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Health (Nursing, Medicine, Allied Health): Literature Reviews
Resources for finding and conducting systematic reviews
- What is a “systematic review” and a “meta-analysis”?
- Finding systematic reviews
- Conducting and reporting systematic reviews
- Useful resources for systematic reviews
- Other types of reviews
- Saving Search Histories
"A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select, and synthesize all high-quality research evidence relevant to that question.
An understanding of systematic reviews and how to implement them in practice is becoming mandatory for all professionals involved in the delivery of health care. However, systematic reviews are not limited to medicine and health fields and are quite common in other sciences where data are collected, published in the literature, and an assessment of methodological quality for a precisely defined subject would be helpful. Other fields where systematic reviews are used include psychology, nursing, public health, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, educational research, sociology, and business and management.
In a literature review, we assess the relevance of the published research to the research question. A systematic review takes that a stage further. It employs defined criteria to assess the actual quality of the research itself. The review then goes on to synthesize the findings of the research in order to generate an account of the present state of knowledge about the question. That account is based on the knowledge gained from the research which is considered to be of adequate quality. A systematic review aims to provide an exhaustive summary of current literature relevant to a research question….
Systematic reviews often, but not always, use statistical techniques called meta-analysis to combine results of the eligible studies, or at least use scoring of the levels of evidence depending on the methodology used. A systematic review uses an objective and transparent approach for research synthesis, with the aim of minimizing bias. While many systematic reviews are based on an explicit quantitative meta-analysis of available data, there are also qualitative reviews which adhere to the standards for gathering, analyzing and reporting evidence."
Byrne, D. (2016). What is a systematic review? Project Planner. 10.4135/9781526408563. Retrieved from Sage Research Methods Online .
For a concise summary of the characteristics that distinguish a systematic review from a "standard" literature review, see:
Rethlefsen, M. L. (2013, May 1). I want to do a systematic review [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://liblog.mayo.edu/2013/05/01/i-want-to-do-a-systematic-review/
- Cochrane Library (includes: CDSR, DARE, CCTR, HTA, NHSEED, CRG’s)The Cochrane Library provides access to systematic reviews in addition to other sources of reliable information, from other systematic review abstracts, technology assessments, economic evaluations and individual clinical trials. Includes Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(CDSR), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR), NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHSEED), and Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA).
- Campbell Collaboration Library of Systematic ReviewsThe Campbell Collaboration promotes positive social and economic change through the production and use of systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy and practice. It provides an online, peer-reviewed monograph series of systematic reviews, which follow structured guidelines and standards for summarizing the international research evidence on the effects of interventions in crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare.
- Joanna Briggs Institute EBP DatabaseJBI EBP database gives comprehensive coverage of a wide range of medical, nursing, and health science specialties and includes a unique suite of information that’s been analyzed, appraised, and prepared by expert reviewers at JBI so you can integrate the world’s best evidence into your practice:
- PROSPEROPROSPERO is an international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews in health and social care, welfare, public health, education, crime, justice, and international development, where there is a health related outcome. It aims to provide a comprehensive listing of systematic reviews, registered at inception, to help avoid duplication and reduce opportunity for reporting bias by enabling comparison completed review with what was planned in the protocol.
Additionally, it is possible to limit a set of results to just systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses in the subject-specific bibliographic databases listed below. Often this limit is found as an option in the facet for "methodology" or "article/publication type."
- PsycNET (with PsycINFO)APA PsycNET is an integrated collection of databases from the American Psychological Association (APA), including the following: PsycINFO, PsycBOOKS, PsycTESTS, PsycTHERAPY, PsycARTICLES, PsycCRITIQUES, and PsycEXTRA.
PsycINFO, the most popular database in PsycNET, is a bibliographic index covering core literature in the psychological and behavioral sciences and their related disciplines. PsycBOOKS includes online versions of the APA Handbooks in Psychology Series, as well as other ebooks and online encyclopedias published by APA. PsycTESTS is a source of structured information about psychological tests and measures as well as a repository for the full text of select instruments. PsycTHERAPY provides access to streaming psychotherapy demonstration videos.
Altogether, PsycNET provides information about and access to journal articles, books & ebooks, dissertations, conference presentations, tests & measures, videos, gray literature, and many other other publication types in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.
