Nursing in Global Health Care Systems Dr. Audrey Miller

These are important resources that will help and guide you in writing your papers.

Writing Resources

Nursing Student Writing Guide Checklist

The purpose of this guide is to highlight the most common problem areas students encounter when using APA format. This writing guide cannot cover all situations that a student may encounter while writing a paper. If you have questions after reading this writing guide, please refer to the APA Manual, the final authority. A good place to start is the Index or the Table of Contents in the APA Manual. I have also included an example of a paper which demonstrates the updated APA formatting/style. 

The APA Manual is the American Psychological Association (APA). (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: APA. The following websites may also be helpful for your papers:


All writing MUST 1) use your own words from your own experience(s); or 2) paraphrase/summarize another author’s thoughts). When you paraphrase or summarize thoughts of another author or publisher, you MUST provide an in-text citation and end reference.

If you fail to cite and reference another author or publisher, you are guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious violation of the honor code. Plagiarism can significantly affect a student's paper and final grade up to and including a failure. Students may be reported to University administrators and students found guilty of plagiarism (academic misconduct) may be dismissed from the University.

This is an age of "copy and paste," and material can easily be pasted into student papers. Since thepaper's author MUST be the student, material quoted directly from other sources should be used rarely (less than 10% of entire paper). A sentence or paragraph that is significantly “lifted” or"quoted" from another source without the appropriate quote citation (which includes the page or paragraph number) is plagiarism. In addition, quotes significantly increase an originality score inTURNITIN. Avoid quotes (and plagiarism) by summarizing, paraphrasing, and combining ideas and thoughts from a variety of sources. Also, adding more details (avoiding direct quotes) to the paper will often lower the originality score.

TURNITIN provides a mechanism to determine the total originality of a paper. The originality report can be accessed by the student and instructor. TURNITIN is very sensitive and short phrases in asentence may be picked up inadvertently in the originality report. However, a high originality report percentage (over 35%) is very suspicious and the paper will be examined closely for plagiarism.


Did you use Times New Roman or Arial font, 10-12 point? Is black font used in entire paper?

Page Setup

Did you use 1 inch margins at the top, bottom, left, and right of every page?(In Microsoft Word, notice that the default settings may be 11⁄2 inches so you will need to change them).

Did you double-space the entire body of the paper AND the reference list, leaving one full-size line blank between each line of type on the page?

Did you place page numbers in the upper right hand corner in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.)? (In Microsoft Word, use your word processor function “insert” and then “page number” to automatically insert page numbers.

Note: ***Since the papers in the NUR 4667 course are short, a running head, author's note,and abstract are not required.***

Title Page

Did you center the title page information and include at least the following?

Title of Paper

Author Name

Name of Institution


Heading levels are important in a professional paper because they provide organization and progression forthe reader. APA format standardizes levels, although heading levels may differ somewhat according to thetype of paper and discussion.

  • Did you use topical headings and, if appropriate, subheadings in APA format to organize you paper?
  • Level 1: Centered, Bolded, Upper & lower case 

                                                                                                        Level 2: Flush Left, Bolded, Upper & lower case                                                                                                   Level 3: Indented, Bolded, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. Discussion begins immediately after the period.

  • Note: To force a "hard break" (begin a new page) in Microsoft Word, press CTRL, then click on enter. I have included an example of heading levels for your first paper:  

Repeat the title of paper [centered] at top of page 2:

Comparison of Health Care Systems: United States and Iceland

Introduction [Level 1] (centered)

        Discussion begins.... (paragraph[s] form) of at least two sentences

Health Statistics and Costs [Level 2] (flush left)

          A short paragraph (at least two sentences) must introduce the level 3 subheadings you are going todiscuss in this section. For example: "The discussion below provides information about and compares thehealth statistics and costs of the United States and Iceland. Health statistics include life expectancies andmortality rates, major health conditions and diseases, health care expenditure dollars ($) per capita, andhealth care expenditure as a percentage (%) of gross domestic product (GDP)."

          United States. [Level 3] Level 3 heading is indented with period, only first word is capitalized (unless a proper noun), discussion begins immediately after heading....

         Iceland. [Level 3] Discussion begins....

        Comparison of countries. [Level 3] Discussion begins...

Health Care Financing [Level 2] (flush left)

         A short paragraph (at least two sentences) must introduce the level 3 sub-headings you are going to discuss in this section. See above for example.

         United States. [Level 3] Level 3 heading is indented with period, only first word is capitalized (unless proper noun), discussion begins immediately after heading....

        Iceland. [Level 3] Discussion begins....

       Comparison of countries. [Level 3] Discussion begins...                                                                                      and so on to complete the paper topics.

                                                       Conclusion: Access and Equity Issues [Level 1(centered)                                                              

Discussion begins.... (paragraph[s] form)

References [Level 1] (new page, centered)


  • Did you paragraph your paper, making sure that each paragraph has at least two (2) sentences?Paragraphing provides organization and clarity for topics and subtopics.

