How to make clear and compelling written arguments: advice for nurses
Intended for healthcare professionals

How to make clear and compelling written arguments: advice for nurses

Bob Price Independent health services training consultant, Mytchett, Surrey, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand of the importance of formulating arguments for academic coursework, revalidation and practice development proposals

  • To enhance your knowledge of the components of a clear argument

  • To recognise the difference between an argument and an opinion

Nurses are regularly required to make clear and coherent written arguments. Formulating arguments is an important element of academic coursework for nursing students, while nurses are required to demonstrate evidence of their learning, reflection and continuing professional development as part of their revalidation. Improving their practice knowledge and skills also requires nurses to reason and express themselves in writing. This article explains how context contributes to the formulation of arguments and how to differentiate between argument and opinion. It details how premises and supporting information are used to underpin an argument. The article uses a case study to demonstrate how a coherent written argument can contribute to practice improvement.

Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2019.e1571

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Price B (2019) How to make clear and compelling written arguments: advice for nurses. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2019.e1571

Published online: 26 November 2019

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now