There are several aspects which are critical to capturing the attention of the reader and then maintaining a high level of engagement throughout the length of the article. An author has to strike the right balance between several different and at times conflicting considerations for this purpose. The content of the article should be characterized by appropriate language and expression, and should be elegantly structured to maximize impact.

Title: The title should grab the attention of the reader and condense in a few words what the article is all about. Avoid technical terms as far as possible and keep the title lean (on words) and mean!

The essential ingredients of an engaging article

The essential ingredients of an engaging article

Abstract and keywords: Choose a few keywords most appropriate for your work. The abstract should summarize the highlights of all aspects of the article, motivate the reader to venture further into the article, and be limited to the word count specified by the journal. Remember that there may be many readers who will just read the abstract (in part due to the fact that it is freely accessible for most journal articles).

Introduction: The introduction should be written such that it positions the novelty and impact of the research in the context of existing work and outlines the approach adopted in pursuit of the goals.

Description of research techniques: The methods used should be described in a lucid and concise fashion, and details should be provided wherever required, especially when new approaches have been employed.

Discussion: The results should be followed by an interesting and detailed discussion and interpretation. The text should be supplemented by schematic diagrams, images or graphs wherever necessary. Artwork should conform to journal specifications.

Conclusion: Along with a summary of the results, the overall impact of the work and its significance within the specified field or beyond should be persuasively delineated. Possible future research directions should be mentioned.

Citations: The article should be interspersed with suitable, and if possible, a thorough list of citations.

Good research, backed up by structured and attractively presented content created specifically for the target audience makes for an engaging article, which is bound to be read and cited often!

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.