- PsycINFO via OvidPsycINFO via Ovid indexes core academic and professional literature in the psychological and behavioral sciences and their related disciplines. Coverage is from 1806 to the present. **Note that the database PsycINFO is also searchable on APA PsycNET platform.
- Medline via PubMed
PubMed comprises over 27 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. PubMed citations and abstracts include the fields of biomedicine and health, covering portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering. PubMed also provides access to additional relevant web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources.
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- Medline via OvidThe MEDLINE database is widely recognized as the premier source for bibliographic and abstract coverage of biomedical literature. MEDLINE encompasses information from Index Medicus, Index to Dental Literature, and International Nursing, as well as other sources of coverage in the areas of allied health, biological and physical sciences, humanities and information science as they relate to medicine and health care, communication disorders, population biology, and reproductive biology.
- CINAHL Plus with Full TextCINAHL indexes over 3,800 journals from the fields of nursing and allied health, with indexing for selected journals back to 1937. Topics covered are related to nursing, physical therapy, health education, social service/healthcare, occupational therapy, and related disciplines. CINAHL also provides access to healthcare books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of professional practice, educational software and audiovisual materials in nursing. Dates of coverage: 1937 to present.
- EMBASE: Excerpta MedicaEMBASE is a biomedical and pharmaceutical database indexing over 3,500 international journals in the following fields: drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine, and biomedical engineering/instrumentation. There is selective coverage for nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, psychology, and alternative medicine. Dates of coverage: 1980 to present.
- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions. This website includes the PRISMA statement (which outlines guidelines for reporting), the PRISMA flow diagram, and the PRISMA checklist, as well as a link to a document containing the PRISMA statement’s explanation and elaboration.
- NIH Library’s Guide to Systematic ReviewsProduced and maintained by Nancy Terry at the NIH Library, this online guide contains information sources, websites, and articles that can help you to conduct a systematic review. For direction on how best to select information sources/databases and develop search strategies, see the tab for “The Literature Search – Databases and Gray Literature.:
- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of InterventionsThis handbook provides guidance to authors for the preparation of Cochrane Intervention reviews, including Cochrane Overviews of reviews. For advisement on how best to select information sources/databases and develop search strategies, see Part 2, Chapter 6: Searching for studies.
- Cochrane TrainingOn this site, you will find interactive learning resources and pathways as well as links to webinars, courses, and handbooks produced by the Cochrane Collaboration that relate to systematic review methods. Note that select resources on this site are limited to those with an existing Cochrane account while others are publicly available.
- Systematic Reviews: CRD’s Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health CarePublished by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, this guide outlines the methods and steps necessary to conduct a systematic review. It also addresses issues associated with reviews in specific areas, such as clinical tests, public health interventions, harm/adverse effects, economic evaluations, and how and why interventions work.
- Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic ReviewsThis ebook, produced by the Institute of Medicine (2011), contains chapters on the following topics: Standards for initiating a systematic review — Standards for finding and assessing individual studies — Standards for synthesizing the body of evidence — Standards for reporting systematic reviews — Improving the quality of systematic reviews
- Methods for the Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research in Systematic ReviewsArticle abstract: There is a growing recognition of the value of synthesising qualitative research in the evidence base in order to facilitate effective and appropriate health care. In response to this, methods for undertaking these syntheses are currently being developed. Thematic analysis is a method that is often used to analyse data in primary qualitative research. This paper reports on the use of this type of analysis in systematic reviews to bring together and integrate the findings of multiple qualitative studies.
- PRESS Peer Review of Electronic Search StrategiesThe PRESS Guideline provides a set of recommendations concerning the information that should be used by librarians and other information specialists when they are asked to evaluate electronic search strategies developed for systematic review (SR) and health technology assessment (HTA) reports.
- Campbell Collaboration: The Introductory MethodsThese training videos provide an introduction to the purpose of systematic reviews and their basic elements, including: Problem Formulation, Literature Searching, Coding (data extraction), Effect Size Calculation, and Introduction to Basic Meta-Analysis. They were recorded during the August 2011 Campbell Colloquium at George Mason University (Washington, D.C.), and the May 2013 Campbell Colloquium at Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL).
