Foundations of Professional Writing in Public Health

Concepts in Professional Writing

Scientific Essay, 2013

30 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Chapter One
2.1 The Rationale of Communication in Public Health
2.2 Why Written Communication?
2.3 What is writing?

3.0 Chapter Two
3.1 The History of Writing
3.2 The Birth of Writing in Egypt
3.3 The origin of the alphabets in Phoenicia and Greece
3.4 The Elements of Writing
3.5 Types of Writing

4.0 Chapter Three
4.1 Intellectual Considerations
4.2 The APA recommended writing style
4.2.1 General formats of papers in the APA style
4.2.2 General contents of the literature review paper and the experimental report
4.2.3 Dealing with Quotations, paraphrasing, summarizing and Citations
4.2.4 The APA Referencing Styles
4.2.4 Examples of the APA Referencing Styles




Course Description

This course provides the learner with an opportunity to know and learn about all aspects of writing techniques for use in graduate school as well as in the workplace. The course includes common grammar and spelling errors, writing styles, the ethics of authorship, reference and citation systems, and guidance for scientific communication.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course in scientific professional writing, it’s my intention to have obtained the following competences;

1. Locate and evaluate the information from a variety of peer-reviewed publications.
2. Write abstracts and short public health briefs.
3. Learn a variety of ways to present public health issues.
4. Explore public health issues that may or may not be of interest to your field of study, i.e. financial, ethical, social, behavioral, medical and environmental topics.
5. Understand how to work in small discussion groups to maximize product development while minimizing time.

1.0 Introduction

Communication is a process of interacting involving the sharing and transfer of information amongst individuals that could be in proximity or at distant locations. The fact acknowledging the interactive nature of human beings also further affirms that the aspect of communication is inbuilt and not an acquired one at any time in life. However, being inborn does not mean that it remains fixed at a certain point but rather due to various dynamics in life communication undergoes development from one stage and it is this loyal concept that has allowed communication to modify into the sophiscated models observed in today’s civilization.

History has it that the ancient medieval world though currently considered to be old fashioned and somewhat primitive lifestyle yet evidence from fossils, astrology, has provided millions of ancient origin manuscripts containing written records in form of symbols, insignias, signs, and drawn compositions relating to communication amongst different parties. In this consideration the modern person of today’s world of civilization will boastfully disregard the ancient work and their contribution towards our current literature only if he fails to realize that writing has only developed into the current standards but was initially started by the human predecessors of the ancient generations.

To eliminate this form of useless anonymity from our beliefs we should consider for instance the ancient civilization of Egypt where currently the astrologic discoveries have consequently discovered the writings on the walls and the Chinese calligraphy where both of these are core cornerstones in the development of art and active communication through written form and material. (American Medical Association Manual of Style, 1998)

Writing is basically a skill involving the scribing marks, symbols, drawings and diagrams on any material where it can be realized, interpreted and used for some future reference by different parties. Writing can be used for various purposes of expression, interaction, and communication while using the suitable parameters (symbols, marks, signs, diagrams, drawings) that hold basic meaning of that very time and can be used to transfer knowledge and information to the next generation.

The study of the basic concepts in writing involves or constitutes understanding the underlying key guidelines mapping the idea of writing in the professional practice that can eminently be used to result into effective and remarkable significance in the public health paradigm. In addition, this course further explores the issue of knowledge transfer, rationale of the writing and knowledge transfer process or paradigm, concepts of the modern APA style of scientific writing, administrative presentation of written information, the aspects of authenticity, privacy and intellectual property as recommended by the international standards.

Henceforth, the cardinal importance of this study scope is to ensure discretion and promote intellectual development or confidence for the source party in relation to the international recommended standards of professional and scientific writing norms.

2.0 Chapter One

Key Aspects of Communication in the Public Health Paradigm

2.1 The Rationale of Communication in Public Health

The public health sector faces a great challenge which could possibly be more precarious than the haunted epidemics and this is the poor developments in communication patterns and norms around the globe. The western world has the resources onto which it can stand to boast over their counterparts in the poor states where literature and civilization are still in their primary stages and raw status. At this point, it should be noted that communication undergoes development and the lesser the stage the more inefficient it is in solving public affairs.

Communication is a cardinal aspect in the inter-relationships amongst individuals as it serves a great role in improving transparency which is a precursor for stewardship and trust. Though differences might arise in the due process of interacting parties yet these will result into negligible effects towards the relationship of the two communicating parties. For in case of improper bilateral relations between parties, the cause of their difference can be attributed to miscommunications and misconceptions that could be possibly existing at both sides. However, if the trusting party consider its counterpart to be ‘playing by the rules’ then there will be a high tendency of openness or professional transparency as the trustee considers his information safe and well protected by the preserved guidelines. Further still, it can still be postulated that in case of contention propaganda can be adopted in its compatible format of either white, grey or black propaganda if in case it is the only tool to cause stability equilibrium.

Effective and guided communication ensures the security of accountability or responsiveness of the trusted party towards the public. Most especially if the written format of communication is taken under serious considerations it is actualized that it contains a great deal of consistence and seigniorial renderings to individuals of reference in an organisation and these will take great care in order to eliminate any possibility of faulting so that their accountability and position is not compromised (Colomb, & Williams, 1985).

The prescriptions offered by the pharmacist to the patient for example if the patient responds negatively to an extent of fatal results then it will be the written prescriptions that will redeem the medic or indict his person as a ‘quack’. The forensics certainly analyse the cause of death and the postmortem results will finalize with ingestion of the chemical compound that certainly could be the cause of death. However, at all these levels nowhere does the medic make part of the equation not until the last given prescriptions indicate wrong directives and hence at this point the medic is made accountable for the inaccuracy (American Medical Association Manual of Style, 1998).

