Nursing (NURS) 000

Orientation and Introduction to Scholarly Writing

Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 0 (This course will appear on the transcript as a zero credit course)

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


The Nurse Practitioner Program consists of a combination of core didactic courses and courses with a clinical practicum. The process of planning for clinical courses includes the need to meet requirements established by health care agencies along with the need to identify an appropriate practice site and preceptor. This non-credit course provides important information to ensure that all students have the information necessary to prepare for clinical practicums.

All courses in the NP program require an element of scholarly writing. Assignments in each graduate course are assessed both for content and for professional writing style. It is possible to fail an assignment if the paper is does not conform to graduate writing standards even if the content is strong. The second part of the Orientation and Introduction to Scholarly Writing course is designed to assist you to write at a level acceptable to and expected by Athabasca University and the profession. The course will familiarize you with the professional writing standards of the American Psychological Association [APA], highlighting those most relevant to papers and projects produced by graduate students.


Part 1: Orientation

  • Program requirements and expectations
  • Generating an AU email address
  • Preparing for a clinical practicum
  • Finding a preceptor and clinical practice site
  • Using Elogs

Part 2: Introduction to Scholarly Writing

  • Lesson 1: Using Professional Writing Standards to Communicate Effectively
  • Lesson 2: Mapping your Route - Identifying Direction and Structuring your Paper
  • Lesson 3: Refining your Writing - Learning to be a Critical Thinking and Critical Writer
  • Lesson 4: What's in a Comma? - Common Grammatical and Other Basic Writing Challenges that Confuse and Confound
  • Lesson 5: Simon says... - Appropriate and Accurate Use of Quotations and Within Text Citations
  • Lesson 6: The Perils of Cyberspace - Techniques for Documenting References Accurately
  • Lesson 7: The Fine Tuning - Applying a Process for Self and Peer Editorial Review

Course Evaluation

There is no credit assigned to this course. Pre- and Post-tests are provided for each lesson in the writing portion of the course. Scores on these test provide an indication of mastery of the content of each lesson. Students are expected to master the content of the course prior to starting their program courses. Students who score less than 80% on the post-tests are advised to review the content of the course more thoroughly before starting any graduate coursework.

Course Materials

Course Texts

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Students are required to purchase this text prior to the program or non-program student orientation and must use it to support their writing in all NP courses.

Other Materials

All other materials are available to students online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1 November 2, 2015