- Campbell Methods SeriesThe Campbell Library Methods Series supports the production of high quality systematic reviews by providing a policy and guidance on methods to authors and editors, as well as space for discussion of new and emerging methods. The series comprises three sub-series: Methods Policy Notes, Methods Guides, and Methods Discussion Papers.
- Searching for Studies: A Guide to Information Retrieval for Campbell Systematic ReviewsThis guide aims to provide general guidance to those conducting a systematic review and to establish minimum standards for key information retrieval tasks. Although the guide speaks specifically to individuals planning to conduct a Campbell review, the policies, procedures, and guidelines are applicable to anyone interested in implementing information retrieval methods that maximize coverage and minimize bias during the information retrieval process.
- Systematic Reviews and Meta-AnalysisThis ebook, written by Littell, Corcoran, and Pillai (2008) and published by Oxford University Press, contains chapters on the following topics: Formulating a topic and developing a protocol — Locating and screening studies — Data extraction and study quality assessment — Effect size metrics and pooling methods — Assessing bias and variations in effects
- Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical GuideThis ebook, written by Petticrew and Roberts (2006), contains chapters on the following topics: Why do we need systematic reviews? — Starting the review : refining the question and defining the boundaries — What sorts of studies do I include in the review? : deciding on the review’s inclusion/exclusion criteria — How to find the studies : the literature search — How to appraise the studies : an introduction to assessing study quality — Synthesizing the evidence — Exploring heterogeneity and publication bias — Disseminating the review — Systematic reviews : urban myths and fairy tales
- Finding and Evaluating Evidence: Systematic Reviews and Evidence-Based PracticePart of the Pocket Guide to Social Work Research Method series, this ebook, written by Bronson and Davis (2012) and published by Oxford University Press, contains chapters on the following topics: Systematic reviews, evidence-based practice, and social work — Asking the right questions, preparing a protocol, and finding the relevant research — Critically appraising the quality and credibility of quantitative research for systematic reviews — The art and science of managing and summarizing the available research — Systematic reviews of qualitative research — Assessing the quality of systematic reviews
- PRISMA Flow Diagram GeneratorA PRISMA flow diagram is a graphical representation of the flow of citations reviewed in the course of a systematic review. This site offers a form that uses the Open Source dot program (part of graphviz) to generate a flow diagram tailored to the data input.
- SAGE Research Methods Online
SAGE Research Methods Online aggregates materials from SAGE’s journal and reference content, including dictionaries, datasets, case studies, and books. Researchers can explore methods with the Methods Map tool and gather context (including sample data sets) to help design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct research, and write up findings.
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- PubMed HelpThis page offers tips, tricks, and tutorials for searching PubMed, which is a free resource developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
- Medline via Ovid Database GuideThis guide describes how Medline information is structured in the Ovid interface. Jump down to Advanced Searching for tips on using Ovid syntax and limits to optimize a search strategy.
- PsycINFO via Ovid Database GuideThis guide describes how PsycINFO information is structured in the Ovid interface. Jump down to Advanced Searching for tips on using Ovid syntax and limits to optimize a search strategy.
- Advanced Searching with CINAHL Subject HeadingsThis guides explians what subject headings and subheadings are and demonstrates how to use CINAHL headings in command-line searching to build one-line simple or complex searches.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF REVIEWS
- A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologiesGrant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.xMore information
- Clarifying differences between review designs and methodsGough, D., Thomas, J., & Oliver, S. (2012). Clarifying differences between review designs and methods. Systematic Reviews, 1, 28. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-28More information
- Are we talking the same paradigm? Considering methodological choices in health education systematic reviewGordon, M. (2016). Are we talking the same paradigm? Considering methodological choices in health education systematic review. Medical Teacher, 38(7), 746-750. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2016.1147536More information
