Midwifery reading and writing

R21- 0820, NURS13150

Library for Educators
9 min readSep 26, 2022


  • develop an active approach to academic reading using a note-taking strategy.
  • make use of the notes you make to inform your critical thinking and writing.
  • practice incorporating the work of others effectively into your academic writing.

ASYNC — to be embedded in Bb for 24 Jan



Welcome to this resource that will assist you in developing effective reading strategies to take you through your course. The content here will guide you through an approach to reading academic texts and articles. The activities are an opportunity for you to practice effective academic reading and note making so that you feel more confident with the growing amount of increasingly complex reading you are required to do.

To get started thinking about reading, take a minute and reflect on your actions when you are reading for your course.


Anonymously share your experiences of reading so far since you started at university. There are no right or wrong answers.

* What do you do before you read?

* Describe what you do specifically when you are reading for your course?

* Do you use any specific tools or pieces of software when reading?

* What do you do after you have read something?

Go to the Jamboard and add your thoughts to the questions.


It can often take a little while to find strategies and approaches that help you get the most out of academic reading. Take some time to read what others’ have shared here to identify any strategies or techniques you think you will find useful. Experiment with different techniques to find out what does and does not work for you!

(Embed ACADEMIC READING: 1.1. to the end of the table Argue or Agree) Effective critical reading

Think of your notes as having a conversation with the author of the article. Your annotations and notes highlight and draw attention to the connections that you are having with what you read.

What can be challenging when we read is thinking about what to write in the margins or in our notebooks or what to highlight.

The signposts within the text mentioned above indicate when we need to pay attention. They are indicators of text that needs closer analysis and prompt opportunities for you to connect the text with your notes.

One of the ways that you can connect with the text is through questioning. If your notes feature questions, you can begin to deepen your understanding of what the text is saying explicitly or what you need to infer from what you already know about the subject.

Your questions may look like, but are not limited to, the below:

  • questions that directly link to the information in the text
  • questions about new pieces of evidence/information
  • questions to clarify things you did not fully understand
  • questions that aim to reveal the author’s main idea
  • teasing questions that anticipate what may be discussed later in the text

In this table you can see how the questions can support your understanding of the texts that you read

(Embed table from here in Bb https://livemanchesterac-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/sam_aston_manchester_ac_uk/Ed8DUMAr3OxEqIELCB_u0yUBNlbc8CWLFAufAPOl6_QT3w?e=3aa2gn)

In the following activity we want you to practice how you connect with an article using a questioning approach. This is a chance for you to practice annotating an article and to see how others approach this.

Activity — reading task

Read the article Breast is best, but not in my back yard by Amy Brown https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471491414002019?casa_token=MNPwxOqBEMoAAAAA:pdBGefDehp16Ck4ngvbts1PnHQNP9XHA8WdaO8eBeAfQHBg4gZ3p7B2tbkY-0hf89Cqj12eu (you may need to log in)

As you read, note down questions that you have for the text that enable you to connect with the subject.

Add all of the questions you noted to the post-it notes on the Jamboard.


Use one post-it note per question and feel free to duplicate what others have already added.

Reflect on the questions that have been contributed. Identify a couple of questions that will enable you to gain further knowledge, and make a note of a couple of questions that you had not thought of.

Consider why these questions are important and how they could help you better understand the ideas and arguments in the article. We will discuss this briefly when we meet on Tuesday 1st March.

(Embed instructions on using Cornell notes) Structuring your notes

As you have done in the activity above, when reading academic texts, it is important to ‘make notes’, rather than ‘take notes’. This means making sure you are recording your own thoughts and ideas, not just recording important information from the texts themselves. Capturing your thoughts on what you read is incredibly important so that you can return to your notes when you are writing at some point in the future. Using a structured method of note making can be really helpful as you begin to read more texts for your course so keeping them organised is crucial.

(Embed Note-making 1.1)

(Embed the read for what you need infographic) Read for what you need

One of the biggest challenges students often face is dealing with the amount of reading you have access to. However, it is important to recognise that don’t always necessarily need to read a journal article from beginning to end; you may only need to read particular sections to find out what you need; whether this more about a methodology, or the author’s discussion of their findings, for example.

The following infographic guides you through the structure of a journal article so that you can see how research journal articles are generally structured.

(Embed ACADEMIC READING: 1.4.) Student advice on approaching reading

In summary

In this resource you have practised annotating and summarising while reading. Taking an active approach like this will mean that you engage with the texts that your course requires even when the reading more complex.

In this live session on Tuesday 1st March, we recap and build on the strategies and information introduced here. In preparation, take some time to think about how you would teach and/or describe what you have learned here to your peers.

(Embed standard evaluation and further support)

Part 2 to embed here for 21 February :


Effectively incorporating references into your academic writing


Nice to see you again!

Having previously covered reading in this section we will turn our focus to writing — we will look specifically at how we incorporate references to what we have read in our own work.

In this resource you will find out how you can refer to other peoples’ work so that you can draw attention to what you have to say and you will practice doing that. We will also signpost you to further guidance on referencing more generally.

(Embed ACADEMIC WRITING: 1.1. Podcast) Introduction to Academic Writing

(Embed REFERENCING: 1.0) What is referencing

Activity — Why do we reference?

Work through the Mentimeter quiz to share your ideas and recap your knowledge about referencing.

(Menti Code: <div style=’position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 35px; height: 0; overflow: hidden;’><iframe sandbox=’allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-presentation’ allowfullscreen=’true’ allowtransparency=’true’ frameborder=’0' height=’315' src=’https://www.mentimeter.com/embed/eed8f84425245c8d7f2179e2b1951591/37d6254d2c43' style=’position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;’ width=’420'></iframe></div>

(Embed ACADEMIC WRITING: 2.2.) (Video) Integrating the work of others into your writing

Activity: analysing a text

It can be helpful to analyse how academic authors refer to the work of others to see how to improve our own writing. Let’s give this a go now.

