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Journal Publication

Each section of a journal paper has its function to play. However, before writing a journal paper, some time should be sent selecting the appropriate journal so that the paper can be written with the requirements in mind. Familiarity with the targeted journal includes attention to the scope of the journal (e.g. theoretical versus application), preferred style for organisation of content and formatting requirements (e.g. headings, font-type, size, word length). The essential parts of a journal paper are shown in Table 1. Table 1. Sections and contents of a journal paper submitted for review

Table
Section of paper Contents of section Comments
Front Page Page 1: Title of paper, Name of author(s), Affiliation, Corresponding author's contact details. Page 2: Title of paper, Abstract, Keywords. Page 3 onwards: Actual paper. For blind review. Follow journal specifications.
Introduction Targeted literature review to show gap for study. May put theoretical framework used for analysis of data as a separate section, if needed.
Purpose of study/ Research question Very precise statement on variables studied + context. May be further broken down into objectives of the study. May not be a heading in the paper but important to pay close attention.
Method of study Describes participants, instruments, procedures for data c ollection and analysis. How sound our data are depends on how we get them. Need to provide enough details for replicability.
Results Describes how data address objectives of study. Integrates data within study and with other relevant findings.
Discussion Sums up findings and contribution of study, with a qualifying statement on limitations, leading to suggestion of an area for further research. May not be a separate heading in the paper but contents should be in the paper
Conclusion Sums up findings and contribution of study, with a qualifying statement on limitations, leading to suggestion of an area for further research. May not be a separate heading in the paper but contents should be in the paper
Back Matter (End)Notes - if any. Acknowledgement - if allowed by journal. References - only those cited in paper. Appendices - properly labelled. Biodata - if requested. Follow journal specifications.
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