- What synthesis methodology should I use? A review and analysis of approaches to research synthesisSchick-Makaroff, K., MacDonald, M., Plummer, M., Burgess, J., & Neander, W. (2016). What synthesis methodology should I use? A review and analysis of approaches to research synthesis. AIMS Public Health, 3(1), 172-215. doi:10.3934/publichealth.2016.1.172More information
- The integrative review: Updated methodologyWhittemore, R., & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: Updated methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52(5), 546–553. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03621.xMore information
- Scoping studies: Towards a methodological frameworkArksey, H., & O’Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19-32. doi:10.1080/1364557032000119616More information
- Scoping studies: Advancing the methodologyLevac, D., Colquhoun, H., & O’Brien, K. K. (2010). Scoping studies: Advancing the methodology. Implementation Science, 5(1), 69. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-69More information
- Methodology for JBI scoping reviewsPeters, M. D. J., Godfrey, C. M., McInerney, P., Baldini Soares, C., Khalil, H., & Parker, D. (2015). The Joanna Briggs Institute reviewers’ manual: Methodology for JBI scoping reviews [PDF]. Retrieved from The Joanna Briggs Institute website: http://joannabriggs.org/assets/docs/sumari/Reviewers-Manual_Methodology-for-JBI-Scoping-Reviews_2015_v2.pdfMore information
- Evidence summaries: The evolution of a rapid review approachKhangura, S., Konnyu, K., Cushman, R., Grimshaw, J., & Moher, D. (2012). Evidence summaries: The evolution of a rapid review approach. Systematic Reviews, 1(1), 10. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-10More information
- What is a rapid review? A methodological exploration of rapid reviews in Health Technology AssessmentsHarker, J., & Kleijnen, J. (2012). What is a rapid review? A methodological exploration of rapid reviews in Health Technology Assessments. International Journal of Evidence‐Based Healthcare, 10(4), 397-410. doi:10.1111/j.1744-1609.2012.00290.xMore information
- Rapid Review GuidebookDobbins, M. (2017). Rapid review guidebook. Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.
- NCCMT Summary and Tool for Dobbins’ Rapid Review GuidebookNational Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (2017). Rapid review guidebook. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University. Retrieved from http://www.nccmt.ca/knowledge-repositories/search/308
Covidence works with reference managers like EndNote, Zotero, Refworks, and Mendeley to screen results for the purposes of systematic reviews and other research projects.
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ONLINE TUTORIALS ON HOW TO USE COVIDENCE FROM COCHRANE TRAINING
- Covidence Webinar Part 1: Sign in and importing references
- Covidence Webinar Part 2: Title and abstract – screening and settings
- Covidence Webinar Part 3: Full text screening
- Covidence Webinar Part 4: Data extraction
- Covidence Webinar Part 5: Data export
- Covidence Webinar (Complete 1hr)
- Saving Search Histories in CINAHLPlus, PubMed, PsycINFO, Proquest
Steps, Systematic Review
Notes and Links
1. Define a Focused Question (consider Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome)
PICO Question Help
Define Problem/Patient or Population
What are the effects of the Pilates method for patients with low back pain?
2. Scope the literature for eligible studies
Eligible studies may come from:
Translate terms to controlled vocabulary of the database, when possible; use keyword searching when necessary.
Combine with AND
Download a Boolean worksheet
3. Refine Search, expand strategy with synonyms harvested from
Save final, reproducible strategies for each database
Save strategies in:
Click image to view the beginning of a reproducible search strategy
4. Limit search results, based on defined inclusion/exclusion criteria
Limit to Article type, e.g., : "randomized controlled trial" OR multicenter study
5. Download citations into citation management tool
Click image to view Zotero collections.
6. Abstract, Analyze, Synthesize
Add team members to Covidence
7. Create flow diagram
Transfer total numbers of citations from each stage of the review into the flow diagram.
Click image to view sample flow sheet
8. Report Results
|Organize findings in a review matrix:|
*Modified from: Cook, D. A., & West, C. P. (2012). Conducting systematic reviews in medical education: a stepwise approach. Medical Education, 46(10), 943–952.
**Navarra, A.-M. D., Gwadz, M. V., Whittemore, R., Bakken, S. R., Cleland, C. M., Burleson, W., … Melkus, G. D. (2017). Health Technology-Enabled Interventions for Adherence Support and Retention in Care Among US HIV-Infected Adolescents and Young Adults: An Integrative Review. AIDS and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1867-6
Example, Systematic Review:
Yamato TP, Maher CG, Saragiotto BT, Hancock MJ, Ostelo RW, Cabral CM, … Costa LO. (2015). Pilates for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7), N.PAG-N.PAG. Available at: getit.library.nyu.edu/go/9444737?umlaut.institution=NYU
Covidence is a web based tool that improves healthcare evidence synthesis by improving the efficiency and experience of creating and maintaining Systematic Reviews.
