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Scientific Writing Tips

The Idea of an Ideal Manuscript

The Idea of an Ideal Manuscript

The following points are going to illustrate the idea behind the development of a strong manuscript that can be considered ideal from a different point of view.

The purpose of the study

Before planning a study, a clear purpose for the about. Establish why the area of study is relevant to the subject and how this particular study can help contribute/establish new and important information to the field.

Research hypothesis

Writing research hypotheses unambiguously and clearly in the manuscript will make sure that the reader is doesn’t have to find or guess or assume something different. A well-written research hypothesis is guided by the well-documented theoretical framework and is addressed by the data collected and analyzed.

An exhausting literature review

Founding a base through the literature that provides ground for doing the study that is reported in a different manner, the outcome of which might bring some really interesting results of previously conducted studies that is in general used as a reference point to compare, analyze and interpret

  • Cite from a source accurately and reflect what was published in the original source.
  • Include pertinent international research literature rather than limiting the review to that of a single country.
  • Cite a variety of pertinent studies, not just your own work or that of your colleagues and collaborators.
  • Include important works that support and ground the research such as current research in mathematics education; foundational research that is the basis for the study; and potential works outside of mathematics education as appropriate

A coherent theoretical framework

  • The study is guided by a theoretical framework that influences the study’s design; its instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis; and the interpretation of its findings.
  • The literature review connects to and supports the theoretical framework.
  • Make it clear to the reader how the theoretical framework influenced decisions about the design and conduct of the study. Clearly Described Research Methods* Include key elements of research methodology such as:
  • From what population the subjects were drawn, how and why they were selected, and how many were included; • Information on the instructors and their backgrounds;
  • When and how often the subjects were interviewed or tested;
  • How many classrooms were included in the study; • How each variable was measured;
  • How research instruments were adapted or developed; • Examples of items from research instruments; • Descriptions of instructional approaches; • Examples from instructional materials; • Protocols used for classroom observation or interviews; and Details of the procedures used to analyze qualitative data.

The Idea of an Ideal Manuscript

Sound research design and methods*

Employ research design and methods appropriate for answering the study’s research questions: • Give validity and reliability data for the instruments used;

  • Use appropriate statistical procedures and meet their assumptions; and
  • Use instruments appropriate to the study’s subjects to measure outcome variables.
  • Address threats to trustworthiness.
  • Describe discrepant events.
  • Use member checking when appropriate.

Claims about Results and Implications that are Supported by Data*

  • Provide supporting data for each claim that is made.
  • Do not draw conclusions or suggest implications that inappropriately extend beyond what reasonable is based on the data.
  • Interpret and contextualize the study’s results. Contribution to the Field of Mathematics Education
  • The study examines some aspect of the teaching and learning of mathematics and offers new results or new insights to mathematics education that extend beyond what has been reported in prior studies.
  • The study moves the field beyond current methods, instruments, and/or theories.
  • Focus goals on understanding a phenomenon deeply rather than investigating any particular classroom, student, lesson, or content. Clearly Explained and Appropriately Used Terms
  • Clearly define terms that are likely not to be understood by many readers (e.g., educational terminology unique to a particular country or region).
  • If using familiar terms in nonstandard ways, provide explanations for doing so.
  • When using terms that have several possible interpretations, clearly identify which interpretation is intended.
  • Avoid using terms interchangeably that have different meanings (e.g., proof, reasoning, argumentation, and justification).
  • Do not treat multidimensional entities as if they were one-dimensional (e.g., “reform curricula” are not a singular entity and “reform” involves changes in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, not just in curriculum) High Quality Writing
  • Provide helpful transitions so the manuscript flows well from one section to another.
  • Develop ideas rather than listing collections of thoughts in paragraph form.
  • Ask colleagues or employ editors to correct errors in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Mathematical Accuracy
  • Use mathematical terms correctly in conceptualizing their research.
  • Use correct mathematics content in instructional materials, interview protocols, and written instruments.

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