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IntroductionTypically, a review of the literature is extensive as it should address all known aspects of a problem and describe how the problem has been studied in the past.  For example,What variabl


Typically, a review of the literature is extensive as it should address all known aspects of a problem and describe how the problem has been studied in the past.  For example,

  1. What variables and questions related to the problem have already been studied and how does that to relate to the question being posed in the study you are proposing?  Are the previous study findings applicable to today’s practice?
  2. Who were the subjects in these other studies and how do they compare with your proposed subjects?
  3. What research design, theoretical framework, data collection tool(s), statistics, etc., were used; and how do they compare to what you are proposing?

A good review of the literature lays down the proverbial breadcrumbs for future researchers to follow the rationale for how we arrived here from there.  Sometimes it means we state the obvious, and other times it means we identify conflicting outcomes, outdated paradigms, gaps in practices, statistical test results to questions similar to ours, or suggest questions for future research.  This assignment will give you a good understanding of how to compile the research findings needed for writing financial reports, grant applications/reports, business plans/Pro-forma, practice policies, processes, academic reports, clinical case studies, etc.

NRAO Majors:  The review you write for this assignment should be a good start for your scholarly project due in your final MSN course.  You and your advisor will work together to complete this requirement.

Upon successful completion of the Literature Review assignment you should be able to:

  • Address an identified problem through a systematic synthesized review of the literature.


  • Textbook: Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches (2018), Chapters 4 and 5
    • PowerPoint: Chapter 4 Writing Strategies & Ethical Considerations 
    • File: Chapter 4 Writing Strategies & Ethical Considerations, Notes  
    • PowerPoint: Chapter 5 The Introduction  
    • File: Chapter 5 The Introduction, Notes
  • Textbook: Practical Research: Planning and Design (2016), Chapters 3, 5, and 13
    • PowerPoint: Chapter 3 Review of Related Literature 
    • PowerPoint: Chapter 5 Writing the Research Proposal 
    • PowerPoint: Chapter 13 Plan & Prep Final Report 
  • Textbook: Preparing Literature Reviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2016), Chapters 1 and 14
  • File: Horton APA Grading Guide IWU Version Final.docx
  • File: 6.2 Template for Literature Review – 1.15.2018.docx
  • File: Proposal Summary Form (due in 6.3)
  • File: Lit Review – SAMPLE
  • File: Sample Spreadsheet of Articles Reviewed (due with the Literature Review)
  • File: Spreadsheet of Research Study Analysis (due with the Literature Review)
  • Website: Evidence Based Practice Toolkit for Nursing
  • Website: IWU Off Campus Library Services
  • Website: How to Conduct a Literature Search and/or
  • Website: How to Write a Literature Review and Part I Part II  Part III


  1. Read chapters 4 and 5 in Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches (2018); chapters 3, 5, and 13 in Practical Research: Planning and Design; chapters 1 and 14 in Preparing Literature Reviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Review all other materials listed.
  2. Using the quantitative research question developed in Workshop One, the articles analyzed in Workshops Two through Five and the draft summaries, write a synthesized literature review.  Synthesize a minimum of 16 research articles.  Use the TEMPLATE found in the resources above and the sample review as a guide.
  3. You are not presenting everything about each study that you have read.  Rather, present only the parts of the articles/studies which are applicable to your study.
  4. Begin with an introduction section (Example: This is a review of the literature and research findings related to the perception of nursing as a call or as a choice by those who have been registered nurses over varying lengths of time.), and follow with sections and subsections (entitled specific to your problem), according to the rubric below. 
  5. Use the resources shared throughout the course, especially those in Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches (2018), chapter 2, Practical Research: Planning and Design, pages 67-70, and the checklist in Preparing Literature Reviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2016),pages 116-124 and the examples on pages 149-166.  (Watch (10 minutes if you would like to learn more about how to write your literature review.)  KEY: The lit review is NOT an annotated bibliography, rather it is a synthesized presentation of the most recent and classic studies addressing your question focus, written in a scholarly manner.
  6. It is difficult to give a page requirement because it will depend to some degree on the amount of literature available on the chosen topic.  Most literature reviews are minimally in the range of 15 – 20 pages and are larger to accommodate a more complex question.
  7. APA comprises 70 points in the rubric and will consider the points in the Horton fuideline (see Resources list above).  An APA Reference page should be included at the end of the review.
  8. When you have completed your assignment, you will submit three documents:
    1. Submit your Literature Review into Dropbox by day seven of the workshop (TurnItIn enabled).
    2. Submit your completed Spreadsheet of Articles Reviewed into the same Dropbox.
    3. Submit your completed Spreadsheet of Research Study Analysis into the same Dropbox.
  9. Please carefully read the rubric below for the necessary inclusions in your literature review/ content according to the rubric.  You should use APA formatted headings throughout your paper which correlate with the bolded criteria below.  All areas must be included.  If there are some areas that do not apply to your particular literature review and proposed research study then you must explain the rationale for why that area is left out and confirm via literature.

