This is a continuation of the Course Project presented in Week 2. Before you begin, review the Course Project Overview document located in the Week 2 Resources area.
The literature review is a critical piece in the research process because it helps a researcher determine what is currently known about a topic and identify gaps or further questions. Conducting a thorough literature review can be a time-consuming process, but the effort helps establish the foundation for everything that will follow. For this part of your Course Project, you will conduct a brief literature review to find information on the question you developed in Week 2. This will provide you with experience in searching databases and identifying applicable resources.
- Review the information in Chapter 5 of the course text, focusing on the steps for conducting a literature review and for compiling your findings.
- Using the question you selected in your Week 2 Project (Part 1 of the Course Project), locate 5 or more full-text research articles that are relevant to your PICOT question. Include at least 1 systematic review and 1 integrative review if possible. Use the search tools and techniques mentioned in your readings this week to enhance the comprehensiveness and objectivity of your review. You may gather these articles from any appropriate source, but make sure at least 3 of these articles are available as full-text versions through Walden Library’s databases.
- Read through the articles carefully. Eliminate studies that are not appropriate and add others to your list as needed. Although you may include more, you are expected to include a minimum of five articles. Complete a literature review summary table using the Literature Review Summary Table Template located in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Prepare to summarize and synthesize the literature using the information on writing a literature review found in Chapter 5 of the course text.
Write a 3- to 4-page literature review that includes the following:
- A synthesis of what the studies reveal about the current state of knowledge on the question that you developed
- Point out inconsistencies and contradictions in the literature and offer possible explanations for inconsistencies.
- Preliminary conclusions on whether the evidence provides strong support for a change in practice or whether further research is needed to adequately address your inquiry
- Your literature review summary table with all references formatted in correct APA style
Note: Certain aspects of conducting a standard review of literature have not yet been covered in this course. Therefore, while you are invited to critically examine any aspect of the studies (e.g., a study’s design, appropriateness of the theoretic framework, data sampling methods), your conclusion should be considered preliminary. Bear in mind that five studies are typically not enough to reflect the full range of knowledge on a particular question and you are not expected to be familiar enough with research methodology to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the studies.