Discuss: Revising your writing

Using your paper for the (literature review assignment), work through the steps outlined in Chapter 13 to analyze the organization of your paper. Post a summary of your findings here on discussion board.


CRAFT OF RESEARCH, Author: BOOTH, Publisher: UCHIC, Edition: 4, Year Published: 2016,

The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition

The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition



336 pages | 19 halftones, 7 line drawings, 8 tables | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2016

Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct… Read More

Preface: The Aims of This Edition: xi

Our Debts: xv

I. Research, Researchers, and Readers: 1

1. Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private: 9

2. Connecting with Your Reader: Creating a Role for Yourself and Your Readers: 16

II. Asking Questions, Finding Answers: 27

3. From Topics to Questions: 33

4. From Questions to a Problem: 49

5. From Problems to Sources: 65

6. Engaging Sources: 85

III. Making an Argument: 105

7. Making Good Arguments: An Overview: 110

8. Making Claims: 122

9. Assembling Reasons and Evidence: 132

10. Acknowledgments and Responses: 141

11. Warrants: 155

IV. Writing Your Argument: 173

12. Planning and Drafting: 177

13. Organizing Your Argument: 189

14. Incorporating Sources: 200

15. Communicating Evidence Visually: 214

16. Introductions and Conclusions: 232

17. Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly: 248

V. Some Last Considerations: 269

The Ethics of Research: 271

A Postscript for Teachers: 275

Appendix: Bibliographical Resources: 281

Index: 313

                                                  (The literature review paper)

How to Write Nursing Papers

            A common topic that appears in nursing is how to write nursing papers. This is something that not only must nursing students successfully grasp, but also nursing professionals; writing is frequently found in both higher education and nursing practice, as individuals write papers for school assignments, including evidence-based projects and proposals, as well as publish articles in scholarly journals. Nurses must know how to communicate with many people, from their patients and family members to healthcare providers (other nurses, physicians, surgeons, etc.). Most aspiring nursing students take writing courses during undergraduate programs, where they learn to write patient charts and care plans, expository essays, and personal narratives; for those who go on to advanced studies (e.g., graduate schools and doctoral programs), they will be required to admit writings for journals, such as research papers, literature reviews, and dissertations (Chaudoir, et al., 2016). Furthermore, depending upon what the nurse wishes to specialize in – be it healthcare management or direction or even program consultants – they will require even more practice with writing nursing papers (Chaudoir, et al., 2016). In fact, as Leibold (2020) explains, writing is a fundamental element of nursing since it is a key form of communication. Therefore, this assignment reviews current literature on how to write nursing papers, examining not only articles and research on writing in nursing, but also several examples from peer-reviewed journal articles. This will allow for a deeper understanding of this process, especially as nurses graduate college and write papers in their professional careers.

Writing in Nursing School

Nursing students are given numerous opportunities for writing during their educational pursuits in college, as they must not only demonstrate their writing skills, but also nursing knowledge. All scholarly writings must conform to certain basic writing standards, such as using concise, clear writing that is free from grammatical errors and utilizes proper punctuation; additionally, the preferred citation and referencing format must be used, which is most commonly APA style (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). According to a study on the writing needs of undergraduate nursing students in research, these writings must showcase critical thinking skills, as nurses learn to provide quality care to patients; this requires both adequate expression of ideas as well as technical knowledge (Padagas & Hajan, 2020). Typically, nursing students must be able to present information concisely, balancing between the use of medical jargon and language that is understandable to all readers (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). Furthermore, Padagas and Hajan (2020) explain that nursing students should have the capability to conduct extensive research, documenting their advanced search processes (including use of nursing databases) and the knowledge they have gained, exploring nursing literature while expresing creativity and individual thinking. These are necessary skills, as continuing research allows nurses to examine the most recent, evidence-based studies and findings, which can then be applied to their nursing practices (Megahed, 2012).

Within nursing school, there are several types of writings that are assigned to allow students to practice and hone these writing skills, including personal statements, exams, and research papers (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021). Students must meet both academic and professional requirements, while also exhibiting a passion for patient care; therefore, personal statements allow nurses to write about their personal characteristic, credentials, goals, and life experiences, especially pertaining to why they want to pursue a career in nursing (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021). Even though these personal statements are not graded, they give students unique opportunities to both practice writing skills as well as showcase their accomplishments. Similarly, even though exam writing is not published, it is still graded. Students wishing to practice nursing will be required to take certain exams, including not only standardized tests like the MCAT and GRE, but also nursing school entrance exams and course-specific assessments; state licensure and professional certification usually also require exams and subsequently, writing and critical thinking skills (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021).

