Can we plan a paper to create a clear structure? Or does it emerge through the writing?
Whilst check lists may be helpful to ensure that you have uploaded all the elements of a paper through a submission portal , I am not convinced they are a good way of helping to structure a paper under construction.
A recent paper by Simper et al (2016) suggests that a concept mapping frame can be helpful in constructing a narrative and in developing creativity. Drawing on their work I have tried to think of a possible frame that might help to address some of the weaknesses in papers that I have reviewed for publication in journals. I’d be interested to know if anyone finds it helpful, or if they have a similar tool that they already use.
The idea is that you consider the elements in blue, and add your responses within the white boxes. This might even help to structure a visual abstract that some journals are now inviting.
Simper, N., Reeve, R. & Kirby, J.R. (2016) Effects of concept mapping on creativity in photo stories. Creativity Research Journal, 28(1): 46 – 51.