Although writing expectations vary by discipline, all writers of scholarly work must adhere to basic writing standards such as writing clear, concise, and grammatically correct sentences; using proper punctuation; demonstrating critical thought; and using APA style in all Walden programs. When writing in nursing, students must be conversant with the discipline’s aims as well as discipline-specific writing expectations.
Because no one can explain everything there is to say about a subject, writers deliver their work from a specific point of view. For example, one could look at the nursing shortage from a public policy standpoint. The thesis is one’s specific contribution, stance, argument, or viewpoint, and according to Gerring et al. (2004), a good thesis is one that is “new, true, and significant” (p. 2). To enhance a thesis, try offering an argument that contradicts current field consensus while carefully addressing counterarguments and thoroughly expressing why the subject under examination is important (Gerring et al., 2004). The thesis is crucial because readers want to know if the writer has something fresh or noteworthy to contribute about the topic.
The healthcare business prioritizes thorough research as the cornerstone for evidence-based procedures in order to provide high-quality care. As a result, students are expected to stay current on research in their profession and to back up their claims in their work with evidence from the literature. Nursing students must also understand how to assess evidence in nursing literature and locate research that address specific clinical concerns (Oermann & Hays, 2011). Writers must also critically study and evaluate studies to determine whether the findings can be applied in clinical practice (Beyea & Slattery, 2006).
Nursing research papers, like other APA style papers, should be formatted as follows: title, abstract, introduction, literature review, method, findings, discussion, references, and appendices (see APA 7, Sections 2.16-2.25). It is worth noting that the presentation follows a specific logic: The issue under consideration is presented in the introduction; the literature review presents what is already known about the topic (thus providing context for the discussion), identifies gaps, and presents one’s approach; the methods section identifies the method used to gather data; and the results and discussion sections present and explain the results objectively, noting the limitations of the study.
Nursing researchers conduct study using quantitative, qualitative, or blended methodologies. Researchers in quantitative studies rely largely on quantifiable data; in qualitative studies, they focus on data from interviews or other types of narrative analyses; and in mixed methods studies, they rely on both qualitative and quantitative data.
A researcher must be able to formulate a researchable question and select an acceptable research method.
Nursing students, like successful writers in other disciplines, should demonstrate in their writing that they (a) have cultivated the thinking skills that are useful in their discipline, (b) are able to communicate professionally, and (c) can incorporate the language of the field in their work appropriately (Colorado State University, 2011).
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