Click here to access the dropbox.

Assessment Criteria, Literature Review

Assessed Criteria Items


Synthesize a minimum of 16 research articles and address each of the highlighted topics below.  Any area not covered sufficiently should be explained in the paper and preapproved by faculty as points will be deducted for any missing area.  You should have a Level 2 heading for each bolded component listed below with appropriate content. 

Presentation of the Literature (230)

  1. Introduce the topic of inquiry, description of the problem, and its relevancy to nursing and the population of the proposed study. Do not use Introduction as a heading.


  1. Organization of the Review – Describe how you have organized your paper and the outline the scope/boundary of your study. Tell what you are going to tell! Basically, describe the flow of the paper according to the major headings.


  1. Definitions of the key terms pertinent to the topic which reflect current language and gives a reference for each.


  1. Describes the Literature Sources, Study Types, Authors, Search Strategies included in the review. Describe search strategies, databases, key words/terms/phrases and engines.


  1. Propose the quantitative Research Question and Variables (e.g., perhaps one of the studies suggested your study question) around which the review is focused. Present each of the independent and dependent Variables (as applicable) by its type. Describe each variable and how it generally interacts and the combined relationship around which the review is focused; describe other variable types as applicable i.e. confounding, etc.


  1. Summarize the various Research Designs and Theoretical Frameworks (methodology, e.g., concept analysis) of the studies included in your literature review.


  1. Summarize the Data Collection Instruments/tools used in the studies and how (the method used) data was collected.


  1. Summarize the representative Population, Sample Participants, Risk, studied, how (methodology) they were selected, protected, and Informed Consent obtained. Address participant inclusion and exclusion criteria, IRB level of review, and informed consent.


  1. Summarize the Statistical Analyses used to run the data to answer the question.


  1. Summarize Study Results Related to the Problem, Question, and/or Variables, e.g., an organizing theoretical framework or model used in the studies.


  1. Now present the key findings of the studies and compare them, e.g. one study found this and another found that related to the same variable.  Present Other Considerations Related to the Proposed Study, and any Areas for Further Research as well.  Use Level 2headings for your variables and/or topic, problem, and Level 3 headings for your subtopics, subproblems, or sub-concepts.


  1. Present a Summary of the key points from the studies which frame the current status of the problem and variables.  Last, summarize the attributes from the studies you will use in your proposed study, e.g. declare the:
    1. Design appropriate for the proposed study.
    2. Population and sample appropriate for the proposed study.
    3. Data collection tool appropriate to the proposed study.
    4. Statistics appropriate to the proposed study.
    5. Theory, concept, or model appropriate to the proposed study.


Mechanics According to the Horton Grading Guideline (70)

  1. Headings include the bolded words in the previous section; study topics and subtopics/subproblems/sub-concepts are specific headings.


  1. Manuscript is organized in a logical fashion with appropriate subject topics under correctly formatted APA headings.


  1. At least 16-20 current research studies are presented in a synthesized fashion; does not read like a series of annotated bibliographies.


  1. Writing is coherent, smooth, and scholarly and without bias; APA formatting, and grammar are correct.


  1. References appear in the review and vice versa with alphabetical reference list.


  1. Studies are properly cited throughout the paper using APA format e.g. Davis & Jones, 2018; Kershaw & Rose, 2017; Holmes & Greer, 2015).


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