What distinguishes a well written manuscript from a bad one? Though there is no one single answer to this question, we can say that a well written manuscript follows a coherent logic, and is written in a way that anyone could understand. Brett Mensh and Konrad Körding have written some general guidelines on how to structure a manuscript that are extremely helpful, even if you already have experience in writing manuscripts.
Aside from the structure of the manuscript, Nature has published some summary guidelines for writing an Abstract or Summary of a study which provide a very clear way on how to be both concise and informative describing your study.
We have created a manuscript template which follows the general skeleton of how a manuscript is usually structured, which can be downloaded from here.
Every journal has its own requirements for the format of the references and citations. It can be quite a daunting task to create/change these formats manually. Thankfully, there are some specific citation managers that can do it very easily. We recommend using Mendeley, which is a free citation manager that also has a specific plug-in for Microsoft Word.
Though there are some similarities between writing a manuscript and writing a project, it is important to consider that a research projects deals with one big question/argument, compared to a manuscript/experiment which aims to respond to much smaller questions.
A well written project begins from having a clear idea of what you wish to study. This idea is then fragmented into a series of smaller questions, which will eventually become the actual experiments in the study. We have created a general template which emphasizes these points, and provides some general idea on what should be considered when writing a project.