How To Write A Good Nursing Research Paper: Step-By-Step Instructions

The basics for writing a good nursing research paper are really the same for any successful research assignment. However, some students, especially those that are new to nursing or to writing this particular kind of paper, can be easily intimidated. Follow this easy step-by-step instructions and you’ll be on your way to an excellent paper.

  • STEP 1: Choose your topic
  • Depending on whether your professor assigned one, you may or may not be left trying to decide on a topic yourself. Even if they have assigned a broad subject, you’ll need to narrow it down and choose a specific focus and parameters. For instance, if they have assigned a topic of ‘patient pain management’, that topic is far too broad to cover well in a single research paper. So, a more successful strategy is to choose a specific aspect of it, for instance, ‘pain management for patients with a history of addiction’.

  • STEP 2: Find sources
  • As the name implies, research papers rely heavily on research. So before you begin writing, you’ll need to find good sources to cite in your writing. Students that are newer to academic writing, or to the sciences, are often tempted to use news articles or similar sources in papers. However, for this kind of writing, you should only use primary sources, such as journal articles. In addition to searching journal article databases, you can try to trace news articles back to the study that they are reporting on, and cite the study itself.

  • STEP 3: Outline your paper
  • This is an important step for a research paper. Even if you don’t normally do it for your writing, when you are trying to pack a bunch of facts into one paper, it is critical to organize them well. What sets an exceptional paper aside from a good paper, is the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources together—outlining makes this a lot easier.

  • STEP 4: Create citations
  • It’s helpful to create citations before you begin writing, so you have the in-text citation ready to use. This will save you time when you’re done writing.

  • STEP 5: Use an authoritative tone
  • Tone is one of the hardest parts to master in scientific or medical writing. One easy way to think about it is to use an authoritative and detached tone.

  • STEP 6: Proofread outloud
  • This simple strategy can help you catch more typos, and have a better idea of how your paper will read for others.

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