Academic Writing Q&A: Ask Our Editors
With years of academic editing experience, Merudio editors are specially qualified to advise professionals about academic writing.
- Merudio's editors are familiar with common mistakes in research papers.
- Merudio's editors have advice for getting your research paper published and tips for effectively writing and publishing scientific papers.
- Merudio's editors know conventional academic paper formatting like the back of their hand.
We gathered their best academic writing knowledge to share with you here. Their answers can help you produce a perfect paper, from the initial preparation to the final proofread.
Meet Three Merudio Editors
- Nancy Morris is a Merudio editor with 19 years’ experience editing for an entomology journal.
- Rebecca Bailey is a Merudio editor who has edited over 24 million words for Scribendi Inc., Merudio's parent company.
- Adrian Nissen is a Merudio editor with a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science and Technology.
1. Can You Share Some Academic Paper Format Tips?
"Having an outline before you begin helps you write your paper in a way that makes it easy for the reader to understand."
"An outline is the essence of your written content. It ensures that your academic writing will have a structure that includes a launching point and a destination. On top of that, an outline will likely help you crystalize your own understanding of your argument even further, allowing you to know exactly what you want to say and how."
2. How Can I Tell If I Should Use a Certain Source in My Academic Writing?
"A source is more likely to be credible if you have seen it cited in other papers in your subject area. Look for peer-reviewed and indexed journals, and avoid websites unless you know they are run by a reputable scientific organization."
"Credible sources will be backed up by directly relevant research, whether it is the original research contained in the source or the findings established by other researchers that it is referencing. The more a source has been used as the basis for further research, the more canonical it is and the more it will be accepted."
3. Can You Share How to Write a Good Introduction for an Academic Essay?
"The first sentence is sometimes the hardest. If you get stuck, jump right into the meat of the paper and then come back to the first sentence later. You might find inspiration along the way."
"Unfortunately, you can't guarantee readers will flock to your work. Start your essay by 'selling' your topic, that is, creating a compelling reason readers can't live one more second without reading your paper."
"An introduction is like a mini-essay but without the proof. It makes the reader aware of the context the work exists in and a question that needs to be asked, piquing their interest. It should then broadly indicate how the essay will answer that question. It should end with the argument that the essay will be making."
4. Do You Have Conclusion Writing Advice?
"You need to summarize and synthesize what was just written—but I also think it's a lovely idea to provide a sentence with an upbeat direction for the future."
"The conclusion should summarize but not repeat. It should tie together all the big points in your paper and derive an overall understanding from them. Next, indicate what this means for the field in terms of research or practical implications. Your conclusion should then let the reader know where things might go from there in terms of research or practical applications, essentially asking the 'next question.'"
5. Do You Have Any Academic Writing or Editing Tips?
"Read other research papers in your field, and while you read, make note of what those authors did that worked or didn't. Then use that information to make your paper better."
"Be bold in your claims to the extent that you can verify your argument. Keep an open mind about the expansion of possibilities that your work can offer to humankind. Identify in yourself what you can uniquely contribute. What special insight can only you provide?"
6. Is Academic Editing Effective in Writing and Publishing Scientific Papers?
"A subject matter expert can provide a unique and valuable perspective on your specific topic and give you subject-specific tips for presenting your work."
"My best tip is to accept that, the more you revise, the better your academic writing will be. Commit to revising a document as much as it takes to get you where you want to go."
7. What Are Some Common Mistakes in Research Papers?
"You need to create a need for readers to want to read your work."
"Grammatical and punctuation mistakes can change the meanings of your sentences, which may undermine your points. Lack of correct structure can also reduce effectiveness; if each point is not brought back to the main question, with each paragraph taking another step to prove your point, then the paper can waste the reader's attention on tangents. If the paper does not 'tell a story,' then the reader can get lost."
8. Do You Have Advice for Getting Your Research Paper Published?
"Make sure you are submitting it to the right journal by reading the author guidelines, and don't be discouraged if a journal turns it down. Take the advice given by the reviewers to make it all the better for the next time you submit it."
"Think in terms of marketing yourself and publicizing your work. Be relentless and honest. Have you removed every barrier to getting yourself published? Even if you're not sure of the answer, a good editor will be. Finding and keeping a good editor nowadays is simply part of one's job as an academic."
Professional academics who have a firm grasp of effective academic writing are able to achieve their academic goals, from research pursuits to journal publication.
We’ve reviewed tips on using academic paper format, getting your research paper published, and effectively writing and publishing scientific papers. In addition, we outlined common mistakes in research papers and how to write a good introduction to an academic essay.
These tips from Merudio's editors can help you improve your academic writing and academic editing skills.
Special thanks to Merudio editors Nancy Morris, Rebecca Bailey, and Adrian Nissen for sharing their insights.
Academic Editing by a Merudio Editor
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