How to practice writing for publication

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There is one thing always confused me, for the reason that English is not my mother tongue, so it will be a little hard for me to write in English natively. Then, how should I practice my writing skills? I’m always trying to tell a story when I am stating something and making my story more catching.

I eagerly want to craft myself and improve my writing skills.

Recently, I participated a workshop held by our graduate office. The workshop’s theme was “Preparing a manuscript for publication in the STEM fields”. I learned a lot from it, so I want to write it down and share my opinions with others.

First of all, written communication is just as important as verbal or non‐verbal communication. Good written skills are priceless.

Practice makes perfect, we should always remember this rule.

Before we writing a journal article, there are 10 points we need a note.

  • Read the previous literature published in your field
  • Don’t take the lazy route and plagiarize
  • Write key article components
  • Keep respect to previous publications
  • Estimate your contribution objectively
  • Excel in clearly and consistency
  • Apply correct referencing of statements
  • Keeo statements objective, no subjective
  • Pay attention to grammar, spelling, figures, and tables
  • Concerned on editor and reviewers’ comments

Then, how to write clear, concise and direct sentences?

  1. We’d better use the active voice when possible.

    At the heart of every good sentence is strong, precise verb; the converse is true as well – at the core of most confusing, awkard, or wordy sentences lies a weak verb.

  2. Put the action of the sentence in the verb.

  3. Reduce wordy verbs.

  4. Use expletive constructions

  5. Unless your readers are familiar with your terminology, avoid writing strings of nouns (or noun stings!).

  6. Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases.

  7. Put wordy phrases on a diet.


[1]. “Preparing a Manuscript for Publication in the STEM Fields”, by UTD Graduate Office, professor Julia Chan.
[2]. Style: Ten lessons in clarity & grace. Joseph M Williams. 3rd ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1989.

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