Sep 22, 2022

Useful Research Words and Phrases for All Sections

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What are the best research words and phrases to use in a paper?

If you are a graduate student, researcher, and/or professor, you already know that composing academic documents can be a frustrating and time-consuming undertaking. In addition to including all the necessary study content, you must also present it in the right order and convey the required information using the proper institutional language. Deciding exactly which language to put in which section can get confusing as you constantly question your choice of phrasing: “Does the Results section require this kind of explanation? Should I introduce my research with a comparison or with background research? How do I even begin the Discussion section?

To help you choose the right word for the right purpose, Wordvice has created a handy academic writing “cheat sheet” with ready-made formulaic expressions for all major sections of a research paper (Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion) and for reaching different objectives within each section.

This downloadable quick-reference guide contains common phrases used in academic papers, a sample journal submission cover letter, and a template rebuttal letter to be modified and used in case of receipt of a letter from the journal editor.

Each section includes annotations explaining the purposes of the expressions and a summary of essential information so that you can easily find the language your are looking for whenever you need to apply it to your paper. Using this quick reference will help you write more complete and appropriate phrases in your research writing and correspondence with journal editors.

Reference Guide Content

1. Common Research Paper Phrases (Listed by Manuscript Section)

common research paper phrases by section
  • Gathered from hundreds of thousands of published manuscripts, these frequently used key sentences and phrases are tailored to what each section of your paper should accomplish.
  • From the abstract to the conclusion, each section is tied together by a logical structure and flow of information.
  • Refer to this index when you are unsure of the correct phrases to use (in your paper/article, dissertation, or thesis) or if you are a non-native speaker and are seeking phrasing that is both natural in tone and official in form.

2. Academic Search Tools Index

online journal search tools
  • The search tools index is a concise compilation of some of the best academic research search tools and databases available that contain information about paper composition and relevant journals.
  • Locate the sites and tools most useful for your needs using our summary of site content and features.

3. Sample Journal Submission Cover Letter with Formal Expressions

journal submission cover letter sample

The cover letter is an essential part of the journal submission process, yet a great many researchers struggle with how to compose their cover letters to journal editors in a way that will effectively introduce their study and spur editors to read and consider their manuscript.

This sample cover letter not only provides an exemplary model of what a strong cover letter should look like but includes template language authors can apply directly to their own cover letters. By applying the formal language of the cover letter to the particular details of a particular study, the letter helps authors build a strong opening case for journals to consider accepting their manuscripts for publication.

4. Rebuttal Letter Template

The rebuttal letter is written as a response to previously received correspondence from journal editors that can take the form of a rejection, deferment, or request letter, which often requests changes, additions, or omission of content or augmentation of formatting in the manuscript. The rebuttal letter is therefore usually an author’s last chance to get their manuscript published in a given journal, and the language they use must convince the editor that an author’s manuscript is ready (or will be ready) for publication in their journal. It must therefore contain a precise rationale and explanation to accomplish this goal.

As with the journal submission cover letter, knowing exactly what to include in this letter and how to compose it can be difficult. One must be persuasive without being pushy; formal but yet candid and frank. This template rebuttal letter is constructed to help authors navigate these issues and respond to authors with confidence that they have done everything possible to get their manuscript published in the journal to which they have submitted.

5. Useful Phrases for the Journal Submission Cover Letter/Rebuttal Letter

journal rebuttal letter template

As with research papers, there are usually dozens of options for how to phrase the language in letters to journal editors. This section suggests several of the most common phrases that authors use to express their objectives and persuade editors to publish their journals. And as with the section on “Common Research Paper Phrases,” you will find here that each phrase is listed under a heading that indicates its objective so that authors know when and where to apply these expressions.

Use this reference guide as another resource in your toolkit to make the research paper writing and journal submission processes a bit easier. And remember that there are many excellent resources out there if you require additional assistance.

Wordvice‘s academic English editing services include paper editing services, dissertation editing services, and thesis editing services that are specifically tailored to help researchers polish their papers to get the very most out of their research writing. Visit our Resources pages for great articles and videos on academic writing and journal submission.

Wordvice Resources

A Guide to Paraphrasing in Research Papers

100+ Strong Verbs That Will Make Your Research Writing Amazing 

How to Compose a Journal Submission Cover Letter

How to Write the Best Journal Submission Cover Letter

 Related Resources

 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

“Essential Academic Writing Words and Phrases” (My English

“Academic Vocabulary, Useful Phrases for Academic Writing and Research Paper Writing” (Research Gate)

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