Writing for Academic Publication

Learn how to write a research paper for publication — with academic research coach Dr Daniel Soule

As an academic, you are under increasing pressure to publish earlier in your career, with greater frequency and in higher-ranked journals. But how do you decide which journals to approach with your research, and what’s the best way to do that? This four-week course navigates the world of academic writing, research articles, journals and publications, while teaching you the skills you need to become a clear, effective and efficient research writer.



Course Director

We’ve designed this course for early career researchers starting out on an academic publishing career. It’s for researchers across STEM, social science, and arts and humanities subject areas who, having completed their data collection and analysis, are at the stage of writing their first research papers.

This is a professional development course and so you may be able to get funding from your employer to do it. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion evidencing their learning and study hours.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Want to understand the journal publication process and how to choose the right journals for publication
  • Are keen to present your research in the most effective way
  • Need to boost your confidence and overcome challenges to your writing process
  • Enjoy learning new techniques that will help you to develop your research-writing skills
  • Are looking for a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners, all working toward academic publication
  • Can dedicate 3-5 hours per week for the duration of the course

The first step to successful academic publishing is understanding the professional writing skills a researcher needs. As you work through each weekly session, you’ll identify the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, develop discipline and attention to detail, and learn how to organise data, while honing your editing and proofreading skills. You’ll also begin to understand how to tailor your academic papers to specific journals and the people who read them.

Session 1: Targeting a journal & writing an introduction
We’ll examine the importance of targeting a specific journal prior to writing your article, and you’ll learn how to make sure your paper fits the aim and scope of the journal.

You’ll learn how writing a good introduction and title can help improve the clarity of your thinking and writing, and feed into different stages of the writing process, from planning to writing and editing. 

Session 2: Analysis, discussions and conclusions
We’ll model the sections in the body of a research paper from your target journal, with a focus on sections dealing with evidence and data.

You’ll finish modelling your targeted research journal, examining the importance of conclusion and discussion sections, and aligning these with your central contribution or message.

Session 3: Writing a plan and preparing to write
You’ll have two weeks to put together everything you’ve learned through the previous sessions to develop a comprehensive plan for writing your paper.


We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can balance your learning around your work, family and friends. You’ll work in a small group of fellow learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the sessions.

If you’re a university or research organisation we can also run this course exclusively for a group of your employees. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to know more.

You’ll learn from:

  • Podcasts and videos from Dan Soule
  • Written guidance from Dan
  • Writing prompts and exercises designed to help you plan and practise your own writing
  • Carefully selected reading lists
  • Online discussions with writers in your group and the chance to share and give feedback on each other’s writing

You’ll need:

  • 3-5 hours per week to work through the course
  • A notebook and pen or pencil, if you like to make notes by hand
  • A laptop or computer* with:
    • A reliable broadband internet connection
    • Speakers or headphones
    • The latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari
    • Microsoft Word. If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free
    • Adobe Reader, latest version. Download free
    • QuickTime Player, latest version. Download free

*You can access the course from a tablet or smartphone, but we recommend using a laptop or computer, as this makes it easier to share your work files with your writing group.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within our online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guests here

Taking things further

If you'd like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, we'll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

What our students say...

Dr Soule has been working with the University of Stirling for a number of years. He provides our research staff and students with inspiring courses on academic writing, and feedback has been consistently high. I have been extremely happy with the quality of training provided by Dr Soule, and have therefore consciously included him in our development programmes for over eight years. I would highly recommend Dr Soule as a very high quality, engaging and effective trainer.

Katharine M. Reibig, Researcher Development Policy Officer at University of Stirling

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