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Tips for Novice Writers: How to Write a Journal Paper

The contents of a paper may include, but not limited to, the following sections:

  1. Abstract may include the problem being addressed, the methodologyinbrief (say, sampling and sample size), contribution to the existing body of knowledge, key findings, etc.
  1. The introduction section should ‘introduce’ the reader what research agenda is pursued, provide its background and lay foundation/plan for conducting the study. The writer should specifically claim his/her contribution to the scholarly literature and state the study’s significance and the like.
  1. The problem statement should focus on the problem/issue that is addressed and/or to show that there is a research gap in the existing body of knowledge that has been filled up.
  1. Literature Review The main purpose of literature review is to identify the key variables (dependent and independent, if applicable) and/or constructs (exogenous and endogenous in case of SEM (structural equation modeling)). This is done based on critical discussion (pros and cons) of the existing theories, models and practices as well as the results of previous studies related to the present study. The variables/constructs so selected facilitate to develop theoretical/conceptual framework or model to conduct the study.
    For making a ‘rich literature review’it should be based on currently published journal articles (say, 2016-2019) and books (say, at least 5 or more). For journal papers/articles, one can browse certain webs such as Google scholar(…….. .….), sci hub(……………), library genesis(……………), etc.
    The literature review section can be segmented into several sub-sections, each being given a title/ headline for easy understanding of the reader
  1. Objective(s) This section may precede or succeed the literature review section depending on whether objectives are a priori (e.g. known in advance, say, based on earlier knowledge or preliminary literature review) or not …………………….. (e.g. known only after conducting literature review). This section may include broad and/or specific objectives.
  1. Methodology might include the following contents:
    a. Nature of the research (exploratory/descriptive/causal, qualitative, quantitative or both,etc.).
    b. Research questions, if applicable/appropriate.
    c. Hypotheses development, if necessary.
    d. Types and sources of data used (secondary, primary or both).
    e. Target population, sampling frame, sampling technique, sample size and possible representativeness of 
        the target population.
    f. Target population, sampling frame, sampling technique, sample size and possible
    g. Measurement of variables/constructs.
    h. Questionnaire development and pretesting, and data collection procedure.
    i.  Data/statistical analyses should demonstrate their link and justification in terms of their applicability and
         usefulness to address the problem, derive findings and conclusions.
  1. Following the methodology section, other sections that usually appear in a journal paper include findings, discussions, policy implications, limitations, direction for future research, recommendations, conclusion and the like − if not all, a combination of them − are not discussed as they are trivial/obvious.

Forwarding Letter

Dear Editor,

Attached please find my/our paper on ……………………………………………in pdf and word versions.






Title of the paper


Name of  Authors/





















Contact Number





Postal Address





How to write the title, section, sub-section of a paper and headlines of tables, figures and graphs and their presentation.






Title of the Paper

To write the initial letters of the key words  using capital lettersand the remaining letters in small letters  (in bold)

Determinants of Usage of Mobile Apps


Main Sections

To use all capital letters (in bold).




The initial letters of the key words should be written using capita letters and the remaining letters in small letters (in bold)

Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents


Title of a Table, Graph and Figure

Same as Sub-sections.

Table 1: Constructs of the Structural Model


Presentation of Tables, figures and graphs

To present the tables, figures and graphs preceded by discussion of eachin the text. To write the titles on the top and sources at the bottom of those.


APA Short-cuts for Novice Writers (6th Edition, 2010)



In-text reference


Reference list


1.    Books


1 author

(Cochrane, 2007)


Cochrane (2007) concluded that.

Cochrane, A. (2007). Understanding urban policy: A critical approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.


2 authors

(Palmer & Short, 2010)

Palmer, G. R. & Short, S. D. (2010). Health care and public policy: An Australian analysis (4th ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.


3-5  authors

(Seeley, Van, Regan,

& Russo, 2011)


(Seeley et al., 2011)

Seeley, R., Van, C., Regan, J., & Russo, A. (2011). Seeley’s anatomy & physiology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


2.    Electronic Books


Same as books for 1, 2, 3-5 authors

Same as books

Niemann, S., Greenstein, D., & David, D. (2004). Helping children who are deaf: Family and community support for children who do not hear well. Retrieved from, [Accessed 02 July, 2017].



3.    Journal


1 author

(Jackson, 2007)


Jackson (2007) concluded….

Jackson, A. (2007). New approaches to drug therapy. Psychology Today and Tomorrow, 27(1), 54-59.


2 authors

Kramerand Bloggs (2002) stipulated….


This article (Kramer &Bloggs, 2002) stipulated…

Kramer, E. &Bloggs, T. (2002). On quality in art and art therapy. American Journal of Art Therapy, 40, 218-231.


3-5  authors

A recent study on employees (Elo, Ervasti, Kuosma, &Mattila, 2008) concluded that…


(Elo et al., 2008)

Elo, A., Ervasti, J., Kuosma, E., &Mattila, P. (2008). Evaluation of an organizational stress management program in a municipal public works organization. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 13(1), 10-23.


4.    Electronic Journals


Same as Journals for 1, 2, 3-5 authors

Same as journals

Kramer, E. &Bloggs, T. (2002). On quality in art and art therapy. American Journal of Art Therapy, 40, 218-231. Retrieved from, [Accessed 02 July, 2017].


5.    Newspaper


With an author

Same as journal

Waterford, J. (2007, May 30). Bill of Rights gets it wrong. The Canberra Times, p. 11.



Without an author

Same as journal

Internet pioneer to oversee network redesign. (2007, May 28). The Canberra Times, p. 15.



6.    Article in Online Newsletter

Same as journal

Australians and the Western Front. (2009, November). Ozculture newsletter. Retrieved from, http://www.cultureandrecreation. newsletter/[Accessed 02 July, 2017].


Common Guidelines for Referencing

While performing the referencing task, please note that there might be one or more of the following problems that you need to avoid.

(a) In-text references (citations) may not match with the references and/or vice-versa.

(b) There may be some citations in the text that are not included in the list of references.

(c) There may be some references, which may not have been cited in the text.

(d) Overall, the number of references may not be equal to the number of citations excluding the repeats.

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