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NUR 5083 - Nursing Research & Evidence Based Practice

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So You Have to Write a Literature Review?

Literature review assignments ask you to identify a definable topic, examine research that has previously been published on that topic, and then synthesize the information you discover. Literature reviews are easily identifiable from other research articles because they do not include original research and identify themselves, almost always in the title or abstract, as a review or analysis of previous research or information. 

Published literature reviews vary in scope and detail, but generally they include sections that explain the purpose of the review and the importance of the topic, the methods involved in searching the literature and selecting research for inclusion, the most important information that was learned from the review and analysis of information, how that information should be applied by practitioners, and a bibliography of all examined research. 

The University of North Carolina has a great webpage on what lit reviews are, how to structure a lit review and other important aspects of writing a lit review. 

The University of Washington offers a wonderful page full of Graduate Workshop recordings (you will need to download Adobe Connect for free) about the Literature Review and Research process. 

Advice from the Literature

Two articles that explain the steps of the research process and how to go about scholarly research and writing in nursing. Are you having trouble accessing articles? Consult the “Accessing Articles” tab under “Conducting Research” on the left side of this guide for information on how to access articles.

Managing Sources

Reference management software allows you to group your sources together as you find them and then easily create citations and/or import them into your documents. These applications can simplify the citation management process for projects involving a high number of sources. 

For more information about reference management software, contact your librarian. 

Synthesis Writing

During orientation, we worked on a synthesis activity. Below is a link to help you through the synthesis process while conducting your literature review.