Finally, and perhaps what most students think of first when talking about writing in school, are research papers. As Padagas and Hajan (2020) describe, research papers follow a long-form structure that relies upon the writer’s point of view, presenting a comprehensive exploration of some topic of interest, with students examining data, insights, and expert opinions. These papers require research skills, knowledge, and original contributions, allowing students to demonstrate what they know, analyzing these topics and presenting critiques of the evidence (Padagas & Hajan, 2020). This is considered a form of scholarly writing, which is a step beyond critical thinking, transforming into critical communication (Edmunds & Waldrop, 2018). There are typically several headings or components in these research papers, such as an abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, and references sections; furthermore, there are various types of research papers – also known as nursing essays – including narrative, expository, persuasive, comparative, and cause-and-effect (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021).

On the Job Writing

            Nurses are required to do other forms of writing while on the job. These include their own resumes, case studies for patients, nursing care plans and a patient’s medical history, among other forms of technical writing. Regardless of the type of writing, correct grammar, professionalism and accuracy are important. To illustrate on the job writing, this section deals with how to write the medical history of a patient, using an example published on page 390 of Textbook of Basic Nursing (Megahed, 2012).

            The medical history of a patient should be written in brief, starting with the patient’s identification, in most cases the initials of the patient’s name, followed by his or her age, gender, and the history of his or her medical complaints, details of any tests done and their results, and the most likely diagnosis. For example:

Medical History: MT, a 78-year-old woman with a history of mild heart failure treated with diuretic therapy and sodium restriction, was brought to the emergency department by her daughter. Oxygen saturation (SaO2) via pulse oximetry is 93%. Supplemental oxygen is ordered via nasal cannula at 4 L/min. Chest x-ray reveals patchy areas

of consolidation in the right middle and lower lobes. White blood cell count reveals leukocytosis (increased white blood cells).

 (Megahed, 2012)

In this example, it is clear that the patient’s privacy has been respected by using the intials of her two names, MT. The patient who visited the hospital is 78 years old, and she is female. These details are necessary in reaching a diagnosis and must form part of the patient’s medical history. The medical history also notes what the patient has suffered from befiore, in this case, mild heart failure, which was treated with restricting sodium alongside duretic therapy. The history then gives the level of oxygen saturation, the results of an x-ray, as well as blood cell count, specifically white blood cells.

Despite the use of acceptable abbreviations, the medical history of the patient is written in correct English, with complete sentences without overexplaining the tests that were carried out or their results. The note further states what the woman’s daughter reported, her fears, as well as the changes she had noticed and that sputum was tested and turned out positive for streptococci, before concluding with a medical diagnosis:

A sputum culture obtained was positive for streptococcus. The client is admitted to the hospital.

Medical Diagnosis: Streptococcal pneumonia.

                                                                                                                     (Megahed, 2012)

From the medical history, if well written, the treating physician is able to know what a patient is suffering from and the possible complications that may arise due to past disease conditions, the age and the gender of the patient. This makes it necessary to include as many details as possible when writing one, without being tempted to eliminate any details given by the patient in question or his or her caregiver.

            In the above example, the daughter’s exact words are noted in the medical history to assist in both diagnosis as well as treatment of the patient:

Her daughter states, “I just thought that she had a bad cold, but now she’s been coughing up some thick yellow mucus and says that it is hard to breathe.”

 (Megahed, 2012)

This eliminates the possibility of blame being levelled against the recording nurse in case of any wrong diagnosis.

Papers Written in Class

            Nursing students are often given weekly assignments on different topics covered during their day to day studies. These assignments are often in form of essays on topical issues meant to enhance the student’s understanding and contribute to the final mark in the respective course. Such assignments are supposed to have a cover page detailing the title of the paper, the name of the student, the institution’s name, course name and number, the name of the professor or instructor, and the date of submission.

            The cover page should be followed by an introduction whose length is determined by the length of the paper. For example, a three page assignment can have one or two paragraphs to introduce what will be covered in the paper as well as give a thesis statement such as:

‘Even though Tesla CEO Elon Musk is very creative and talented, his work attitude and counterproductive behavior is affecting group collaboration and team performance…’

 (Any-one, 2020)

This thesis statement from a paper titled ‘Problem Solving’ shows the main argument of the paper, which concludes the brief introduction and tells the reader what the paper is about. Depending on the length of the paper, the body can be divided into several paragraphs for short papers, or have several subtopics. Problem Solving was only two pages long and the body was therefore only four paragraphs. The body of the paper is written using material collected from various sources, and this should equally be cited just like when writing research papers.

            The paper should then have a brief conclusion that summarizes the main points addressed throughout the paper, to support the thesis statement that was in the introduction. Just like research papers, academic papers written in class must be formal, use correct grammar and diction, be proofread for any grammatical and typographical errors, and avoid the use of I, we, he, she or they. Papers should have a lust of references written alphabetically on the last page. All pages should have a page number, unless otherwise directed by the instructor.

