How to write a successful article for allnurses.com
by rn/writer Guide
What is an article? That might seem rather basic, but judging from the submissions we receive, the definition isn't clear to everyone. For our purposes, an article is a story or an essay based on truth and told in your own words (no plagiarism, please). It can be an account of an interesting person, a moving experience, an idea that might solve a problem, or something you learned and would like to share with others.
- 7 Published Aug 17, '09
Want to write a memorable article for allnurses.com. Here are some suggestions.
We want at least 500 words. Many submissions fall short and can't be considered for that reason. (To determine word count, cut and paste your article into Word or another processing program and use their counting feature.)
Articles have beginnings, middles and ends. Start with a heartfelt memory, flesh it out with a few particulars, and finish by describing what this experience—positive or negative—meant to you. Paint the picture of an unusual patient, how you were-–or weren't—able to care for him, and what you have carried forward from your contact with this person. Spell out a vexing need that you face as a caregiver or a patient or family member, brainstorm a solution, then tell us how your suggestion could implemented to benefit those involved.
Please, please, please, respect patient confidentiality. Don't use real names, no matter how generic they might seem to you. Change the medical details and the circumstances enough to guarantee anonymity for those you are discussing. You might even think about changing gender, age, geography or other identifying markers as long as you can stay true to the main experience. "Based on truth" means that the core values remain, even if you have to blur some of the demographics to protect privacy. Most of the time, an actual diagnosis is far less important than the effect it has on the patient. Softening the clinical information can keep the focus where it belongs—on the people or the thoughts you're trying to share. Acknowledge, if you wish, that you have altered some of the details.
Keep good taste in mind. The most gifted of writers tend to tread carefully when telling stories involving genitalia, sexual themes, and bathroom situations. That's not to say you can't ever venture into such territory, only that it's a challenging minefield to navigate successfully. Often, with risqué stories, "you had to be there" to appreciate the humor. Those who weren't directly involved either don't get it, or they do get it and wish they didn't. Try to avoid the ewww factor.
The Terms of Service that govern regular posts (available via link at the bottom of the page) apply to articles as well, so stereotypes, vulgar language, insults and other rude and crude forms of expression are generally not welcome. Exceptions may be made when this kind of behavior figures into the story or it demonstrates the abrasiveness of a character, but use it sparingly. Like pepper in a stew, a little goes a long way.
A word about mechanics. We appreciate articles that are easy on the eyes. Use paragraph breaks. Punctuate. Proofread. Choose a normal-size font. We're not looking for perfection, just an inviting format that doesn't distract from the content.
The best articles are the ones that invite us to step outside ourselves and connect--with the author, the characters, the ideas—even if only for a moment.Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jan 11, '14 : Reason: Color font no longer used.
rn/writer joined Dec '04 - from 'In the heart of the heartland'. Posts: 11,700 Likes: 14,748; Learn more about rn/writer by visiting their allnursesPage