Healthcare practitioners who want to write for publication for the first time can waste time and energy by relying on writing behaviour learned in educational settings, characterised in this article as the gatherer style of writing. The gatherer style is suitable for authors who are preparing literature reviews and similar types of publication.
A hunter style of writing is more appropriate when an author wants to describe work carried out, whether research, a quality improvement study, a clinical audit, a service evaluation or another project. In the hunter style, an author works through a systematic thought process and makes key decisions about the work the author wants to describe, before starting to write. The thought process includes defining what journal readers want to read about, answering key questions about the subject being written about and organising the ideas into a logical structure. Practical points about writing clearly also are provided.