Types of Nursing Papers

Scholarly writing and nursing research papers take various forms, including narrative, expository, persuasive, comparative, and cause-and-effect, depending upon the assignment and what it entails (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021). Narratives tell a story with a clear point of view, usually written in first-person and concentrating on a specific subject, with examples such as personal narratives and statements; expository essays also have a clear structure and focus on a topic, although they usually require evidence to support the writer’s claims (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021). Expository essays are usually called analytical texts (Burke, 2019). Persuasive essays contain argumentative features, seeking to convince readers to embrace a recommended perspective or take action, while comparative essays contrast two similar items, evaluating theories, events, or opinions on some issue; finally, cause-and-effect essays report on a subject while advocating for a position (“Writing guide for nurses,” 2021). Therefore, cause-and-effect writings present some cause for an effect, attempting to explain this connection (Burke, 2019).

An example of a comparative essay in nursing writing is Olvera Alvarez et al.’s (2019) study on stress and health in nursing students, which aimed to describe the methods of a project, which investigated the role of several factors – including behavioral, social, and environmental – in modifying stress’s negative impacts on new nurses. The researchers used a prospective cohort designed to conduct an assessment of health endpoints, behaviors, personal traits, life stress, social variables, indicators of performance and engagement, and environmental exposures in this population, comparing these health indicators to the general population (Olvera Alvarez et al., 2019). They found that the more a nursing student was exposed to these stressors, the greater their risk for adverse health conditions, including depression, diabetes, and hypertension; on the other hand, better behavioral, personal, social, and environmental profiles were linked with protective effects for these diseases (Olvera Alvarez et al., 2019). This writing not only examines a sample of nursing students, but it also showcases research and writing skills.

Additionally, an example of a cause-and-effect essay is Kim and Moon’s (2021) study on variables impacting patient safety culture, examining the topic of complying with guidelines to prevent bloodborne pathogens among general hospital nurses. It investigated this relationship, following 284 nurses and having them fill in questionnaires on patient safety culture as well as if they followed the protocols in place at the hospital for bloodborne pathogens; the results demonstrated that experience with needle stick and sharps injuries, teamwork and leadership, knowledge and attitude toward patient safety, as well as priority of patient safety were associated with prevention of these pathogens (Kim & Moon, 2021). Therefore, a potential cause of reduced safety (and subsequently, greater transmission of pathogens) was nurses not having enough experience with needles or lacking organizational leadership/teamwork. Again, even though this is written by professional nurses, rather than in nursing school, it showcases the importance of research and cognitive thinking skills in writing. 

Elements of Nursing Papers

            Within these two published scholarly articles, the authors included several elements, identifying the main idea or topic of interest, conducting research (whether a literature review or their own experimental research design) to find evidence, describing the methods used, as well as using appropriate language; furthemore, the APA formating method was employed to provide credit to other authors, using both in-text citations and a reference page. First, when writing nursing papers, a main idea must be developed. This is presented from the writer’s particular viewpoint, which is considered the paper’s thesis; this thesis can be strengthened by describing opposing perspectives, addressing these counterarguments while detailing why this issue is important (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). Good writers will first examine the current literature before starting a paper, determining if there are any existing gaps that need to be explored; the ultimate goal is to contribute novel ideas to a continuing debate (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). Arguments must be presented objectively, ensuring there is no bias.

            After the idea has been determined, evidence must be gathered. The goal is to provide a strong foundation for the new research, supporting their claims with recent evidence in the literature; additionally, this evidence must first be critically appraised, ensuring it is of the highest quality (e.g., reliable, valid, consistent, generalizable, etc.) (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). Within research, there are several methods that can be employed, such as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods; depending upon which is used, there are different types of data that are gathered (“Common assignments: Writing in nursing,” 2020). The research question/thesis will determine which type of research method is chosen. However, no matter which is used, the design must be rigorous, carrying out the research in an objective, non-biased approach. When it comes time to write the paper, discipline-appropriate language should be used; students and nurses must understand standardized nursing language, so they can improve their communication with others in the healthcare field (Edmunds & Waldrop, 2018). The use of this language leads to not only increased compliance with standards of care and nursing intervention visibility, but also improved patient care; furthermore, it enables the assessment of nursing competencies, demonstrating that these nursing students have the ability to professionally communicate as well as appropriately incorporate the medical field’s language in their work and writing (Padagas & Hajan, 2020).

            These elements are used both in nursing papers written in college as well as those published professionally, as nursing school prepares its students to write professional articles. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), research reports should follow the IMRAD structure: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (Roush, 2017). For the introduction, the background information is detailed, including the purpose and significance of the study; this is where the writing must grab the reader’s attention, outlining the thesis and any research questions that will be answered (Roush, 2017). The methods section contains data regarding how the study was conducted as well as the reasoning behind using those specific research designs; this usually includes the sample size and collection, data collection and analysis procedures, and outcome measurements (Roush, 2017). It must have sufficient detail that other researchers could copy the study. For the results, the findings are described, emphasizing any significant results without comment, while in the discussion, the writer evaluates what these findings mean, comparing and contrasting them to other similar studies on the topic; furthermore, future research and implications for practice are usually included, as well as strengths and limitations of the study (Roush, 2017). 


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