  • Did you indent the first line of each paragraph approximately 5-7 spaces?

  • Did you eliminate gender bias? (Do not refer to the nurse as “she.”)

  • Did you eliminate all “you” wording? (Do not refer to the reader, yourself, or others as “you” in professional writing). "You" implies that you know what the reader is thinking, which is not possible.NOTE: You can use "I" if discussing personal experiences or opinions.

  • Did you use correct punctuation? (This includes periods, colons, semicolons, commas, quotation marks, etc.).

  • Did you eliminate all extra spacing between words, paragraphs, and sections?

  • Did you do a spelling and grammar check?


  • Did you capitalize proper nouns? Proper nouns are specific names of countries, agencies, andpeople (e.g., Peru, World Health Organization, President Smith). Note: Conjunctions andprepositions in the name are not capitalized. Ex: Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health

  • Did you capitalize the major words in headings? Note: Conjunctions and prepositions are not capitalized in a heading. Ex: Title of Paper

  • Did you capitalize a specific person's name and title? Ex: Jane Smith, Chief Executive Officer

  • Did you not capitalize common and collective nouns? Common nouns (e.g., social worker, nutritionist) and collective nouns (e.g., doctors, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, etc., are not capitalized.


  • Did you spell out the full word(s) before you use the abbreviation in the text? Note: Abbreviations of professional titles and proper nouns are capitalized. (Examples are registered nurse (RN), nurse assistant (NA), American Nurses Association (ANA), United States Department of State (USDS)

  • Note: You are not required to use an abbreviation for an author/publisher (agency/organization) in the text discussion; however, if you do, you must include that abbreviation with the end reference.


Did you write words for numbers less than ten (10) or that occur at the beginning of a sentence, title, or heading? Use the number (numeral) for numbers over 10.

  • There were eight patients...
  • Twenty-two patients were...
  • There were 11 patients...
  • She found that 36% of the population....


Did you write over 90% of your paper in your own words or summarize /paraphrase another author’s writing? Do direct quotes take up less than 10% of your paper?

Did you use the quote citation format if the sentence or paragraph contains a significant amount of direct quoting from another source?

For quotes less than 40 words, did you include quotation marks? Note the difference in formatting if the citation is part of the sentence structure or not part of the sentence structure. Note: Since webpages are usually not numbered, use the paragraph (para.) number instead.

  • Journal Article Example: Brown (2011) found “no significant differences when the variables of height and weight were controlled for children aged 15-18 years(p. 113).
  • Web Page Example: The researcher found “no significant differences when the variables of height and weight were controlled for children aged 15-18 years” (Brown, 2011, para. 4).

For quotes more than 40 words, did you place the quote in a freestanding indented text block(double spaced) as shown in the example?

Phillips (2009) stated the following:

If more than 40 words, place quote in a free standing block without quotation marks. The block begins on a new line and the first and all subsequent lines are indented 5-7 spaces from the left margin. The quote is double spaced. The citation can be used to introduce the quote; if so,only the page number is placed at the end (p. 4).

Note: If the citation does not introduce the quote, the following format is used at the end ofthe quote (Phillips, 2009, p. 4).

Citations within the text of the Paper

  • Did you cite every source within the text of your paper if it was the idea or thought of another author?

  • If the same source is used throughout a paragraph, did you place one citation at the end of the paragraph?

  • Did you eliminate Wikipedia references? (Wikipedia cannot be used in professional papers).

  • For electronic (internet) citations from a web page, did you first look for 1) the author(s), or if you cannot find the author(s), 2) the name of the organization, agency, company, or publisher and the publication year in your citation? Note: The organization or publisher is often found in the web address or URL pathway (e.g., cdc, ana, cms, hhs, ahrq, etc.)

  • Did you remove all URL pathways or web addresses) (e.g., http:/ from text citations?(The URL pathway is placed only in the end reference.)

  • Did you remove first initials from authors’ names in text citations?

  • Did you use the correct APA format for abbreviating pages or paragraphs? (Ex: page(s)

    abbreviation: p. or pp., not pg.) (Ex: paragraph abbreviation: para.)

  • Did you use “and” when the citation is part of the sentence and use the ampersand "&when the 

    citation is not part of the sentence?

  • Did you put the sentence's period after a citation when the citation is placed at the end of a sentence?

  • If you are citing multiple web pages from the same website, did you differentiate the citations by including the title of the web page or a few words of the topic in your citation?

  • If a work has 3-5 authors, did you cite all the authors the first time and then use et al., forsubsequent citations?

  • If a work has 6 or more authors, did your use et al., for all (including the first) citations?

Reference List at the end of Paper

The purpose of references is for readers to validate and retrieve sources. Therefore, reference information must contain all the information necessary for a unique identification and search.

Did you center the word References (in bold) at the top of a new page? Note: To force a "hard break" (begin a new page) in Microsoft Word, press CTRL, then click on ENTER.

