“Unlike generating article ideas, I find that planning an article is something that can be done through brute intellectual force. Most articles I have written have been planned out in about one to two hours, by literally just sitting down and forcing myself to think through each step of the argument I wish to make. In other words, using my abstract as a starting point, I force myself to think about each of the premises I need to defend, the counterarguments that are likely to be thrown at me, and my responses to them.
My plans are pretty detailed. For a 10,000 word article, I’ll usually scribble out anywhere between 4 and 10 A4 pages-worth of a plan. I do this mainly because I like the actual writing process to be as mechanical and methodical as possible. Simply a question of filling in the details and smoothing out the edges of the plan.”
“I have no tips to offer on making your revision more likely to be accepted. The only thing I do — which I suspect everyone does — is to prepare a separate document with a very detailed response to each of the reviewers’ comments. The goal of this is to show how I have taken onboard everything they have said, and where exactly in the paper I address the point”
“you should be able to summarise your paper using a fill-in-the-blanks sentence: “Although….Nevertheless…Because”. The first part is a statement of the contrary point(s) of view (the ones you will be opposing in your article); the second part is a statement of your main conclusion(s); and the third part is a list of the reasons, evidence and argumentation you will use to support your conclusion(s). Of course, I will rarely actually write the abstract out in this exact format. But I will use it to structure how I think about the abstract. In essence, I think that if I can’t summarise my paper using the instant thesis generator, I probably don’t have an idea worth pursuing in any more detail. It may need some further percolation.”
“In his book How to Write a Lot, Paul J Silva suggests that your goal should be to become the most rejected author in your department. Why? Because being the most rejected means you are also likely to be the most published. The reason for this is twofold. First, if you are throwing a lot of darts at the dartboard one of them will eventually hit the target. Second, most papers that get rejected from one journal will end up being published elsewhere.”
“Be meticulous in responding to reviewers’ comments: If you are lucky enough to be asked for revisions, be sure to take the process seriously. You should always prepare a separate ‘response to reviewers’ document as well as a revised manuscript. In this document, you should respond to everything the reviewer has highlighted and pinpoint exactly where in the revised draft you have addressed what they have said. Speaking as someone who has reviewed many manuscripts, I feel pretty confident in saying that reviewers are lazy. They don’t want to have to read your article again. They only want to read that parts that are relevant to the comments they made and check to see whether you have taken them seriously. This is all I ever do when I read a revised manuscript.”