The ACS Style Guide has always been a classic manual for scientific publications. But in 2020 it was revised and expanded as ACS Guide to Scientific Communication.The ACS Guide to Scientific Communication Not only does it provide professional advice to students, researchers, educators, and librarians, but it also helps researchers at different stages of their careers respond to the evolving world of publishing.

These ACS Axial Series contains excerpts from the ACS Guide to Scientific Communication. Portions of the original text are available free of charge for a limited time under an ACS Free to Read license. Certain sections are given at the end of each post.

Before writing an article, ask yourself:

• Does my data tell a story that my scientific community can appeal to?
• What are the most important results of my scientific research history that advance the field?
• What data is needed to support the key findings?

How should you start writing an academic paper? This video offers tips on how to get started writing an academic research article.

For more information on organizing your thoughts in an outline, see Section 2.1.3 of the ACS Guide to Scientific Communication.

Before you start writing, it is a good idea to learn about the elements that an excellent academic paper should have. The journal you are sending to contains guidelines that you can use to ensure that your work is presented correctly.

The following checklist can be used to ensure that a paper is the right shape, structure, and content to reflect the value of your research.


  • Has a responsive title with broad appeal
  • Engages the reader in an interesting research story
  • Avoids high text density
    • Break long paragraphs into shorter ones
    • Contains non-text features (e.g., tables, equations, well-drawn schemes, figures, other graphics) that are accurate, attractive, and understandable
    • Embed readable, informative graphics in appropriate places
    • Ensures that all captions on graphics are legible when the images are viewed at their original size (100%).
    • Contains paragraph headings or section headings


  • Explains the importance of the work in the abstract and throughout the article as the main subject of scientific history
  • Expresses a clear, well-defined topic that is supported by the data
  • Presents well-organized information that moves from one topic to the next in a logical order
  • Provides sufficient background and experimental details to fully support the conclusions
  • Clearly presents results and conclusions
  • Skips redundant or irrelevant information, including only the results necessary to support the most important results and essential to the story and focus
    • Places supporting data (e.g. data files, experimental details) in the “Background Information” section
  • Finally, a paragraph that not only presents the main findings, but also suggests new ideas for expanding the study

For more information on organizing your thoughts in an outline, see Section 2.1.4 of the ACS Guide to Scientific Communication.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here