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Post-print of Fahy, K 2008, 'Writing for publication: the basics', Women and Birth, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 86-91.

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Most midwives and nurses do not write for publication. Previous authors on this topic have focussed on the processes of writing and getting published. Although definitive English usage style guides exist, they are infrequently consulted by new midwifery authors.


To enable new writers to confidently apply the basic skills of scientific writing when preparing a paper for publication.


The basic skills needed for scientific writing are the focus of this paper. The importance of careful word choices is discussed first. Next, the skills of writing sentences are presented. Finally, the skills of writing paragraphs are discussed. Examples of poor and better writing are given in relation to each of these basic elements.

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