Covidence works with reference managers like EndNote, Zotero, Refworks, and Mendeley to screen results for the purposes of systematic reviews and other research projects.
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What are Systematic Reviews?
Access the Cochrane Library via NYU at:
PRISMA Statement Website
PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
- Link to the PRISMA web site to access the PRISMA STATEMENT, a 27-item checklist and a four-phase flow diagram to help authors improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
- Link to the PRISMA flow diagram generator
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Home > Get Assistance > Writing > Specific Types of Papers
Writing a Literature Review
A literature review is both a summary and explanation of the complete and current state of knowledge on a limited topic as found in academic books and journal articles. There are two kinds of literature reviews you might write at university: one that students are asked to write as a stand-alone assignment in a course, often as part of their training in the research processes in their ﬁeld, and the other that is written as part of an introduction to, or preparation for, a longer work, usually a thesis or research report. The focus and perspective of your review and the kind of hypothesis or thesis argument you make will be determined by what kind of review you are writing. One way to understand the differences between these two types is to read published literature reviews or the ﬁrst chapters of theses and dissertations in your own subject area. Analyse the structure of their arguments and note the way they address the issues.
Purpose of the Literature Review
- It gives readers easy access to research on a particular topic by selecting high quality articles or studies that are relevant, meaningful, important and valid and summarizing them into one complete report
- It provides an excellent starting point for researchers beginning to do research in a new area by forcing them to summarize, evaluate, and compare original research in that speciﬁc area
- It ensures that researchers do not duplicate work that has already been done
- It can provide clues as to where future research is heading or recommend areas on which to focus
- It highlights key ﬁndings
- It identiﬁes inconsistencies, gaps and contradictions in the literature
- It provides a constructive analysis of the methodologies and approaches of other researchers
Content of the Review
The introduction explains the focus and establishes the importance of the subject. It discusses what kind of work has been done on the topic and identiﬁes any controversies within the ﬁeld or any recent research which has raised questions about earlier assumptions. It may provide background or history. It concludes with a purpose or thesis statement. In a stand-alone literature review, this statement will sum up and evaluate the state of the art in this ﬁeld of research; in a review that is an introduction or preparatory to a thesis or research report, it will suggest how the review ﬁndings will lead to the research the writer proposes to undertake.
Often divided by headings/subheadings, the body summarizes and evaluates the current state of knowledge in the ﬁeld. It notes major themes or topics, the most important trends, and any ﬁndings about which researchers agree or disagree. If the review is preliminary to your own thesis or research project, its purpose is to make an argument that will justify your proposed research. Therefore, it will discuss only that research which leads directly to your own project.
The conclusion summarizes all the evidence presented and shows its signiﬁcance. If the review is an introduction to your own research, it highlights gaps and indicates how previous research leads to your own research project and chosen methodology. If the review is a stand-alone assignment for a course, it should suggest any practical applications of the research as well as the implications and possibilities for future research.
Nine Steps To Writing A Literature Review
1. Find a Working Topic
Look at your speciﬁc area of study. Think about what interests you, and what is fertile ground for study. Talk to your professor, brainstorm, and read lecture notes and recent issues of periodicals in the ﬁeld.
2. Review the Literature
- Using keywords, search a computer database. It is best to use at least two databases relevant to your discipline
- Remember that the reference lists of recent articles and reviews can lead to valuable papers
- Make certain that you also include any studies contrary to your point of view
3. Focus Your Topic Narrowly and Select Papers Accordingly
Consider the following:
- What interests you?
- What interests others?
- What time span of research will you consider?
Choose an area of research that is due for a review.
4. Read the Selected Articles Thoroughly and Evaluate Them
- What assumptions do most/some researchers seem to be making?
- What methodologies do they use? what testing procedures, subjects, material tested?
- Evaluate and synthesize the research ﬁndings and conclusions drawn
- Note experts in the ﬁeld: names/labs that are frequently referenced
- Note conﬂicting theories, results, methodologies
- Watch for popularity of theories and how this has/has not changed over time
5. Organize the Selected Papers By Looking For Patterns and By Developing Subtopics
Note things such as:
- Findings that are common/contested
- Two or three important trends in the research
- The most inﬂuential theories
6. Develop a Working Thesis
Write a one or two sentence statement summarizing the conclusion you have reached about the major trends and developments you see in the research that has been done on your subject.
