It is best to prepare your figures while writing your results section (this will focus your statements and description of each figure). If you have to repeat your experiments or generate new data while writing, better start working on your material and method section, as it is most probably the easiest section to describe. While working on your figures pay attention to the graphics requirement (size, resolution and color space specifics). Keep your figure’s legend as short as possible while generally describing the methodology used. Your figures are an important part of your publication so make sure they look sharp, clear and aesthetically pleasing:
- Avoid using too many colors if not necessary. If possible use black and white colors, which are read easily and also cost less submitting for publications.
- Generate your figures from raw data at large dimensions; avoid enlarging bitmap images which can lead to pixilation and degradation of the image’s quality.
- Maintain same font type across all figures. Make sure your figure’s font size is large enough to be read comfortably.
Materials and Methods
This section should include all the information required to repeat the experiments you’ve performed. This means that the text should be very descriptive in regard to non-trivial information (concentrations, compounds identity, physical conditions, equipment used, etc.) while minimizing the details of trivial and common techniques (gel electrophoresis, plasmid transformation, common LB media etc.) unless you have used different conditions. If you have performed a common methodology it is recommended you cite a reference which contains the complete description of the methodology. Many times authors cite a recent publication which only contains additional citations and not the original paper that describes the methodology, making the whole process of data mining very annoying and time consuming.
Discussion and Conclusions
The role of the discussion is to convince your readers that the results support your claims while connecting with the introduction sections. This is regarded as one of the most difficult sections to write, and many papers are rejected solely due to inadequate discussion. When discussing your results, your claims and results should be supported by current and past publications in the field while stressing that your work is novel and original. Make clear statements about the practical and theorethical implications of your work, while avoiding over-interpretation. You should not avoid confronting conflicting results/statements made by previous publications but do so in a delicate manner. As much as you are passionate about your research your colleagues will be as passionate and bluntly striking out their effort and publications can lead your colleagues to develop a grudge against you. Moreover, these same colleagues might be collaborating with your article’s referees and thus lead to your paper eventually rejected. Respect the work of others, even if their work conflicts with your work.