Syllabus for NUR-614



This course is designed to help the learner become an effective writer in his or her professional field. It will hone the writer’s skills in two areas: 1) develop the writer’s skills required to be published in professional and lay journals, magazines, and newspapers; and 2) refine the writing required in one’s professional practice. In this course, one learns how to develop a theme that will interest a readership and publisher. Focus is on effective writing techniques and learning the process from idea to publication.

Open to graduate students.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Compose documents for both publication and professional practice.

CO2        Apply an appropriate and effective writing process to create documents for publication and professional practice.

CO3        Analyze written communication contexts for audience and format.

CO4        Critique examples of professional and learner writing for form, content, applicability, and appropriateness.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

        ISBN-13: 978-1433805615

*If your profession uses an alternate to the APA, you may substitute it for the above.

Additional Resources

These are not required for the course, but you may find them to be useful.

ISBN-13: 978-1593372743

        ISBN-13: 978-1285436500

        ISBN-13: 978-1592402038


Professional Writing from the Idea to the Publication is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

This course utilizes two assignment tracks to prepare learners for writing for an academic journal and professional practice.  For the academic journal article, learners work through a writing process of planning, outlining, revising, and considering publication options. In the professional practice track, learners share writing samples and discuss issues key to professional practice as they move through the creation of a proposal report.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums and complete written assignments.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Please note: (1) Rewriting or resubmitting assignments is not permitted; (2) no assignments may be submitted after the last day of the course without an approved extension; and (3) extension requests must be approved by the mentor and submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office prior to the last day of the course. 

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in eleven (11) graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1 and an ungraded but required Reflection Forum in Week 12.

There is an ungraded optional forum in Module 5 where learners can get feedback from classmates on their article drafts.

Grading rubrics for each of the graded discussion forums are located in the Evaluation Rubrics folder.

Note: The minimum participation requirement for discussion forum activities is at least three posts on at least three different days—an initial post responding to the questions and at least two posts to at least two classmates.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course's modules. Grading rubrics for each of the written assignments can be found within the assignment submission link in the module.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

Course Grade Requirements by Program of Study

For Courses Taken in Accelerated 2nd Degree Program  

Students enrolled in the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program must earn a grade of B– (80) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For Courses Taken in BSN Programs (RN-BSN)

Students enrolled in the BSN degree program must earn a grade of C (73) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For Courses Taken in MSN Programs

Students enrolled in the MSN degree program must earn a grade of C (73) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For Courses Taken in Graduate Nursing Certificate Programs

Students enrolled in the graduate nursing certificate programs must earn a grade of B (83) or better for the course to be applied to program requirements.


All Web site addresses (URLs) in this course were accurate and reflected the stated content at the onset of the course. However, URLs change, and great resources may disappear. If you encounter a problem accessing a Web site, post a message in the HELP discussion area of this course.


Written assignments should be submitted no later than the due date unless prior arrangements are made with the mentor and a new due date is established. If a student submits an assignment after the due date without having made arrangements with the mentor, a minimum of five points (based on an assignment grading scale of 100 points) or 5% of the total points will be deducted for each week, or part thereof, that the assignment is late. Discussion forum assignments must be done in the week they are due or points will be forfeited.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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