7. Organize Your Own Paper Based on the Findings From Steps 4 & 5
Develop headings/subheadings. If your literature review is extensive, ﬁnd a large table surface, and on it place post-it notes or ﬁling cards to organize all your ﬁndings into categories. Move them around if you decide that (a) they ﬁt better under different headings, or (b) you need to establish new topic headings.
8. Write the Body of the Paper
Follow the plan you have developed above, making certain that each section links logically to the one before and after, and that you have divided your sections by themes or subtopics, not by reporting the work of individual theorists or researchers.
9. Look At What You Have Written; Focus On Analysis, Not Description
Look at the topic sentences of each paragraph. If you were to read only these sentences, would you ﬁnd that your paper presented a clear position, logically developed, from beginning to end? If, for example, you ﬁnd that each paragraph begins with a researcher’s name, it might indicate that, instead of evaluating and comparing the research literature from an analytical point of view, you have simply described what research has been done. This is one of the most common problems with student literature reviews. So if your paper still does not appear to be deﬁned by a central, guiding concept, or if it does not critically analyse the literature selected, then you should make a new outline based on what you have said in each section and paragraph of the paper, and decide whether you need to add information, to delete off-topic information, or to restructure the paper entirely.
For example, look at the following two passages and note that Student A is merely describing the literature and Student B takes a more analytical and evaluative approach, by comparing and contrasting. You can also see that this evaluative approach is well signalled by linguistic markers indicating logical connections (words such as "however," "moreover") and phrases such as "substantiates the claim that," which indicate supporting evidence and Student B’s ability to synthesize knowledge.
Smith (2000) concludes that personal privacy in their living quarters is the most important factor in nursing home residents’ perception of their autonomy. He suggests that the physical environment in the more public spaces of the building did not have much impact on their perceptions. Neither the layout of the building, nor the activities available seem to make much difference. Jones and Johnstone make the claim that the need to control one’s environment is a fundamental need of life (2001), and suggest that the approach of most institutions, which is to provide total care, may be as bad as no care at all. If people have no choices or think that they have none, they become depressed.
After studying residents and staff from two intermediate care facilities in Calgary, Alberta, Smith (2000) came to the conclusion that except for the amount of personal privacy available to residents, the physical environment of these institutions had minimal if any effect on their perceptions of control (autonomy). However, French (1998) and Haroon (2000) found that availability of private areas is not the only aspect of the physical environment that determines residents’ autonomy. Haroon interviewed 115 residents from 32 different nursing homes known to have different levels of autonomy (2000). It was found that physical structures, such as standardized furniture, heating that could not be individually regulated, and no possession of a house key for residents limited their feelings of independence. Moreover, Hope (2002), who interviewed 225 residents from various nursing homes, substantiates the claim that characteristics of the institutional environment such as the extent of resources in the facility, as well as its location, are features which residents have indicated as being of great importance to their independence.
Finishing Touches: Revising and Editing Your Work
- Read your work out loud. That way you will be better able to identify where you need punctuation marks to signal pauses or divisions within sentences, where you have made grammatical errors, or where your sentences are unclear
- Since the purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate that the writer is familiar with the important professional literature on the chosen subject, check to make certain that you have covered all of the important, up-to-date, and pertinent texts. In the sciences and some of the social sciences it is important that your literature be quite recent; this is not so important in the humanities
- Make certain that all of the citations and references are correct and that you are referencing in the appropriate style for your discipline. If you are uncertain which style to use, ask your professor
- Check to make sure that you have not plagiarized either by failing to cite a source of information, or by using words quoted directly from a source. (Usually if you take three or more words directly from another source, you should put those words within quotation marks, and cite the page.)
- Text should be written in a clear and concise academic style; it should not be descriptive in nature or use the language of everyday speech
- There should be no grammatical or spelling errors
- Sentences should ﬂow smoothly and logically
- In a paper in the sciences, or in some of the social sciences, the use of subheadings to organize the review is recommended
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Specific Types of Papers
- Close Reading
- Research Synthesis Reviews
- Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review
- Writing An Annotated Bibliography
- Writing Lab Reports or Research Reports
- Writing University Essays
- Writing a Literature Review