Further still, it is the role of communication to promote easiness and simplicity in causing public awareness of the health threatening developments and breakouts. In so many cases the epidemiology reports have been published at particular significant time intervals through which the public health sector demonstrates the prevalence of health and advocates for strategic changes in communities aimed at promoting preventive health care.

Another important reason to support the significant role played by communication in promoting health is the channeling of policy development through the different stakeholders for consultation, supplementation and implementation. Policy development is a very important item in the public health sector as it contains the elements that are to construct an effective task force ad formulate an achievable strategy though all these stages require equivocal avenues and involvement of the community and the technocrats from the different health sectors who also constitutes the common stakeholders. The eminent role that communication will predominantly play in this process is to stage up all the ambitious groups into this stake and help in the alignment of the proposed strategies until all the parties reach a fundamental agreement.

2.2 Why Written Communication?

A lot of written material has been saturated all the market halls and media centers arranged in form of organizational bulletins, newspapers, magazines, book publications and other format of written editorial material displaying and containing information on awareness in health education and health or even on matters of social concern while others are for knowledge acquisition and transfer. The reason for querying the position of writing in the public health paradigm mainly rotates its resulting roles and key advantages as compared to other forms communication exchange such as the sign and oral modes of communication (Colomb, & Williams, 1985) .

The reason of this argument in this case needs not to be mistaken as only aimed at pointing out how excellent and resourceful can written formats of communication are in public health but more surprisingly it functions to examine or assess it value and fundamental importance. This therefore means that the notion of comparison has to be borrowed and used to outline the differences, weaknesses, and avenues of strength together with the other forms of communication. For better comprehension of the comparative trends between written, oral and sign communication, a differential table can be asserted and parameters of consideration are selected at a random process from those considered to be of great significance in the communication process.

The basic modes of communication to be compared are written, oral or spoken and sign. The basic parameters of comparison within these modes can base on some of those factors discussed earlier as causers for the need to use written communication other than the other forms. Some of these factors include;

1. Target accuracy
2. Compatibility
3. Cost effectiveness
4. Circulation speed and patterns
5. Coverage extent
6. Durability
7. Convenience

Table 1: Showing Comparisons between Written Information and Oral with Sign Formats Of Communication

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The table characteristics are derived not on general settings of the public after all these modes can be carried out using electronic or digital media i.e. radio or audio messages, writing material and visual display systems and through television or video transmissions. However, we are trying to compare while looking at these factors under a common organizational setting within the demarcated enclosures or boundaries since it will present a challenge in determining the far-reaching effects of each mode at an open public setting.

All these parameters under consideration are very wide and their exposition requires visiting different avenues of the current human society for instance, technology developments if considered they can place all these modes of communication on the level of speed, coverage, saturation and convenience and yet at the same time all of them are victims of piracy or ethical violations. (Colomb, & Williams, 1985)

- Development of the communication work plan

Written communication in the public health setting plays a role of designing a communication framework that can be used to raise awareness, transfer and present knowledge to the designated public where critical insurgences arises. The public health professional encounters challenges of pandemic outbreaks, non-communicable disease prevalence and detrimental health disparities which conceptually alter the stability of the normal work plan. However, with a precise written communication framework in place preventive measures can easily be advocated towards the public which through the campaign easily and quickly adapts descriptive message and implement it instantly. In other words, written communication which also has a feature of consistence will tentatively allow a uniform grasping of the information by the different parties as long as the written remarks are easily perceptible and interpretable by the majority.

- Structuring the general organizational work schedules

In the intellectual setting, the work schedules and activity or work plans are best displayed to the public and the staff in written format which conceptually holds a visual aspect and sight attention. Individuals in proximity due to less strain required to view the displayed information in the close range further enlarge the importance of written information transfer. For what is private will possibly not be pined for public notice or rather given the information which might raise public discomfort, the predicaments resulting from the circulation of such can only be averted while using the writing norms which accurately upholds the aspect of secrecy as paramount (Gopen, 1990).

2.3 What is writing?

Typically, all forms of writing have a fundamental feature of being visual marks or representations on a surface material e.g. tablet of wood paper. However, this sort of description can be considered to be selective as it excludes the braille modes of writing used for the blind which are tactile in nature other forms of visual representations hence more citation can considerably be asserted that later includes these forms of writing have nothing to do with mere visual marks. The fundamental node that protrudes the essence of writing is that writing consists of a conventional principle in which it carries meaning to a particular extent and this meaning can easily be interpreted by a certain group of individuals. Further still, it should also be noted that visual representations and marks like those produced by the unlearned infant playing with crayons while producing zigzag and revolving threads of lines on a white paper.


Excerpt out of 30 pages


Foundations of Professional Writing in Public Health
Concepts in Professional Writing
( Atlantic International University )  (Social Studies and Humanities)
Foundations of Writing in Public Health
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ISBN (Book)
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foundations, professional, writing, public, health, concepts
Quote paper
Mukasa Aziz Hawards (Author), 2013, Foundations of Professional Writing in Public Health, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • guest on 7/15/2014

    Hi Mukasa..! Congratulation for exposing this important knowledge to all knew academia. I remember when I started my degree program of Health Care administration (BS) at Atlantic International University 2011 it was not so simple to have that skill you have identified, especially while I was preparing curriculum proposal. I would very much be happier if we could make close communications as we are all AIU family.
    Dr Masenya, A.O Senior Optometrist, Health Promoter, HCAdmin -Tanzania

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