Do you list a reference for all the citations found within the paper? There can be no "orphans."

Do the authors/publishers in the citations and reference list match exactly?

If you used an abbreviation of an organization/agency "author" within the paper text, did you also include that abbreviation in the reference?

Are the reference lines double spaced?

Did you list the references in alphabetical order with no numbering?

Did you place the first line of the reference at the left margin and indent the second line (if any) 5-7 spaces?

Did you format the references correctly?

  • All authors have a first name initial or initials only.
  • An ampersand (&) goes just before the last author.
  • Titles of books, web pages, and names of journals are italicized.
  • For title of a journal article, and web page & book titles, only the first word is capitalized (unless proper noun). See examples below.
  • Book publishers are formatted as City, State: Name of Publisher. See example below. o Journal articles include the volume, number, and pages. See example below.
  • Internet references must include the URL (http pathway)

The most common errors in web page references:

  • If an author's name isn't found on the web page, use the publisher, agency, company, or organization name as author. The name or a lower case abbreviation (such as "who" -- World Health Organization) is often found within the URL link/web address in your browser or somewhere on the web page.
  • If you used the abbreviation for an agency/organization in your paper discussion, spell out the full name of the agency/organization with the abbreviation in the reference.
  • Include a publication year; it is often found at the bottom of the web page.
  • A web page title (in italics) must be included in the reference. If the web page does not have a title, create a short title (in italics) based on the content of the page.
  • Only the first word of the web page title is capitalized (unless a proper noun).

Note: Some instructors require students to use Digital Object Indicators (DOI) numbers if the DOI number is available for a reference. Since DOI numbers are not available for many of the internet references in this course, I am currently not requiring DOIs. However, if you are planning to continue your educational path, you may want to become familiar with DOI requirements. See the APA Manual for the discussion and formatting DOIs into references

In Text Citation    

Part of the Sentence Structure

Not Part of the Sentence Structure

Matching End Reference

Journal Article

Smith, Brown, and Jones (2013) noted...

Journal Article

(Smith, Brown, & Jones, 2013)

Journal Article

Smith, A., Brown, B. R., & Jones, D. (2013). A compilation of the crops grown in the highlands of Columbia. American Journal of Everything, 20(4), 210-214.


Blais and Hayes (2011) found...


(Blais & Hayes, 2011)


Blais, K. K., & Hayes, J. S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Edited Book

Purple and Yellow (2010) stated...

Edited Book

(Purple & Yellow, 2010)

Edited Book

Purple, L.A., & Yellow, S. B. (2010). Change process. In K. K. Blais & J. S. Hayes (Eds.), Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed., pp. 160-191). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Web Page Citation with Abbreviation
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (2010) reported...

Subsequent citations:

The CDC (2010) reported...

Web Page Citation with Abbreviation (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2010) Subsequent citations:

(CDC, 2010)

Web Page

Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (2010). Diabetes public health resource. Retrieved from


Tables and Figures - See APA Manual for formatting tables and table citations

  • If you insert a table or figure that is reproduced or adapted from another source, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder. [Used by permission...]

  • Multiple tables are labeled numerically (1, 2, 3, etc.) and titled per APA format.

  • To avoid plagiarism, create your own table using the MS WORD instructions below.

Proofreading Your Paper

  • Before submission, did you read your paper at last three times allowing time between the readingsfor a "fresh look?" Or did you ask another person to read your paper?

  • Did you complete the Nursing Student Guide Checklist before submission?

Microsoft Word Hint:  Inserting a Table

You can either insert a table on the page you are typing text or put the table on a new page. If you want to put thetable on a new page, do a page break – Press down Ctrl, then click on Enter.

1)  Place the cursor where you want the table to go.

2)  Choose INSERT from top menu.

3)  CLICK on TABLE from the top INSERT menu.

4)  Choose INSERT TABLE from the drop down menu.

5)  Input the number of COLUMNS and the number of ROWS you want the table to be. (Do not be

concerned if you guessed the wrong number of columns or rows. You will be able to add or delete

columns and rows later if you wish). CLICK on OK.

6)  Place the cursor inside one the table’s “cells” and begin adding text.

7)  The text you input into a table “cell” can be changed just like the text you type—just select the text and

make changes to font type, size, bolding, etc., etc.

8) Let’s assume you want to add or delete columns or rows.

  • CLICK somewhere on your table.
  • Choose TABLE TOOLS LAYOUT from the top menu.
  • Place your cursor in an appropriate “cell” and CLICK on the INSERT RIGHT, INSERT LEFT,
  • INSERT ABOVE, or INSERT BELOW icons to add additional columns or rows. To delete a columnor row, place your cursor in a table “cell” in the column or row, then CLICK on the dropdownDELETE icon. Choose the appropriate action.
  • There are many other Table options, but this will get you started with the basics!

Below is an example of a term paper.  You may also download the Nursing Student Writing Guide Checklist.


Here are the Rubric for your Discussions and Papers: