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Writing in Nursing

A Brief Guide

Thomas Lawrence Long and Cheryl Tatano Beck

Publication Date - 01 December 2016

ISBN: 9780190202231

240 pages
5 x 8 inches

In Stock

The ideal pocket-sized manual for undergraduate nursing students who want to improve their writing


Writing in Nursing: A Brief Guide applies the key concepts of rhetoric and composition-audience, purpose, genre, and credibility-to examples based in nursing. It is part of a series of brief, discipline-specific writing guides from Oxford University Press designed for today's writing-intensive college courses. The series is edited by Thomas Deans (University of Connecticut) and Mya Poe (Northeastern University).


  • A practical guide to writing, with clear instructions and concrete examples from students and professionals
  • Uses the concepts of translational science and evidence-based practice as the framework for its writing strategies in signature clinical, academic, and professional genres
  • Emphasizes that writing like a professional nurse requires thinking like one

About the Author(s)

Thomas Lawrence Long, Associate Professor-in-Residence in the University of Connecticut's School of Nursing, is an affiliate in the university's English Department and in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Cheryl Tatano Beck, Board of Trustees Distinguished in the University of Connecticut's School of Nursing, jointly appointed in the School of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is an expert in postpartum depression and other mood disorders associated with labor and delivery.


"An essential tool for the novice and even seasoned writer." --Sandy Carroll, Mount St. Mary's University and College of the Canyons

"This book is a sound and rhetorically focused textbook for teaching students how to analyze and write in genres relevant to the field of nursing. It provides excellent explanations and examples of the kinds of texts and purposes that drive nurses and nurse-researchers to write." --Virginia Crank, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

"This book is a helpful tool to help new students understand how to effectively write for nursing without learning the hard way through trial and error." --Amber McCall, Augusta University

"Useful and informative, Writing in Nursing presents nurses with a sense of the writing they will have to do in their academic and professional careers." --Shawna Rushford-Spence, Lourdes University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Credibility, Care, and Competence in Nursing Writing
    Thinking Like a Nurse: Key Concepts
    Translational Science: From Bench to Bedside
    Evidence-Based Practice
    Writing Like a Nurse: Key Concepts
    Credibility, Care, Competence
    Signature Genres of Writing in Nursing
    Clinical Genres: Reflective Writing and Case Studies
    Academic Genres: Research Critiques and Literature Reviews
    Professional Genres: Advocacy Writing, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Clinical Practice Articles, Conference Presentations

    Chapter 2. Getting Started: Identifying a Clinical Problem and Evaluating the Research Literature
    Step 1: Identify a Clinical Problem for a Writing Assignment
    Reviewing the literature will help you focus the clinical problem
    Using the right technical terminology will help you focus the clinical problem
    Specifying a type or cause and a specific population will help you focus the clinical problem
    Step 2: Formulate a Research Question
    Step 3: Find the evidence base
    Kinds of Sources
    Research Databases
    Search Strategies
    Step 4: Evaluate the Evidence Base
    Find Gaps in the Evidence Base
    Understanding Research Designs
    Evaluating the Evidence

    Chapter 3. Clinical Reflective Writing
    What is reflective writing?
    Getting Started
    Evaluating reflective writing

    Chapter 4. Clinical Case Studies
    What is a case study?
    Getting Started
    Composing the Clinical Case
    Description of the case

    Chapter 5. Research Critiques
    What is a research critique?
    Getting Started
    Critiquing a Quantitative Research Article
    Critiquing a Qualitative Research Article
    Critiquing a Mixed-Methods Article
    Moving from Critique to Generalizability and Transferability
    How to Generalize Quantitative Studies to Other Populations
    How to Assess Transferability of Qualitative Studies to Populations
    Quantitative Critique of Generalizability
    Qualitative Critique of Transferability

    Chapter 6. Literature Reviews
    Getting Started on the Literature Review
    Choose a topic
    Search databases
    Narrow the general topic
    Decide on inclusion criteria
    Determine if retrieved literature meets inclusion criteria
    Critique and summarize quantitative and qualitative studies
    Make tables to summarize the research studies
    Create a topic outline
    Write your first draft
    Consider Common Patterns for Organizing Your Findings
    Revise early drafts
    Organizing Your Literature Review
    Guidelines for Synthesizing Studies
    How to show relationships among diverse studies
    How to assess conflicting findings
    How to anticipate readers' objections
    How to present alternatives while emphasizing your recommendation
    How to craft an argument to support an implementation and evaluation plan
    Going Beyond the Basics

    Chapter 7. Advocacy Writing, Clinical Practice Guidelines/Articles, and Conference Proposals
    What is Advocacy Writing?
    Letters to the Editor
    Op-Ed Essays
    Clinical Practice Guidelines
    Clinical Practice Articles
    Conference Proposals
    Submitting a proposal abstract for a conference.

    Chapter 8. Thinking and Communicating Visually: Tables, Figures, Presentation Slides, and Posters
    Decide when a visual is needed
    Choose the most fitting type of visual
    Graphs and charts
    Photographs and drawings
    Present visuals in consistent, standard formats
    Ethical visual representations are also a concern
    Making Effective Presentation Slides
    Development of a Poster

    Chapter 9. Usage and Style
    Common Grammar Usage Issues
    Noun/verb consistency
    Noun/pronoun consistency
    Vague pronoun reference
    Plurals and possessives
    Common Word Usage Issues
    Subjects, participants, and populations
    Quotation marks
    Acronyms and Abbreviations
    Active/passive voice
    Paragraphs and transitions
    Inappropriate metonymy and personification
    Avoid "I think that/I believe that"
    Avoid editorializing and grandstanding

    Chapter 10. Synthesizing and Citing Sources
    How to Summarize and Paraphrase
    How to Position Sources into Your Explanation or Argument
    Summarizing and paraphrasing what the sources say
    Summarizing the consensus view
    Disagreeing with sources or the consensus while explaining your disagreement
    Acknowledging objections or making concessions to objections while still holding fast to your view
    Integrating Sources into Your Writing
    How to Cite Sources in APA Style
    Citations and References by Types of Author
    References by Type of Publication
    Books and chapters in books
    Web sites
    Guidance for Other Kinds of Sources


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