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Physician Assistant / Physician Associate: Writing Guidelines

PA Writing Guidelines

WSU PA requires writing consistent with the following guidelines:

> Use active voice whenever possible. Use past tense when describing and discussing the experimental work on which the article is based. Reserve present tense for reference to existing knowledge or prevailing concepts and for stating conclusions from the experimental work. Clearly differentiate previous knowledge and new contributions. 
> Use “sex” when referring to biological factors and “gender” when referring to gender identity, or psychosocial or cultural factors. The terms “males” and “females” are preferable to “men” and “women”.
> We strongly recommend the use of “people-first language”.  This includes describing individuals as people with a medical condition rather than as diseases or disabilities.  Terms such as “adults with obesity” and “children with diabetes” are preferred over “obese adults” and “diabetic children”. For more information consult “Use of people-first language with regard to obesity” Am J Clin Nutr 2018;108:201 or “The Effect of Words on Health and Diabetes” Diabetes Spectrum 2017;30:11-16.
> Race and ethnicity are important concepts in the nutrition literature, but race is essentially a social and not biologic concept, and race and ethnicity should not be conflated.  Attempts to describe the racial background of the population studied, or conclusions drawn, should be made accordingly, and should include other social factors that might explain a paper’s findings. “Ethnicity” should describe traditions, lifestyle, language, diet, and values, and “ancestry” should describe ancestry informative markers (AIM) based on genetic or genomic data. When race, ethnicity and/or ancestry are described, authors should specify what methods were used for these classifications. For a more detailed description of this topic please see Race, ethnicity, and racism in the nutrition literature: an update for 2020.

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