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Literature Review Overview

What is a Literature Review? Why Are They Important?

A literature review is important because it presents the "state of the science" or accumulated knowledge on a specific topic. It summarizes, analyzes, and compares the available research, reporting study strengths and weaknesses, results, gaps in the research, conclusions, and authors’ interpretations.

Tips and techniques for conducting a literature review are described more fully in the subsequent boxes:

  • Literature review steps
  • Strategies for organizing the information for your review
  • Literature reviews sections
  • In-depth resources to assist in writing a literature review
  • Templates to start your review
  • Literature review examples

Literature Review Steps

sample nursing literature review essays

Graphic used with permission: Torres, E. Librarian, Hawai'i Pacific University

1. Choose a topic and define your research question

  • Try to choose a topic of interest. You will be working with this subject for several weeks to months.
  • Ideas for topics can be found by scanning medical news sources (e.g MedPage Today), journals / magazines, work experiences, interesting patient cases, or family or personal health issues.
  • Do a bit of background reading on topic ideas to familiarize yourself with terminology and issues. Note the words and terms that are used.
  • Develop a focused research question using PICO(T) or other framework (FINER, SPICE, etc - there are many options) to help guide you.
  • Run a few sample database searches to make sure your research question is not too broad or too narrow.
  • If possible, discuss your topic with your professor. 

2. Determine the scope of your review

The scope of your review will be determined by your professor during your program. Check your assignment requirements for parameters for the Literature Review.

  • How many studies will you need to include?
  • How many years should it cover? (usually 5-7 depending on the professor)
  • For the nurses, are you required to limit to nursing literature?

3. Develop a search plan

  • Determine which databases to search. This will depend on your topic. If you are not sure, check your program specific library website (Physician Asst / Nursing / Health Services Admin) for recommendations.
  • Create an initial search string using the main concepts from your research (PICO, etc) question. Include synonyms and related words connected by Boolean operators
  • Contact your librarian for assistance, if needed.

4. Conduct searches and find relevant literature

  • Keep notes as you search - tracking keywords and search strings used in each database in order to avoid wasting time duplicating a search that has already been tried
  • Read abstracts and write down new terms to search as you find them
  • Check MeSH or other subject headings listed in relevant articles for additional search terms
  • Scan author provided keywords if available
  • Check the references of relevant articles looking for other useful articles (ancestry searching)
  • Check articles that have cited your relevant article for more useful articles (descendancy searching). Both PubMed and CINAHL offer Cited By links
  • Revise the search to broaden or narrow your topic focus as you peruse the available literature
  • Conducting a literature search is a repetitive process. Searches can be revised and re-run multiple times during the process.
  • Track the citations for your relevant articles in a software citation manager such as RefWorks, Zotero, or Mendeley

5. Review the literature

  • Read the full articles. Do not rely solely on the abstracts. Authors frequently cannot include all results within the confines of an abstract. Exclude articles that do not address your research question.
  • While reading, note research findings relevant to your project and summarize. Are the findings conflicting? There are matrices available than can help with organization. See the Organizing Information box below.
  • Critique / evaluate the quality of the articles, and record your findings in your matrix or summary table. Tools are available to prompt you what to look for. (See Resources for Appraising a Research Study box on the HSA, Nursing , and PA guides )
  • You may need to revise your search and re-run it based on your findings.

6. Organize and synthesize

  • Compile the findings and analysis from each resource into a single narrative.
  • Using an outline can be helpful. Start broad, addressing the overall findings and then narrow, discussing each resource and how it relates to your question and to the other resources.
  • Cite as you write to keep sources organized.
  • Write in structured paragraphs using topic sentences and transition words to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts.
  • Don't present one study after another, but rather relate one study's findings to another. Speak to how the studies are connected and how they relate to your work.

Organizing Information

Options to assist in organizing sources and information :

1. Synthesis Matrix

  • helps provide overview of the literature
  • information from individual sources is entered into a grid to enable writers to discern patterns and themes
  • article summary, analysis, or results
  • thoughts, reflections, or issues
  • each reference gets its own row
  • mind maps, concept maps, flowcharts
  • at top of page record PICO or research question
  • record major concepts / themes from literature
  • list concepts that branch out from major concepts underneath - keep going downward hierarchically, until most specific ideas are recorded
  • enclose concepts in circles and connect the concept with lines - add brief explanation as needed

3. Summary Table

  • information is recorded in a grid to help with recall and sorting information when writing
  • allows comparing and contrasting individual studies easily
  • purpose of study
  • methodology (study population, data collection tool)

Efron, S. E., & Ravid, R. (2019). Writing the literature review : A practical guide . Guilford Press.

