Structuring your manuscript
Overview of article structure
Details on the structure of manuscripts published in BioMed Central journals can be found in the instructions for authors for each journal. The standard structure of the body of research articles (after the Title and Abstract) is:
The article structure:
- Gives a logical flow to the content
- Makes journal manuscripts predictable and easy to read
- Provides a "map" so that readers can quickly find content of interest in any manuscript
- Reminds authors what content should be included
BUT... although the sections of the journal manuscript are published in the order: Title, Abstract, Background, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and Methods this is NOT the best order for writing the sections of a manuscript. One strategy is to write your manuscript in the following order:
- Materials and Methods
These can be written first, as you are doing your experiments and collecting the results.
Write these sections next, once you have decided on your target journal.
Write your Title and Abstract based on all the other sections
Following this order will help you write a logical and consistent manuscript.
Use the different sections of a manuscript to 'tell a story' about your research and its implications.