What is a literature review and why is it important?
The literature review should:
Describe the existing, relevant published research on a specific topic.
Synthesize that information to describe the collected published knowledge about the specific topic.
The literature review is an important part of your research paper because it sets the stage for your own research. You are letting the reader know what knowledge exists (previous research articles) and how your own research fits into that research conversation.
Tips to help with reading a research article
Read the abstract. Look for the purpose of the article, methods, results, and the authors' conclusion about the research. Knowing this will make reading the article easier.
Skim the headings and look for any charts or graphs in the article. Can you understand the charts or graphs? If not, is there someone you can ask for help? Or, is there another article that might be easier to read?
Ask questions about the article before you read it.
Read the article and take notes if necessary. Try to answer your questions.
The most comprehensive medical database. This resource covers medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, biomedical research, clinical practice, administration, policy issues, and health care services. This public version provides a Clinical Queries search interface.
PsycINFO Search Tips
Strategy building search tips for PsycINFO
To do this:
Exact phrase searching
Combine terms (narrows the search)
Omit or ignore a term
Expand the search to include either or both terms
Structure a Boolean search, nesting terms and phrases