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Physician Assistants: MPAS Capstone Projects

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review summarizes and analyzes available research on a specific topic.  By identifying and analyzing current research, the writer can identify themes, gaps and/or inconsistencies to demonstrate where future research is needed.  Results can be demonstrated either chronologically, thematically or conceptually (Cronin, Ryan, & Coughlan, 2008).

Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: a step-by-step approach. British Journal of Nursing 17(1), 38-43. DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2008.17.1.28059.

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Caroline Monnin
Contact:
Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library | Currently working remotely
Contact: LinkedIn Page

Literature Review Steps

1. Formulate your research question

  • Use tools like PICO, SPIDER, SPICE or ECLIPSE to create a concise, informative question

2. Search the literature

3a. Read the selected resources.

  • Take notes on title/author, purpose, methodology, findings, outcomes and your general impressions or any questions you may have about the articles.

3b. Analyzing the selected resources.

  • Take time to find commonality, emerging themes, conflicting information, authors or experts in the field, similar testing methodologies found throughout the articles.

4. Write

5. Citing your references properly

  • Using a citation manager will help to organize your sources, start here

 

Steps adapted from Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: a step-by-step approach. British Journal of Nursing 17(1), 38-43. DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2008.17.1.28059.

Helpful Articles

Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: a step-by-step approach [Review]. Br J Nurs, 17(1), 38-43. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2008.17.1.28059

Wakefield, A. (2015, Mar 18). Synthesising the literature as part of a literature review. Nurs Stand, 29(29), 44-51. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.29.29.44.e8957

Lingard, L. (2018, Feb). Writing an effective literature review : Part I: Mapping the gap. Perspect Med Educ, 7(1), 47-49. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-017-0401-x

Lingard, L. (2018, Apr). Writing an effective literature review : Part II: Citation technique. Perspect Med Educ, 7(2), 133-135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-018-0407-z

Baker, J. D. (2016, Mar). The Purpose, Process, and Methods of Writing a Literature Review. Aorn j, 103(3), 265-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2016.01.016

Leite, D. F. B., Padilha, M. A. S., & Cecatti, J. G. (2019). Approaching literature review for academic purposes: The Literature Review Checklist. Clinics (Sao Paulo), 74, e1403. https://doi.org/10.6061/clinics/2019/e1403

Randolph, J. (2009). A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 14(13). https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.7275/b0az-8t74

Helpful Books