To conclude these entries aimed at preparing a paper for indexed journals, I will focus on developing the parts that make up the body of the article. First of all, the introduction should comply with the following rules:
- First, state the nature and scope of the problem under investigation as clearly as possible.
- Review relevant previous research to guide the reader to identify and highlight the study’s limitations and disadvantages and point out the research gap to state the paper’s contribution.
- State the objective of the paper
- State the main results of the research
- Indicate the structure of the paper
Concerning the theoretical background, this should be framed within the lines of current research or indicate new lines by analysing previous literature. Common mistakes can be:
- Not including sufficient theoretical background to derive the research question.
- It mixes different topics and theories that are not related to the research.
- Developing a purely descriptive point from previous research without critiquing it.
In the section on empirical research, you should give information on how you have developed the research. At the very least, information on:
- Sample selected
- Research methodology: data collection, data analysis techniques etc.
- Evaluation systems and methodology for hypothesis testing.
- Indicate how they complement each other if different methods are involved.
The analysis of results should provide representative data and be brief and precise. Tables and figures should be concise and clear, and presented systematically.
Towards the end, it is essential to emphasise that the discussion and conclusions have as their main components:
- Attempt to present relationships and principles that are supported by the results.
- Indicate exceptions or lack of correlation between variables and their possible explanations
- Show how the results confirm or add new considerations to previous research.
- Discuss the theoretical implications of your work as well as its practical implications.
- Clearly state your conclusions and relate them to the research objective stated in the article’s introduction.
- It should end with a paragraph indicating the relevance of your results and the possibilities for future research to extend, complement or even improve your work.
Three minor but essential sections are acknowledgements, references and supporting material. Acknowledgements are of two types: acknowledgements for receiving relevant help to develop the paper or acknowledgements for financial support to carry out the research. References must be relevant and recent. Finally, supporting materials aim to understand the text better, i.e. tables, graphs or other easy-to-interpret tools.