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Writing resources

Author(s): Cynthia Saver, MS, RN, editorial director for American Nurse Journal

The fourth edition of Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses was released in January, and I’m thankful to the team of 28 contributors who worked on the book. Most of them have been with me through all four editions, and those who are new to provided additional expertise. The contributors’ wealth of experience as editors, writers, and nurses helped meet the book’s goal—to provide an easy-to-use reference for nurses interested in sharing their expertise through the written word.

The book includes many resources, including this list of yes or no questions to ask yourself when editing your manuscript.

  • Do the title and abstract accurately reflect the content?
  • Is the organization of the article logical?
  • Does the opening make the reader want to read more and set up what is to come?
  • Is the tone appropriate for the readership?
  • Are citations and references used where appropriate but not overused?
  • Is the voice consistent? For example, check for switching back and forth from first person (I, me, my) to third person (we, us, ours).
  • Are verb tenses (past, present, and future) used correctly?
  • Are grammar, punctuation, and spelling correct? Remember to run a final spelling and grammar check.
  • Are transitions used to move from one point to another and from one paragraph to another?
  • Are the lengths of sentences and paragraphs appropriate?
  • Have I eliminated unnecessary words?
  • Do tables, figures, and illustrations support (rather than repeat) the content?
  • Have I used active voice when possible and appropriate?
  • Is there a take-home message for the reader? Will the article hold the reader’s interest?

Remember, every nurse has expertise to share. Even though writing effectively takes work, it is within every nurse’s reach to do so—and you can have some fun along the way. So, power up the computer and start typing!

Reference

Saver C. Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses. 4th ed. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2021.

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