Getting Started with Research: Sections of a Journal Article
When writing a journal article it is important to be familiar with each section of a journal article. Be sure to check the submission guidelines of the journal for any specifications for each section. Professional article and peer reviewed articles will have slightly different layout. Peer reviewed articles are typically far more uniform across journals while there is often more variety with professional publications.
Structure of a Peer Review Journal Article
- Author(s)' names and affiliations
- Literature Review
Choosing a Title
You will want a succint title for your article. Avoid using full sentences as these can be overly wordy. It can be tempting to have a title that includes a pun or other wordplay but keep in mind that articles with these types of titles are viewed more but are cited less and have less of an impact. The journal may specify the length of a title if not aim for between 10 and 30 words. It's always best to have at least two or three key words in your title, preferably near the beginning as this will make article easier to discover in databases.
Author(s)' names and affiliations
Your name and your place of work or study. If there are more than one author, then you will have to work out who comes in what order. Typically the author who does the most work comes first (and second most work second and so on). You will need to have a discussion with your co-authors on the order. This should be done as early in the research process as possible so as to avoid any hard feelings. Some authors may opt for other orders such as alphabetically or by seniority but the general assumption is that the first author contributed the most to the paper.
Writing your Abstract
The abstract is an informative summary of your article. Journal abstracts are typically 100-200 words long. Be sure to both descriptive and enticing. Readers will read the abstract first before decided on reading the rest of your article. There are two types of abstracts you will come across:
- Descriptive abstract
- The most commonly found abstract. Study the other abstracts in the journal and see how they describe their paper. See what verbs they use in the description of their work.
- Structured Abstract
- These abstracts are broken up into sections. The sections are typically the same as those in a journal article (introduction, methodology, results, conclusion) but may include others such as 'aim' and 'objectives'. Be sure to use the appropriate sections for the journal.