At the beginning of every scientific paper there is a blank sheet. Some fill it with ideas in a matter of seconds, only to erase them again immediately afterwards; others stare at the blank paper for hours, inhibited. Especially before writing your first scientific paper, it is important to realize that hardly anyone can formulate print-ready sentences off the cuff. It is unrealistic to place such an expectation on oneself. Thus, writing scientific texts is neither something you can or cannot do easily, but it is a comprehensive cognitive and psychomotor process that takes place in different phases with different substeps. For one's own writing of a scientific paper, it is therefore indispensable to come to terms with the processuality of writing. This can help to release inhibitions, set intermediate goals during the writing process, and plan one's own work in a more meaningful way. There are many different writing process models, but especially for beginners, Otto Kruse's writing process model is very clear and catchy, which is why we want to introduce it to you in the following.
Kruse's writing process model divides the writing process into four phases:
Planning and Coordinating: In this phase, the writing project is fundamentally prepared. As a rule, writers look for a topic and narrow it down. To do this, it is often necessary to do some reading. The writers then develop a research question or thesis and determine the goal of their writing project. This includes how this goal is to be achieved (based solely on scientific literature or also through their own data collection?). Once all formalities have been clarified, it is advisable to talk to the examiners. In this discussion, not only the framework (such as the scope of the work or the processing time) can be clarified, but also the concrete project can be presented. This has the advantage that the writers receive feedback on their project before they have put the text down on paper. In this way, possible problems regarding the topic and/or the question can be cleared up in advance, and the writers have more confidence in their further work. According to the model, this phase concludes with an exposé. This can provide both the writer and the examiner with a good overview of the project.
Collect material and data: This phase also serves as preparation for the actual writing. The aim here is to systematically research the topic/question. Of course, this includes reading literature in a targeted manner and, if necessary, excerpting it. It makes sense and is necessary to acquire reading strategies for reading specialized texts, which facilitate the work with scientific texts (e.g., in Lange 2018). Writers collect material, organize and process it, and finally structure it so that it fits well into their text. At this point, at the latest, an outline can be established. At the end of this phase, there is the raw text, i.e. the draft of the work.
Work on the text and revise: Once the raw text is 'finished', however, the text is not yet ready for submission. Generally, writers should first revise their text at the content level. Only when they are satisfied with their content (and have gathered feedback from others, if necessary) and do not want to make any more changes there, should the text be revised at the linguistic level (because any change in content can introduce new linguistic errors or typos). Before the paper is available as a manuscript version, the layout should have been designed and the paper should have undergone final proofreading.
Finalizing and Publishing: An important step in writing a university text is also letting go. After the work has been corrected and the layout has been finalized, the work can finally be submitted. This can be difficult for some writers. It usually takes a few weeks before the paper is graded. If the grade is fixed, an expert opinion of the work is also available for final papers, for example. But even with homework, writers can of course get feedback on the text and the grade. Grading can also be done by an online expert. Start with reading reviews. For example, you can read the review of paperhelp published on writingpapersucks or any other.
In general, it must be said at this point that this model provides a good overview of the tasks involved in writing a scientific paper. However, it should not be used as a template, as it naturally has its limitations.