Writing is a vital component of a modern career in scientific research. But how to write correctly and effectively is often not included in the training that young astronomers receive from their supervisors and departments. We offer a step-by-step guide to tackle this deficiency, published as a set of two Perspectives. In the first, we addressed how to plan and outline your paper and decide where to publish. In this second Perspective, we describe the various sections that constitute a typical research paper in astronomy, sharing best practice for the most efficient use of each of them. We also discuss a selection of issues that often cause trouble for writers from sentence to paragraph structure—the `writing mechanics' used to develop a manuscript. Our two-part guide is aimed primarily at MSc- and PhD-level students who face the daunting task of writing their first scientific paper, but more senior researchers or writing instructors may well find the ideas presented here useful.