A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Category: Resources of OT Students


Writing an effective abstract is an exercise in concise thought articulation. It is sometimes difficult to streamline complex theories or condense research methods. This worksheet from San José State University provides the language to use when crafting an abstract, and they have a variety of templates based on genre for you to adapt. It is also useful to understand these terms as novice researchers because they will help you speed-read through hits on databases. Check it out!


A Quick Writing Guide for OT Students

By Kristen LeFebvre

As an occupational therapy student, you will have various writing assignments. Below are some general tips for writing in occupational therapy classes.

  • Try to use the language of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (OTPF-4) whenever possible in assignments.
  • The first time you are using an acronym, you need to write out the whole thing and put the acronym in parentheses. For example: American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Once you use the acronym, you can use it throughout your paper without writing it out.
  • In formal writing, including research, remove pronouns such as “I”, “me”, and “you”. If you are writing a reflection, you may use “I”, “me”, and “you”.
  • Use the word “client” when referring to the person you are working with instead of the word “patient”. The word “client” emphasizes collaboration with the person and takes a step away from the medical model.
  • When researching, try to find articles within the past 5 years (if possible). This gives you the most current evidence.
  • When writing a pediatrics case study, make sure you address parental concerns and goals.
  •  Most papers will be written in APA format. You can find information on APA format here: https://sites.scranton.edu/writingcenter/archives/tag/apa
  •  Do not be afraid to reach out to your professor for clarifications on the assignment. If you are confused, always ask

Some terminology you may come across:

  • Paradigm: A paradigm is made up of core constructs, focal viewpoints, and values. A paradigm provides an identity for a profession.
    •  Occupational therapy started with the paradigm of occupation then transitioned to the mechanistic paradigm. After that, it transitioned again to the current paradigm which is the contemporary paradigm.
    •  Theory: A way of thinking about a phenomenon, comprised of concepts and principles
    •  Conceptual Practice Model: helps to link theory to into real-world practice.
      • Ex. Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E), Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP)

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