Signalling gaps in a research area needs to go beyond “It hasn’t been done before”.
Unfortunately, we don’t always get taught how to write compelling journal articles.
Here are 5 pieces of advice that will make it easier to publish your work.
Advice #1: Identify what 7 types of gaps your research is filling
When we’re first starting out in research, we tend to focus on knowledge gaps.
New researchers need to be taught that different types of gaps exist, and you need to focus on the most important ones.
Here is a phrasebank of sample starting sentences for each different type of research gap that you can use to help with your academic writing.
Advice #2: Learn from the best academic writers
Every journal article will be filled with writing moves that you can learn from.
Look out for the different ways academic writers signal different types of gaps.
Advice #3: Build your own phrasebank
Having a list of starter sentences can be a useful way of the finding the words to express different types of gaps.
You can easily create your own resource that is specific to your discipline/topic and can be added to over time.
Advice #4: Get feedback on how well you are signalling gaps
Ask your supervisors/co-authors for their opinion on whether you are:
- Identifying the most important/exciting/interesting gaps
- Effectively signaling these gaps through your writing
Advice #5: Learn to interpret reviewers’ comments
More work is needed on what/how you signal gaps if you get comments such as:
- The motivation behind the study is vague.
- It is not clear how the study will contribute to…
- The study offers limited value to..
If you would write a more publishable journal articles that editors and reviewers will love to read:
• Identify what 7 types of gaps your research is filling
• Learn from the best academic writers
• Build your own phrasebank
• Get feedback on how well you are signaling gaps
• Learn to interpret reviewers’ comments
If you found this thread valuable:
1. Follow me for more threads on academic writing and applied sport and dance psychology → @drjenncumming
2. Here’s another similar thread you might enjoy: https://twitter.com/drjenncumming/status/1523234710381817856
About the author: I am a Chartered Psychologist and a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Birmingham (UK). The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
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