Clarity is crucial and anything that can impede readers’ progression through your article must be reworked.
To help avoid such obstacles, remember that boxes, bullet points, tables and figures can serve as useful adjuncts to the text. They can help clarify complex or detailed information, and figures and tables are especially helpful for presenting statistics. Look at copies of the journal you intend to write for to see how other authors have used these devices. Do not forget to label tables, boxes and figures clearly. You might also like to consider the use of infographics.
Breaking up the text
Headings help orientate the reader. They indicate what lies ahead, give structure to the article and serve to break up the text, making it an easier read.
Photographs and other illustrations can emphasise points in the text but you must have permission to reproduce such material. Do not assume that photographs downloaded from the internet, for example, or scanned from other sources are yours to use freely.
‘Headings help orientate the reader. They indicate what lies ahead, give structure to the article and serve to break up the text, making it an easier read’
Please be aware that it is your responsibility to gain the consent of anyone whose personal information or photograph you include in your article. It is good practice to do this even if the material is anonymised because of the potential for embarrassment or distress. Special care should be taken with children and you should seek advice from the journal editor if you are seeking to publish photographs of or material about children.
In preparing your article for submission, there are some simple rules to follow:
- Use a Word document or text file.
- Use one space only after a full stop.
- Use only one return to denote the end of a paragraph.
- Do not use bold, underlined or italic type.
- Do not start a new section on a new page.
- Do not use block capitals; use only upper and lower case.
- Include the text for all boxes, tables and figures at the end of the article, clearly labelled.
- Send photographs as separate files rather than embedding them in the article.
For more specific guidance, look at the section on author guidelines.