Links to guidelines, library books and published articles about how to write for publication.
By Noah Rue
How to turn your professional knowledge into great writing
The world of academic writing can seem intimidating to break into, especially in the medical field. Academic writing has its own rules that are quite different from how you would write an email to friends, a memo to coworkers, or a personal update on social media. This might give you the impression that medical academic writing has to be dry, boring, and lacking creativity.
However, that’s not the case. How can you turn your professional knowledge into creative, engaging, and informative writing? Whether you are a student working on your dissertation, a hospital professional with dreams of submitting to a medical journal, or in a different position entirely, being familiar with the best practices for medical academic writing will help you reach your goals. Let’s cover the basics:
Do Your Research
Like any good piece of writing, you must begin your process with research. Even if you are an expert in your field, research is your friend. You could research dissenting opinions, claims that support your thesis, case studies, and more. In the world of medical academic writing, the more you can back up your ideas, the better.
The importance of research applies not only to the writing process but also the submission and proofreading process. There is nothing more embarrassing or unprofessional than having written a great article but failing to thoroughly read the submission guidelines. There are also plenty of online tools that can assist your academic writing to make sure your writing lives up to the high standards of the academic world.
It is clear that spending plenty of time on research throughout your process of medical academic writing will greatly enhance the quality of your work, as well as your chances of getting published. It will also help you feel more confident about the work you’re putting out in the world, especially if someone offers a dissent or disagreement in response to your ideas.
Write What You Know
Writers of all kinds hear this constantly: Write what you know. You will have greater success if you draw on your own expertise to fuel your writing. Sharing what you know can help make a difference in the lives of patients and fellow medical professionals around you.
Regis College offers a great example: “A nurse practitioner with a specialization in gerontology could write an article on the potential use of artificial intelligence in palliative care, which could inspire other nurses to create innovative end-of-life care strategies.” Drawing from your professional experience can inform your research and demonstrate your authority in the field.
When writing what you know, be cautious not to share any identifying details of patients in case studies, as doing so could constitute a HIPAA violation.. Behaving ethically and protecting confidential information is one of the fundamentals of good medical academic writing. When you write an article for publication or a dissertation, you must come across as not only an authority on your subject, but also a trustworthy one.
Writing what you know will also ensure that you are more likely to stay up to date on the latest medical theories, practices, concepts, and terminology — including disambiguating commonly confused terms, such as STDs and STIs. Using correct terminology for the time and field shows that you pay attention to and are in touch with the medical field at large and are constantly learning.
Utilizing tools and tips for medical writing can help you make sure you’re covering all your bases in medical journal writing. Be on the lookout for copyright policies and common grammatical errors.
Writing what you know does not mean that you can’t ever try something new or stray outside your area of specialization. But it is an excellent starting point, especially for students or new medical professionals who are looking to establish themselves as experts on a topic.
Get a Second Opinion
Getting a second opinion is not just something patients can do for a diagnosis. Your writing will be stronger if you have peers and trusted colleagues read it before you submit it for publication. Find a few readers who can offer you an objective, unbiased perspective and shed some light on how your dissertation or medical article comes across.
It can be hard to recognize flaws in logic, tone, or readability when you are deep in the writing process and are so familiar with every word you have written. Getting a second opinion can help you clearly see the flaws and strengths of your work. Another thing that can help you take a step back from your writing and see it more clearly is to read it out loud to yourself. Reading your work aloud helps you hear things you might have missed while silently scanning the pages on your screen.
Using tools like dissertation services is another great way to help you fact-check your writing and test your arguments in an ethical and professional way. This way, you can make sure your submission adheres to any guidelines put in place by the institution you are submitting your writing to.
While medical academic writing can seem intimidating, following a few best practices can help you pass your dissertation or get your first article published in a medical journal. Remember that academic writing can be creative and something you can have fun with. It can inspire people and change lives.