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Also, references to unpublished work, to documents in the grey literature (technical reports), or to any source that the reader will have difficulty finding or understanding should be avoided.Having the structure of the paper in place is a good start.The research question—or study objective or main research hypothesis—is the central organizing principle of the paper.
The study setting, the sampling strategy used, instruments, data collection methods, and analysis strategies should be described.
In the case of qualitative research studies, it is also useful to tell the reader which research tradition the study utilizes and to link the choice of methodological strategies with the research goals .
Resist the temptation to demonstrate analytic ability and the richness of the dataset by providing numerous tables of non-essential results. This is why the Discussion is the most difficult to write, and is often the weakest part of a paper.
Structured Discussion sections have been proposed by some journal editors .
While it may safely be assumed that the human genome is the same worldwide, whether the results of a local quality improvement project have wider relevance requires careful consideration and argument.
Once the research question is clearly defined, writing the paper becomes considerably easier. The key to successful scientific writing is getting the structure of the paper right.
Finally, the question should be of interest to others who work in the same scientific area.
The latter requirement is more challenging for those who work in applied science than for basic scientists.
While strict adherence to such rules may not be necessary, following a plan such as that proposed in Table 1 may help the novice writer stay on track. Key assertions should be referenced, as well as the methods and instruments used.
However, unless the paper is a comprehensive review of a topic, there is no need to be exhaustive.