameters, etc.), and formulate a hypothesis. It is not superfluous to reflect the results of the work of its predecessors, which clarifies that it requires clarification. Here you can give links to previous studies for immersion in the topic.

Main part

The main part is the most extensive and important section of the scientific article. It gradually reveals the process of research, outlines the reasoning that led to conclusions. If the article is written based on the results of experiments, experiments, it is necessary to describe these experiments in detail, to reflect the stages and intermediate results. If some experiments were unsuccessful, they should also be told about them, revealing the conditions that affected the unsuccessful outcome and the methods of eliminating the shortcomings.

All studies are presented as clearly as possible. Schemes, tables, graphs, diagrams, graphic models, formulas, photographs are relevant here. Tables should be provided with headings, and graphic material – with captions. Each such element must be directly related to the text of the article, the text of the article should contain a reference to it.

conclusions

In this section, the principal achievements of the author are published in a summary form. All conclusions should be objective, to be published as is, without author’s interpretation. This allows readers to evaluate the quality of the data obtained and draw their own conclusions on their basis.

Also, you can offer your analysis of the results obtained, as well as a subjective view of the significance of the work done.

Bibliography

This section provides links to the articles cited or mentioned in the text of the article.

Scientific style of presentation

The scientific style of presentation is characterized by integrity, coherence, semantic completeness. Logical transitions and connectivity of the text are promoted by such words as “on the other hand”, “in this way”, “in fact”, “of course,” “really”.

The scientific article is characterized by the presence of a large number of facts and evidence and the absence of ambiguities and discrepancies. It is inappropriate to express any emotions in the text of a scientific article.

When you start writing a scientific article, imagine the person for whom you are writing it. Difficult and obscure places for your audience provide comments, but here it is important to balance and not begin to explain the elementary and well-known truths.

The scientific language uses book, neutral vocabulary, as well as special terminology. All the material is presented in strict sequence, each conclusion is supported by evidence and argued by scientific provisions.

Do not use unreasonable borrowing, and those that are required for you to reinforce your thoughts, make out in the form of citations with references to the source. Do not forget to divide the text into paragraphs. If the article is extensive, use subheadings. Such an article is easier to perceive.

Before sending

When the text is ready, read it again, pay attention to the logic of presentation, literacy, make sure that you have not deviated anywhere from the topic.

If possible, postpone the article for several days, and then read it again with a fresh look.

Check if the article meets the following requirements:

  • The title reflects the content
  • The article has an introduction, the main part, conclusions
  • There are  references to literature
  • All borrowings are issued in the form of  citations, there is no  plagiarism (for checking for plagiarism, you can use Internet services such as antiplagiat.ru)
  • Respect  scientific style
  • Executed  rules for registration

Then, you are good to go!

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