Guidelines for Writing Your Next Nursing Research Paper

By Guest Blogger Lois Weldon 

Writing a research paper can be difficult and challenging yet fulfilling.  It takes a lot of time, energy and effort in order to produce a quality output.  To help you get through the process, below are guidelines for writing your next research paper.

Tip No. 1- If possible, choose a relatable topic.  One reason why people have a hard time writing research papers is because they don't like what they are writing.  When writing your paper, choose a topic you can relate to the most so it will be easier to do your research.

Tip No. 2- Make an outline.  This is often the most neglected yet important part of the writing process.  An outline is a blueprint of your paper that will guide you and keep your writing more organized. 

Tip No. 3- Research, read and make notes. Part of writing a research paper is actually doing research about your chosen topic.  Gather all the relevant materials, read through them and make notes using note cards or highlight the information you can use in your paper.  This way, writing your paper will be easier since you have already sifted through the information and can easily incorporate it into your paper.

Tip No. 4- Develop a thesis statement.  A thesis statement is the primary focus of your paper which can either prove or disprove a particular topic.  Although the development and structure of your thesis statement may change over time to suit your paper, having a thesis statement will keep you focused in writing. 

Tip No. 5- Create a rough draft. Never mind the form, grammar and any other errors, for now.  By writing a rough draft, you are simply letting your thoughts flow and at the same time, you incorporate everything that you've researched about your chosen topic. 

Tip No. 6- Use transition words or phrases.  Moving from one paragraph to another should be smooth.  Also, it is important to keep unity and coherence in your thoughts when writing your research paper.  In order to do this, use transition words or phrases such as however, on the other hand, in addition, consequently, further, or also at the start of a new sentence or paragraph.

Tip No. 7- Strike a balance.  When writing, it is normal to quote directly from the author or borrow ideas based on what you've read.  But keep in mind that when writing an academic paper, paraphrases and your own sentences should exceed direct quotations. In using direct quotes, make sure to acknowledge the original author.  Plagiarism is a mortal sin when it comes to academic writing.

Tip No. 8- Make a bibliography.  A bibliography is a list of all the sources you used when writing your research paper.  To save you some time and to avoid confusion or the possibility of plagiarism, keep a list of all the sources you used as you write your paper.  In other words, cite your sources immediately as you use them.  Keep in mind that most nursing programs require that papers are written in APA format and you should structure your bibliography and citations appropriately.

Tip No. 9- Edit then proofread.  As a rule, finish your first draft first before editing and proofreading your work.  Writing and editing are different processes so in order to avoid confusion, do each process separately.

Tip No. 10- Create your title.  Once you're done with the writing and editing process, construct your title according to what you've written.  It will be easier to construct the title of your paper once it is complete.

What topic are you researching for your next paper?

Lois Weldon is a professional writer at dissertation writing service  She is an ESL teacher.  Lois loves Marvel comics and homeschooling her 7 year old son.