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A format of an academic journal article

  • Knowing the format of an academic journal article can be the first step towards writing a publishable piece. To begin, follow the simple format below:

    1. Abstract

    This is normally the first step in an academic journal article, but it's usually written at the last stage of ones paper. An abstract requires one to say what he or she have done regarding the paper; it's a summary of usually one paragraph of 300 words or less of the major aspect of your work in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1. A little introduction, the purpose of the study and research problems being investigated. 2. The basic design of the study. 3. The findings or result. 4. A little discussion of the result and conclusion. Note that a good abstract should have enough key information of your paper, this way it will help readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper.

    2. Introduction

    Introduction is usually that section of a research paper where one says he's/her experience regarding a subject matter, what one would do and why. An introduction requires a factual recount with a bit of argument, it establishes the context and significance of the research being conducted by summarizing current understanding and background information about the topic, stating the problem, methodological approaches used to examine the research problems and the outcome of the study and other findings carried out can be revealed. Note that a good introduction should follow this road map: 1. what was i studying? 2. why was this topic important to investigate? 3. what was known about the topic before my studying it? 4. How will the study advance new knowledge.

    3. Literature review

    In simple term, this is what other people have said about the topic, and here is how my research fits in. Literature review surveys books, scholarly articles and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research e.t.c to provide a description, summary and evaluation of various work in relation to the research problem being investigated. Note: 1. It creates a new advancement/progression of the field. 2. A good literature gives room for contribution to understanding of research problem being studied. 3. It helps resolves conflicts amongst similarly contradictory previous studies. 4. It gives a new interpretation of old material or combining the both. 5. It points a way forward for additional research and also identify new ways to interpret prior research.

    4. Methods and data

    The method section describes what other people have said about methodology(the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select and analyze information applied to understand the research problem). The methodology requires you to say/write what you did in past tense, as to how the data was collected or generated and how it was analysed. Note: A good explanation of how the method use was obtained and analysed to give the exact result obtained is crucial because an unreliable method yields unreliable results and therefore undermines the value of the final outcome of the finding. In most cases, there are a variety of different methods to chose to investigate a research problem. The methodology section of your paper should clearly show the reasons why you choose a particular procedure or technique.

    5. Analysis & Result

    This is the section where you report the findings of your study base upon the methodology/methodologies. The findings could be in the form of themes, graphs, questionnaires or other form of results. This section requires a factual recount and summary of the work, possibly small pieces of argument. Note: The result of a finding can only confirm or reject the hypothesis undermining your study. that been said would help you understand the problem from various perspectives and would also enable you view the research well.

    6. Discussion

    The discussion section comes next after the result. Sometimes people mix the discussion section and result. The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypothesis you posed and the literature you reviewed but it does not repeat or rearrange the introduction. A bit of argument is required in a discussion to better explain what the result means and why it is important. The discussion should be able to move the reader to a better understanding of the research problem. Note: A good discussion demonstrates your ability as a good researcher who is able to think critically about an issue and give a profound solution to problems base on findings, also it gives meaning to your research and pin-points possible problems in other areas of study with possible improvements that can further develop possible concerns of your research. Again a good discussion helps engage the reader in thinking about critical issues based on your findings.

    7. Conclusion

    The conclusion helps the reader understands why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion section requires you to pin-point key areas of your work/paper, where necessary recommend new areas for future research. Note: A good conclusion requires a good last word impression for your readers on the issues you raised in your paper, just as the introduction gives a first impression to your reader. You can do this by highlighting key points in your analysis or results. You can offer new insight and creative approaches for the research problems based on the result of your study, demonstrate the importance of your ideas, identify how a gap described in your literature have been filled, you should be able to summarize and convey the larger significance of your study, that way you would have a very good conclusion section.

    8. Bibliography

    A bibliography is a list of all of the sources you have used (whether referenced or not) in the process of researching your work. In general, a bibliography should include: the authors' names the titles of the works the names and locations of the companies that published your copies of the sources the dates your copies were published the page numbers of your sources (if they are part of multi-source volumes). Follow this steps you would have a great article.

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