How Nursing Students Can Ensure a Good Academic Writing Style

Academic Writing StyleEducational programs such as nursing, midwifery and other health professions require students to engage in two forms of writing – writing that integrates theory, research and practice; and reflective writing. A report published by PubMed suggests that most nursing students struggle with the demands placed upon them when writing academic assignments. Good academic writing skills are essential for the successful completion of preregistration nursing programs; however, the development of such skills is a challenge for many nursing students. Though academic transcription support provided by reliable firms would assist them with documentation, nursing professionals must also be aware of ways to improve their academic writing. Make your thesis and assignments as user-friendly as possible, as it can be recommended for further reference. Academic writing helps to make decisions that are objective and transformed, grasp and describe complex situations, analyze them and clearly articulate conclusions and recommendations

Consider these tips.

Objectivity matters

Objectivity refers to the deliberate distance between the writer and the subject matter of assignment. Here, instead of writing your own experiences, write about the research you’ve done. While subjective information in written or spoken form is generally considered to be a single person’s opinion, objectivity is being on the outside looking in. Avoid using the first and second person as it is a more personal way of writing and go for third person. For instance, instead of writing “In my opinion this is a very relevant study”, write “It is a relevant study”.

In an objective way, the thoughts and beliefs should be based on your lectures, reading, discussion and research and it is important to make this clear. Also, rather than writing based on a chat or argument, it would be better if you could refer to an interview conducted with an expert in the subject. Interview transcription services are available that provide quality real-time transcripts for such interviews.

Make correct references

If any of the ideas or concepts in your writing is taken from elsewhere, referencing comes into play. Referring the right sources of your information and ideas is important as it helps the reader to locate further details. Diverse referencing styles and systems exist such as citing, footnotes, number referencing and more. Give references properly and consistently, as it provides scholarly context to your work.

While adding quotations, make sure it is exactly the same as it appears in the original text and place it within quotation marks. It is also important to include the page number as well as the author’s name and the date of publication, when quoting such a piece of original text.

For block quotations or for quoting two or more sentences – use a smaller font, include the page number of the original source text at the end of the quote. There is no need to use quotation marks/inverted commas with block quotations.

While referencing a book, include the entire author’s surname and initials in full, for an edited book, editor’s names must be followed by a comma, then ed. or eds. in brackets, year of publication in brackets, title in italics, volume number, edition number followed by “edn.”, publisher’s name and place of publication.

For example

Morrisey J.,Keogh B. & Doyle L., (eds.) (2008) Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: An Irish Perspective. Gill and MacMillian, Dublin.

Use abbreviations

Academic Writing Tips
There may be diverse medical terminations and commonly used medical abbreviations you may have to include in your writing. Some of them are:

  • VSS – vital signs stable
  • Abx – Antibiotics
  • S/S – signs & symptoms
  • NoC – night shift
  • Sx – Surgery

While writing a longer piece of work like dissertation, it would be good to remind the readers about a particular abbreviation. However, if your writing contains many different abbreviations, it is ideal to have a glossary or appendix that lists the expansions of these abbreviations, all in one place.

Avoid conversational language

As academic writing is formal, avoid using colloquial language or slang in your piece of work. This is also crucial to maintain an objective style writing pattern. The writing should be literal, which means that words and phrases should be used based on their dictionary definition.

For example, instead of the phrase “go the extra mile,” which is informal English, it is recommended to write “increase the efforts.” Also, avoid using slang terms such as dude, fired, stuff, cliche and really. Just like colloquial and slang terms, remember not to use emotive language (horrible, incredible, disgusting, tragedy) in your assignments as they tend to be subjective.

Make use of such best writing practices, as you move forward in your academic journey. You can also consider getting support from reliable transcription outsourcing companies that can provide accurate transcripts of your audio and video recordings.

About Julie Clements

Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.