trends – find recurring central themes H e a l t h M e d i c a l

trends – find recurring central themes H e a l t h M e d i c a l


What is literature review?

A literature review is both a noun and a verb. As a verb, the literature review is the process of reading, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing scholarly materials about a particular topic. As a noun, the literature review is a brief report of the above process that is used to

– Critically summarizes and evaluates the existing published work in a selected research area

– Aims to review the existing literature, identify the research gap, place the study in relation to other studies to evaluate promising research methods and suggest further research

– Allows for a research question to be formed after writing identifying the research gap

Writing a literature review involves finding relevant, critically analyzing them, and explaining what you found. There are five key steps:

  1. Search for relevant literature (Annotated Bibliography) – THREE or more references
  2. Evaluate sources (Annotated Bibliography)
  3. Identify themes, conflicts, and gaps
    • Trends and patterns (in theory, method or results): do certain approaches become more or less popular over time?
    • Themes: what questions or concepts recur across the literature?
    • Debates, conflicts and contradictions: where do sources disagree?
    • Pivotal publications: are there any influential theories or studies that

changed the direction of the field?

    • Gaps: what is missing from the literature? Are there weaknesses that need

    to be addressed?

    1. Outline the structure (your choice)
      • Chronological – simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic

    over time. Analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Interpret how and why certain developments occurred.

      • Thematic/Trends – find recurring central themes, that help you organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic.
      • Methodological – compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches. For example:
      • Theoretical – discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts.
    1. Write your literature review
    2. Grading Considerations

      – 3-4 pages, double spaced. 1⁄2 inch margins

      – Needs to address:

      1. Define the problem being addressed and its importance,
      2. Provide a brief overview of the science as described in the published literature,
      3. Discuss the gaps in knowledge or other barriers to advancing the science in this area,
      4. Introduce key points and elucidate complex concepts (that you plan to expand upon in your specific aims or another section of your proposal).

      THREE references presented in

      APA 6th edition citations