Let’s look at the Amy Brown article Breast is best, but not in my back yard https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471491414002019?casa_token=MNPwxOqBEMoAAAAA:pdBGefDehp16Ck4ngvbts1PnHQNP9XHA8WdaO8eBeAfQHBg4gZ3p7B2tbkY-0hf89Cqj12eu (you may need to log in)

Read the text again and identify one example of either a quote, paraphrase and summary.

Next, consider where the author has integrated their own voice, can you find some analysis of the references/data the author has presented?

Finally, can you identify where the author has used their analysis of references/data to answer their research question, or provide an argument for or against something?

Describe how you would apply what you have learnt from that activity to your own writing in a few short sentences using the Mentimeter. You will use this when we meet in March.

(Menti Code: <div style=’position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 35px; height: 0; overflow: hidden;’><iframe sandbox=’allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-presentation’ allowfullscreen=’true’ allowtransparency=’true’ frameborder=’0' height=’315' src=’https://www.mentimeter.com/embed/9458414efcd107917c8ee06d028c4f80/e1fde32a4ea7' style=’position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;’ width=’420'></iframe></div>

(Embed REFERENCING: 3.0) Referencing Subject Guide (we could add in individual task we used for humanitarians here too)

(Embed REFERENCING: 7.0) Avoid Plagiarism

(Embed REFERENCING: 3.1) Start to Finish: Referencing

(Embed ACADEMIC WRITING: 1.4) Further Support

(Embed ACADEMIC WRITING: 1.5) Get 1:1 guidance from a Royal Literary Fellow

(Embed General Support & Evaluation)

Live Synchronous Session

Supporting Materials


During this session students will have the opportunity to consolidate and discuss the strategies and knowledge presented in the asynchronous content, as well as build upon those strategies through the introduction and application of a new critical reading and critical writing technique.


Outline that this session will reflect and build on the resources and activities in the blackboard space. We will cover:

  • Consolidation of questioning when reading
  • Consolidation of referencing
  • Application of critical reading into critical writing strategy


(7 minutes)

Facilitators to reflect on student responses to the asynchronous activities. Thank students for taking the time to work through these — remind students have didn’t get the chance/time to work through, that it will still be useful to go back to that content and work through it in their own time after the session.

Draw attention to the Jamboard content shared by the students about reading and ask them what they will incorporate into their reading practice that they have learnt from the responses.

  • Recognised that when using evidence/sources over 5 years old, it is also important to consider if things have changed since that time. Highlight that thinking about this (and answering it!) gives students a great opportunity to show off their critical thinking.
  • Highlight that is was good to see students approach to critical note-making. That as well as recorded key dates, facts and terminology they correctly recognised the need to analyse and ask questions of the information they were reading. (link this to the questions they have about Brown article in jamboard)
    Highlight that we can see this is something they have already done in the questions they shared after reading the Amy Brown article. Very good nuanced questions such as who is Amy Brown (what are her potential biases/qualifications etc.), What did Norway do to increase breastfeeding rates? and what other methods can be used to bond with babies. Asking and then doing further research to answer these questions allows you to show your critical thinking and bring your own insight and perspective into the things you are reading and writing.
  • From the answers given confident that students know why we reference — to show where you found your evidence, give credit to researchers and avoid plagiarism. Mention to students that references also present opportunities to add in your own thoughts and ideas — this is something we will look at today.

Referencing questions to answer:
- “A key way to remember the Manchester Harvard format”
Highlight that it is not necessarily about trying to remember all the different ways references should be formatted — more about having reliable tools to check and refer to as and when you need to. A good tool for this is the Library’s Referencing Guide (share link in chat). Facilitator to quickly demonstrate how the Guide can be used to identify correct format when needed.

  • “Are there any reliable referencing generators?”
  • “Can you references two sources be side each other. For example (Holloway, 2012) (Gallagher, 2017) when writing about both research in the paragraph?”
    Yes! Highlight to students that this is a really good question and a really useful method to show how much further reading and research you have done. Demonstrate how this would be done — both references inside the same paragraph).

Application of reading into writing strategy

(30 minutes)

Students to work through this strategy in the Google Notebook (share link in the chat)


Students to read extract of article in the Google Notebook. Ask students to identify a piece of evidence they find interesting in relation to what they read in the Breast is Best (Amy Brown) article — this could be something that contradicts Brown’s ideas, supports Brown’s ideas or introduces a new idea.

Inform students that they will be asked to write about the evidence/information they choose in the next activity.

It Says, I Say

Briefly introduce paragraph structure (topic-evidence-analysis-conclusion) as a useful way to get the right balance between descriptive and critical writing. Signpost where students can find out more about this. For this activity we will focus on the relationship between the evidence and analysis sentences.

Introduce the It Says, I Say, And So strategy as a useful technique to help construct these two sentences and make sure they are connected.

It Says, I Say

Remind students that this is the section of the strategy where students start to build up their own critical analysis and response to the evidence they identified in the reading section. (Refer back to It Says, I Say, And So slide as necessary)

Ask students to write about their chosen piece of evidence in the Google Notebook using this strategy (put link in the chat). Remind them they for the It Says they should try to paraphrase rather than quote to keep their own voice as central as possible.

And So

Remind students that the And So part of the strategy is about connecting the evidence to their overall argument/assessment question. For this activity, students should write their And So in relation the Amy Brown’s argument in Breast is Best.


(7 minutes)

Opportunity for students to add reflections on what they have learnt across async/sync content in the Google Notebook.



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