Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tips for new student midwives: academic studies
Here in the southern hemisphere, we are just starting our new academic year. And following my recent post on student midwives and their blogs, I have been thinking about what tips I would pass on to new student midwives. The tips I came up with seem to fall into three categories which I will turn into separate posts over the next few days: academic, clinical and life management.
So as far as the academic aspect of midwifery education goes, here are my tips:
1. Read, read, read! Reading will broaden your knowledge and gives depth to your academic writing. Even when you are pressed for time and reading seems to be a luxury that you cannot afford, it pays off in the end. Get into the habit of spending a couple of hours every month looking through the latest journals and books in the library, as well as online resources.
2. Have a critical friend who looks at your work from both a midwifery perspective and also as an editor. Submitting work that has spelling, grammar and punctuation errors influences the marker in a negative way - even if the content is great, presentation errors will lose you marks.
3. Don't procrastinate! Manage your time so that you are not working on assignments right at the last minute - in this case, it's a matter doing what I say, not what I do! Every time you get an extension, you put pressure on future work. If you leave things to the last minute, you will not present quality work and will not be able to cope with last minute hold ups like illness, computer break down or a call out to a pregnant woman.
4. Make sure you stick to your institution's reference guidelines - I know it seems ridiculous that lecturers get hung up on where you put one little full stop, but it is a means to preventing plagiarism. I have found that using a reference manager like Endnote is great for organizing and recording my references.
5. Do not ever be be tempted into plagiarism because it is viewed as a heinous crime by academic institutions. This includes repeating/copying your own work from assignment to assignment.
What other tips would you pass on to midwifery students to help them with their studying?
Image: 'Recent Ancient Learning'