50 tips to write your first research paper

  1. Write when you
    have something to say
  2. Focusing on your
    central message
  3. Write down the
    three central points of your paper
  4. Summarize your
    paper in one sentence
  5. Describe your
    work to a colleague in one minute
  6. Use a “sexy”
    title: Deoxyribonucleic acids are the carriers of the genetic information of
    in stead of A study of
    the biological role of the deoxyribonucleic acid components of cells
  7. Remember: Easy writing is hard reading,
    and hard writing is easy reading
  8. Never write in a
  9. Avoid verbosity:
    an excessive number or words
  10. Plan the
    structure of the manuscript
  11. Structure:
    abstract, keyword, introduction, material & methods, results, discussion,
    acknowledgements, references
  12. Write in order:
    first material and methods
  13. Second: tables
    and figures
  14. Third: Results
  15. Fourth:
  16. Finally:
    Introduction and acknowledgements
  17. Have the
    references needed at hand
  18. Material &
    methods: provide information that would make the work repeatable
  19. Just refer if
    the method is very well know
  20. Give a few hints
    on the critical steps if the method is well know
  21. Describe
    modification if the method is modified
  22. Describe in full
    if the method is new
  23. Results is the
    most important part of a paper
  24. Repeatability is
    essential in experimental research
  25. Prepare tables
    and figures of results first
  26. Then write a
    text that draws attention the relevant aspect of tables and figures
  27. Do not repeat
    exhaustively what table shows
  28. Discussion: make
    general statement summarizing your findings
  29. Discuss your findings
    including previous work
  30. Discuss
    uncertainties and discrepancies and explain why (if possible)
  31. Show the
    relevance for your hypothesis (established in the introduction)
  32. End discussion
    up pointing out future directions and conclusions
  33. Do not repeat the
    results in the discussion
  34. Introduction:
    the reader has to understand the importance of your work
  35. Provided with
    the main ideas to understand what follows
  36. Scope of the
    work: hypothesis, general and specific objectives
  37. No too narrow
    neither too broad
  38. Introduction
    should be short, clear and complete
  39. Acknowledgements:
    only contributions to the objective of the work should be acknowledged
  40. Acknowledge
    first people (with specific mention of the particular help the author is
    grateful for) and then the institutions supporting the work
  41. Abstract: start with a draft of the complete
    manuscript and follow these steps:
  42. Identify the major objectives and conclusions,
  43. Identify the phrases with keywords in the
    methods section
  44. Identify the major results from the discussion section
  45. Assemble the above information into a single
  46. State your hypothesis or method used in the first sentence
  47. Omit background information, literature and
    detailed description of methods
  48. Remove extra words and phrases
  49. Revise to see if it meets the guidelines of the
    targeted journal.
  50. Have your manuscript or draft reviewed by a
    labmate or colleague in the area, and your Major Professor of any person of
    similar experience

(*) Base on the
conference How to write a research paper
by Prof. Ignacio Moriyón (
), Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Navarra (Spain).

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  1. First of all thanking you for this brilliant post and I like this. I expect this will be very helpful to the students to complete their educational works related with the topics. Today the students are tensed about their educational paper work and they feel little bit difficult to complete it. Appreciate all your efforts.

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