Critical analysis of the published literature

This will be folder of evidence of 2,500 words and should include:
1. An in-depth critical analysis of the published literature underpinning the midwifery skill chosen;

2. The critique of research studies thus utilising technical, analytic and evaluative skills.

3. An analysis demonstrating the application of the findings from your in-depth critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation to midwifery practice;

You will be given a choice of three midwifery journal titles. You will be required to decide which one would be best suited for publishing an article following your examination of the midwifery skill. You will then be guided as to how you can obtain the author’s instructions for the journal of your choice and how to write your analysis and synthesis in the form of a journal article.

Students who submit assessments of suitable quality will be supported and advised by their supervisor, or another lecturer, in how to work them up into an article for submission to a midwifery journal.

The purpose of this assessment is to enable you to experience, at an early stage of your midwifery course, the sense of personal achievement from getting work published along with the knowledge that others will benefit from your efforts. It is important that midwives can help create new ideas, advance theory, challenge widely held views, and influence others and that you learn to support your profession by adding to its body of knowledge.

To select an appropriate skill you should consider what is likely to be considered timely. Articles that are unique, forward thinking or that reflect current interests are often the most effective, but sometimes the profession can benefit from revisiting a topic that has sunk to a lower profile and that needs reconsideration. Study the journals. All provide clues to the type of content areas or topics being accepted. Study the techniques of writing and the writing style expected for your chosen journal. Note, too, that wordiness is not appreciated. It is important to be succinct; to convey maximum meaning with minimum words but to also write clearly so that readers of every level can benefit from your message.

Apart from referencing style and author details (see below) the final journal article should be presented in the format required by your chosen journal. The selected journal should be clearly stated on the title page of your article and you should adhere to the journal’s required word count.

Pages should be numbered concurrently throughout and referenced. A reference list should be included.

Regardless of the preferred referencing style of the journal your referencing should be consistent with the Harvard referencing system as outlined in UWL guidelines.

Essays are marked anonymously. Therefore please ignore the journal instructions for how to identify yourself and ensure that your student number and page number is on the title page and the footer on each page.

Please provide a summary. This should be in the form of a structured abstract, outlining your rationale for performing the literature review, what you did (your search methods), what you found, the ramifications for practice and your practice recommendations. The summary should be no more than 350 words long, on one side of A4, 1½ line spacing and in Arial font, size 12

Your poster pages can be included as an appendix to your essay. Bear in mind that visual impact is important, so each element should contain a limited number of words and fonts should be Sans Serif and large (20 point or more) to make the work easily readable from a distance. Use clipart and colour to make the work attractive but bear in mind the importance of confidentiality. Do not use photographs of women or colleagues and be careful not to identify your own Trust or anyone who works there.

Towards the end of the module, and after submission of the summative element, the posters will be displayed at an event to which practice partners, other midwifery students and the rest of the university will be invited. You will attend by your poster and have copies of your summaries to distribute to interested parties.

Presentation

Please provide a title page. This needs to include: title of chosen area of study, the module title, module code, your student number but not your name and the word count. If your assignment is 10% or more than the word limit, the mark will be reduced by 10%.

Essay format: 1½ line spacing, Arial font, size 12 and pages should be numbered. Within your document please ensure your student number, module abbreviation and intake (i.e. 2021234 DMP Oct 13) are included in the footer on each of your pages.

The content needs to be referenced throughout and an accurate reference list should be included at the end of your essay.

Care needs to be taken to ensure English spelling rather than American English spelling of words is used. All abbreviations need to be written in full when first mentioned, with the abbreviation in brackets next to the full terminology. The abbreviation can then be used within the remainder of the essay. For example: spontaneous rupture of membranes (SROM).

Students are advised to proof read the essay, or have a person who understands formal English to proof read the essay for them prior to submission. Sentences need to be grammatically correct and construction needs careful attention. Make sure that every sentence is making one point that has not been said before. Every sentence should have a subject, a verb and an object. Words (apart from those in common usage, for example, conjunctions/connectives) should not be repeated within the one sentence and preferably not in the subsequent or the preceding sentence. Use a thesaurus to find an alternative word. Remember that short, concise sentences are almost always better than long, complicated ones. Try to avoid non-specific words if possible; for example “nice”, “good”, “very”, “vast”. Please avoid the use of “etc”.

Each paragraph should have only one theme. Each paragraph should contain more than one sentence, but not be too long. About two or three paragraphs to a page is preferable. Having a paragraph extending over more than one page is too long. Leave one line space (and one only) between paragraphs.

Do not use quotations excessively. Consider rewriting in your own words. Quotations should always be referenced with page numbers and discussed. Do not use them to write your work for you. If a quotation is a phrase and can be placed within a sentence of the text it should go within the text in inverted commas. Quotations of a sentence or more should be outside the text, one space below the preceding text and one space above the following text. In this case the quotation should be single spaced and indented from each margin by approximately 3.5cms.

Remember that confidentiality is essential. This means avoiding using the names of real people, maternity units, Trusts, teams within the unit or services that support the unit in any way.

Further guidance for essay writing can be found in the Student Handbook.

Individual Support Plan

If you have an Individual Support Plan (ISP) issued by the UWL Disability Support team, please ensure that you scan and include this as the first page of your assignment (i.e. before the title page). This is to ensure that you are not at a disadvantage due to your disability during the marking process.

For your formative presentation, please discuss this with your module leader well in advance of your assessment so that extra time can be organised where appropriate.

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