Resource: Frank DJ. 2009. How to Write a Research Manuscript. In S.R. Gallagher and E.A. Wiley (Eds.), Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques A.5C.1-A.5C.18. DOI:10.1002/9780470089941.eta05cs02.

Choose a journal: Before you start creating figures and writing your paper, decide on the journal you want to submit to and look up their instructions to authors. Tailor your figures and writing to the requirements.

Decide on authorship: Discuss with your PI who will be an author on your paper. Do not include the authors on a draft until this decision is finalized. 

Prepare your manuscript in the following order: 

Figures and Figure Legends

Can the reader understand your figures without having to read the legend?

Materials and Methods

Do you provide enough detail so that your reader could repeat your experiments? 


Did you include a rationale, question, approach, result, and conclusion in each subsection?


Is your introduction structured as a funnel, starting with broad information (big picture question) and gradually narrowing down to your  specific question or hypothesis?


Work with your PI to outline the topics you will discuss in this section before you start writing. Is your introduction structured as an inverted funnel, starting narrow (summarize main results that answer your question), then general (how your results fit in with what is already published), and finally broad (how your work contributes to the field and what new questions it raises)?


Summarize your manuscript findings with a clear, concise abstract. A helpful guide is provided here


Think about the readers you want to attract. What key words will grab their attention?

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