Revising your draft and adding details

Some people find it easier to write a lot then to cut down to essentials: others prefer to build up gradually. Use the approach you prefer.

When you have finished, revise the manuscript, keeping the following points in mind.

  • The text should be cohesive and logically organised with each piece of information in the correct section, e.g. do not introduce new findings in the discussion.
  • Each paragraph should preferably start with a topic sentence, then the next sentences develop the topic.
  • Information given in one section should not be repeated in other sections of the main text.
  • Ensure all tables and figures are necessary.
  • Tables are for data where the absolute values are important. Figures are for showing trends or patterns.
  • Table information should not be repeated in figures (or vice versa).
  • Long lists of data should not be repeated in the text.
  • Legends to tables and figures should be informative and enable the table or figure to be understood in isolation, without reference to descriptive text in the body of the article.
  • However, captions should be kept as concise as possible.
  • If similar data are presented in several tables or several figures, then the format of their legends should be similar.
  • Some journals include methodological details in figure and table legends: check your target journal.