Unit 3 | Module 1

Getting Started on Writing

Welcome to the beginning of unit 3. In this module you will explore academic writing.

Pain and Pleasure of Writing.

In this podcast, Drs. Teresa Chan and Lara Varpio take you through the pain points and pleasurable aspects of academic writing.

Writing Templates

When you are first getting started with writing, one of the hardest things you can do is stare at a blank page with a blinking cursor. Donated by Dr. Brent Thoma and Dr. Yusuf Yilmaz, these templates are ones that you can download and use to help you get started with writing.

Templates by Dr. Brent Thoma

  1. Cover Letter Template

  2. Article Template

  3. Response to Reviewers Template

Template by Dr. Yusuf Yilmaz

Article Template

Daily Writing Habit

Good habits are hard to form, but forming a daily writing habit can be very helpful! Check out this blog post with five tips on how to develop a writing habit in academia.

Writer's Block

Writer's block can be hard to combat.

The following is a blog post with five strategies that some junior academics have aggregated to help you combat the dreaded... writer's block.

Take a look at what members of the ALiEM Faculty Incubator had to say about how you might battle writer's block.

Authorship Ethics

Another hard part of working through the writing process is about bringing clarity to authorship obligations.

This module by the Centre for Faculty Development at the University of Toronto helps you to review key principles behind authorship ethics.

Thanks to Drs. Baker, Friesen, and Ng for their work on this module and sharing it with the world.

Baker L, Friesen F, Ng S. Authorship Ethics. An Online Supplement. [Internet]. 2018. Available from www.authorshipethics.com

Featured Education Scholars

Dr. Lara Varpio (@LaraVarpio) is Professor of Medicine, and Associate Director of Research for the Health Professions Education graduate degree program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). She also holds adjunct status at McMaster University. She is a co-host of the KeyLIME podcast.

Dr. Teresa Chan (@TChanMD) is an associate professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She is the assistant dean for McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Program for Faculty Development (@MacPFD). She is an avid scholar in health professions education and works with the MERIT group (@MERIT_McMaster), and conducts research and scholarship within this area.

Dr. Brent Thoma (@Brent_Thoma) is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. He is the Vice-Chair of the Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competence for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is an avid education scholar and researcher in health professions education.

Dr. Yusuf Yilmaz (@YusufYilmazPhD) is a postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University. He is situated within the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Program for Faculty Development (@MacPFD), MERIT (@MERIT_McMaster), and the McMaster Department of Medicine (@MacDeptMed). He is an avid scholar in health professions education, and conducts research and scholarship within education technology.

Suggested Readings:

All of these pieces can be found here in one single site: Writer’s Craft Writing Guides from PMED

Key Parts of a Paper

  1. Lingard L. Joining a conversation: the problem/gap/hook heuristic. Perspectives on Medical education. 2015 Oct 1;4(5):252-3.

  2. Lingard L. Writing an effective literature review. Perspectives on medical education. 2018 Apr 1;7(2):133-5.

  3. Lingard L. Does your discussion realize its potential?. Perspectives on medical education. 2017 Oct 1;6(5):344-6.

  4. Lingard L. The art of limitations. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2015 Jun;4(3):136-7.

  5. Lingard L. Bonfire red titles. Perspectives on medical education. 2016 Jun 1;5(3):179-81.

Editing & Reviewing

  1. Watling C, Lingard L. Giving feedback on others’ writing. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2019 Feb 1;8(1):25-7.

  2. Watling C. The three ‘S’s of editing: story, structure, and style. Perspectives on medical education. 2016 Oct 1;5(5):300-2.

  3. Lingard L. From semi-conscious to strategic paragraphing. Perspectives on medical education. 2019 Apr 1;8(2):98-100.

  4. Watling C. Tuning your writing. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2017 Jun 1;6(3):189-91.

Style Primers

  1. Lingard L. Pace, pause & silence: Creating emphasis & suspense in your writing. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2020 Feb;9(1):57-9.

  2. Varpio L. Using rhetorical appeals to credibility, logic, and emotions to increase your persuasiveness. Perspectives on medical education. 2018 Jun 1;7(3):207-10.

  3. Lingard L. The academic hedge Part I: Modal tuning in your research writing. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2020 Jan 17:1-4.

  4. Watling C. The power of parallel structure. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2015 Dec 1;4(6):329-30.

Grammar Guides

  1. Lingard L. Mastering the sentence. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2017 Feb 1;6(1):51-3.

  2. Lingard L. Enlisting the power of the verb. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2015 Apr 1;4(2):53-4.

  3. Lingard L. Get control of your commas. Perspectives on medical education. 2016 Feb 1;5(1):39-41.

  4. Lingard L. Avoiding prepositional pile-up. Perspectives on medical education. 2015 Aug 1;4(4):186-7.