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TEN EASY STEPS IN DRAFTING A MANUSCRIPT

TEN EASY STEPS IN DRAFTING A MANUSCRIPT
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Jumat, 26 April 2019

The following are 10 easy steps that may assist you in building a scientific manuscript. The hardest part is usually getting started. The following exercise helps you get through the initial stage.

Of course, prior to the start of the drafting process the data from your selentific study has to collated, statistically analyses, evaluated and assembled into summary tables and graph. Assemble the tables and figures checking that they provide the evidence needed to support the concepts and points you wish to make in your paper. At this point you may have to recompute some of the data so that is mathes the needds for the manuscript. Do you have something that is suitable for publication in a scientific journal? if so procced. If not, your wasting not only your own time but the time of your peers and colleagues.

Often it helps to put on paper a brief sketch of what you wish to convey. This helps you get a picture in your mind of what you are trying to say what is important, the main findings, their utility.

Then if you are using a word processor, start by listing the major headings for your manuscript, viz Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Result, Discussion, Reference.

STEP 1 THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE INTRODUCTION
This sentence is a statement of the intent of your paper. What is the purpose of the paper? Without this clearly established in your mind and the mind of the reader, the paper will have difficulties. Make your statement simple but complete. Be careful not to encompass subject matter beyond the scientific contribution of the data.

How do you say it? Check the 'STEP 1' sentence in a couple of published paper.
'The objective(s) [of this study] were to ...'
'A study was conducted to ...'
'The purpose of the present investigations were ...'
'The hypothesis ...... was tested by ...'
Enter your statement into the micro-computer (or page) at the appropriate space. It should be no longer than one sentence.

STEP 2 THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE DISCUSSION
This is a concluding statement containing the scientific contribution the NEW sindings. As with STEP 1, be very careful not to make claims beyond the scope of the scientific evidence.

Enter your statement - usually no more than one or two sentences. Check very carefully before leaving STEP 2 that your concluding statement is absolutely consistent with your statement in STEP 1, above what is the goal and, secondly, what was achieved.

STEP 3 THE TITLE
While you have STEP 1 and 2 in your mind, use the same nouns and verbs to assemble a title that conveys the meaning. Keep it short - 85 letters including spaces. Don't worry about reusing the same words in the various STEP: clarity is more important than fancy English.

STEP 4 THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE ABSTRACT
A repeat of STEP 2 but in a brief form.

STEP 5 RESULTS
Write the supporting text of the results section in a developmental order such that initially evidence is provided showing that the 'treatments' were applied correctly and caused appropriate response as expected and consistent or inconsistent with the published literature. In other words, the treatments were appropriate for evaluation of the hypotheses. Include information of an unexpected nature, loss of animal, sinckness, etc., especially if there could be a possibility influence on the test outcome. Then provide the evidence that evaluates your hypotheses. Make sure that enough data is larger data sets or other purposes. Include appropriate measures of data variance and statistical probabilities for evaluation of treatment effects.

STEP 6 METHODS
Make a list of all the methods used to generate the data reported in STEP 5. Only include methodology relevant to the results reported. Arrange the methods in a logical order, usually the same order as the results are presented.

It is usual to start the methods section with a description of the general approach taken and the experimental design. this is describe precisely what was done or specify original references. Use many sebheading here and elsewhere in your drafting of the text. They guide and assist you in  making sure all points are covered. Excess subheadings can be removed later.

Usually the last section of the methods is a description of the statistical analyses. As material is cired from other workers enter the citations directly into the REFERENCE section.

STEP 7 DISCUSSION
Make a list of the topics to be covered: enter working subheadings. Arrange the subheadings in a logical order - see 'Anatomy of a Scientific Paper'.

The first part of the discussion - 'Limits and constraints of the study' appears to be a negative start but it really 'clears the air' and give you and your reader a clear picture of possible Limits and fault in your study. Once they are recognized you can develop your arguments through the rest of the discussing your results. Feel free to speculate but indicate that it is speculation. A short-term gain through misrepresentation of your data will catch up with you in the long-term.

Of course, your discussion should logically lead to, and conclude with the statement made in STEP 2, above.

STEP 8 ABSTRACT
The first sentence should include the concept stated in STEP 1 but is often combined with some aspects of methodology, such as, 'Ten sheep were use in a nutritional balance trial to test the hypotheses that ......' or 'The influence of ... on ... was examined using ...'.

See 'Anatomy of a Scientific Paper' for more details of the content of the Abstract. It is essential to include numerical data in the Abstract to show evidence of the observed response.

STEP 9 INTRODUCTION
It may seem strange to write the introduction after virtually the rest of the manuscript in written. But it is only at this stage that you know what you have in the paper and what you need to introduce. See 'Anatomy' for suggestions of the content for the Introduction.

STEP 10 KEY WORDS; REFFERENCES; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
By this stage you can handle these by yourself.

Sumber: Dokumen Workshop handout BAY, AnSc, UA, Alberta, CANADA. October 1989
Dwi Sulistiyo

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Dwi Sulistiyo

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