- You only have to read the two papers. You do not need to cite any additional literature or read any additional literature to answer any of the 5 questions. Check the questions, make sure you understand what they are asking, read through each paper and highlight with a marker pen what from each paper could help answer any of the questions. You then just need to answer the questions by re-writing (paraphrasing) what the papers said within the word limit for each question.
- The only place where you might want to cite an additional source is when you are asked to define “odds ratio” – the papers use statistical terms, they do not define statistical terms. Having said that, in the same way that you do not cite a source when using mean and standard deviation (and you never define these on a paper), I do not require a paper to be cited for defining “odds ratio”. Your choice. Remember that the question is not just about defining OR but it is also about providing an example taken from the table (and using the numerical information) to explain the concept.
- Q3 asks about mechanisms (“What are the possible mechanisms by which breastfeeding exerts a protective effect…………” and Q5 asks about explanations (“What possible explanation(s) did the authors offer for their findings?”. You can of course argue that mechanisms are explanations and thus whether you could end up writing the same thing for both questions.
However, and just to clarify this query, consider that Q3 is simply asking about how breastfeeding might protect against infectious diseases in infancy – this will be very factual, breast milk has…. and….. and…… which have been shown to…..
Consider that Q5 goes beyond simply stating the mechanism (which is not to say you might not want to highlight a mechanism at some point). Q5 “asks questions” such as, e.g., “Is breastfeeding protective before and after 6 months? What about drop in protection against infectious diseases after 6 months? Any explanation for that? Any suggestion on why LRTI maintain the drop in OR past 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding but other conditions (URTI and GI) not? What about the impact of mixed breastfeeding? And what about the lack of significant results for exclusive breastfeeding for LRTI past 6 months (but significant at 4 months)? (NOTE: this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what you can address in Q5 but remember you only have 300 words there).
- Q3 also asks about “…..and what are the public health implications of this effect?”. Try to find some numerical data on the papers in regards to why it matters that we could reduce infectious diseases in infancy if only we were able to increase exclusive breastfeeding….
- You need to cite your papers as part of your answers and have a single reference list at the end of the data analysis question (no papers and no reference list means 10 marks will be deducted – as indicated on assignment brief).
- Use the numerical data from the papers whenever appropriate (e.g., saying breastfeeding reduces infectious diseases is rather vague….how much?