Here I explain the format of the medical journal article, how it should look. Content, which is data, will be explained in a later post.
The most important thing in writing manuscripts is following the process exactly. A medical journal article follows a rigid formula, which exists to tell the reader why, how, when, where the study was done, what happened when it was done, and what can be learned from what was found.
- Do the research first
- Organize the data into tables and figures
- Write the Methods section, giving only the methods you needed to prepare the results.
- first set of paragraphs: explain the experimental animal, the population of humans, the plants,
- explain the experimental or observational techniques. This is where you explain your search strategies, and how you measured something physiological,
- explain how you prepared the statistical analysis
- Write the Results section explaining
- the results that are in the tables and figures
- any other results that did not become part of a table or figure
- Write the Abstract.
An abstract is a manuscript with the juice squeezed out: it has all the structure you need to see what was done, how, and why, but it doesn’t give you enough information for you to decide whether the conclusions are born out by the data.
- introductory sentence
- 1-3 methods sentences
- 1-3 results sentences
- 1 conclusion sentence
- Write the Introduction.
Take the introductory sentence and expand it into a short paragraph, to explain why you did the study.
Add a second paragraph, explaining where the study fits in the literature.
Add a third paragraph, introducing what you did in the study.
The introductory sentences explain why the study was done, and you have to give good reasons. Because no-one did it before is not a reason, and stating that uses precious space that could be better used to explain your argument.
- Write the Discussion.
The first paragraph explains the conclusions from the data you presented in Results.
The second sets of paragraphs explain how the data fit in the literature.
The final paragraph is a conclusion.