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HLTH 495A: Honors Research

Professor Hall-Clifford, Spring 2024 (Atlanta)

Steps to writing a literature review

  1. Identify & refine topic​​​​​​​
    What subject area do you want to investigate? Explore ideas from syllabi and course readings. Consider research questions and where there are gaps in the literature.
  2. Gather background information
    Conduct a preliminary literature search to get a general idea of the topic and to understand current thinking (including thinking contrary to your point-of-view). Pinpoint keywords for effective and efficient research.
  3. Select source material & evaluate
    Remember to focus on scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Evaluate and synthesize findings, claims, and conclusions.
  4. Organize articles
    Reflect on your readings and your notes. Consider common topics and themes; look for patterns among ideas and data and develop subtopics.
  5. Generate ideas
    Organize your notes. Consider main ideas, the points you want to convey, and any opposing information. Organize your ideas into an outline.
  6. Develop thesis/statement of purpose
    Write a statement of one or two sentences which summarizes the conclusion(s) you have reached regarding your subject area and the latest research on the topic.
  7. Draft lit review
    Follow the organizational structure of your outline and begin writing your literature review. Consider the logical flow of the paper, themes within paragraphs, and your overall analysis. Remember to summarize information, but use caution when paraphrasing. Also remember to synthesize information by noting its significance and relating it back to your own work. Get feedback and revise, revise, revise!
    Writing tip: Begin each paragraph with the central point you want to make. Then, follow up with your sources as evidence/explanation.
  8. Cite sources
    Document and cite your sources appropriately, both within the literature review and in your works cited page. Be sure to follow the appropriate documentation style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).