Literature Review Sections

  • Lit reviews can be part of a larger paper / research study or they can be the focus of the paper
  • Lit reviews focus on research studies to provide evidence
  • New topics may not have much that has been published

* The sections included may depend on the purpose of the literature review (standalone paper or section within a research paper)

Standalone Literature Review (aka Narrative Review):

  • presents your topic or PICO question
  • includes the why of the literature review and your goals for the review.
  • provides background for your the topic and previews the key points
  • Narrative Reviews: tmay not have an explanation of methods.
  • include where the search was conducted (which databases) what subject terms or keywords were used, and any limits or filters that were applied and why - this will help others re-create the search
  • describe how studies were analyzed for inclusion or exclusion
  • review the purpose and answer the research question
  • thematically - using recurring themes in the literature
  • chronologically - present the development of the topic over time
  • methodological - compare and contrast findings based on various methodologies used to research the topic (e.g. qualitative vs quantitative, etc.)
  • theoretical - organized content based on various theories
  • provide an overview of the main points of each source then synthesize the findings into a coherent summary of the whole
  • present common themes among the studies
  • compare and contrast the various study results
  • interpret the results and address the implications of the findings
  • do the results support the original hypothesis or conflict with it
  • provide your own analysis and interpretation (eg. discuss the significance of findings; evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the studies, noting any problems)
  • discuss common and unusual patterns and offer explanations
  •  stay away from opinions, personal biases and unsupported recommendations
  • summarize the key findings and relate them back to your PICO/research question
  • note gaps in the research and suggest areas for further research
  • this section should not contain "new" information that had not been previously discussed in one of the sections above
  • provide a list of all the studies and other sources used in proper APA 7

Literature Review as Part of a Research Study Manuscript:

  • Compares the study with other research and includes how a study fills a gap in the research.
  • Focus on the body of the review which includes the synthesized Findings and Discussion

Literature Reviews vs Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews are NOT the same as a Literature Review:

Literature Reviews:

  • Literature reviews may or may not follow strict systematic methods to find, select, and analyze articles, but rather they selectively and broadly review the literature on a topic
  • Research included in a Literature Review can be "cherry-picked" and therefore, can be very subjective

Systematic Reviews:

  • Systemic reviews are designed to provide a comprehensive summary of the evidence for a focused research question
  • rigorous and strictly structured, using standardized reporting guidelines (e.g. PRISMA, see link below)
  • uses exhaustive, systematic searches of all relevant databases
  • best practice dictates search strategies are peer reviewed
  • uses predetermined study inclusion and exclusion criteria in order to minimize bias
  • aims to capture and synthesize all literature (including unpublished research - grey literature) that meet the predefined criteria on a focused topic resulting in high quality evidence

Literature Review Examples

  • Breastfeeding initiation and support: A literature review of what women value and the impact of early discharge (2017). Women and Birth : Journal of the Australian College of Midwives
  • Community-based participatory research to promote healthy diet and nutrition and prevent and control obesity among African-Americans: A literature review (2017). Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Restricted to Detroit Mercy Users

  • Vitamin D deficiency in individuals with a spinal cord injury: A literature review (2017). Spinal Cord

Resources for Writing a Literature Review

These sources have been used in developing this guide.

Cover Art

Resources Used on This Page

Aveyard, H. (2010). Doing a literature review in health and social care : A practical guide . McGraw-Hill Education.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Writing a literature review . Purdue University. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/conducting_research/writing_a_literature_review.html

Torres, E. (2021, October 21). Nursing - graduate studies research guide: Literature review. Hawai'i Pacific University Libraries. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://hpu.libguides.com/c.php?g=543891&p=3727230

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University Library

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What is a Literature Review?

Key questions for a literature review, examples of literature reviews, useful links, evidence matrix for literature reviews.

  • Annotated Bibliographies

The Scholarly Conversation

A literature review provides an overview of previous research on a topic that critically evaluates, classifies, and compares what has already been published on a particular topic. It allows the author to synthesize and place into context the research and scholarly literature relevant to the topic. It helps map the different approaches to a given question and reveals patterns. It forms the foundation for the author’s subsequent research and justifies the significance of the new investigation.

A literature review can be a short introductory section of a research article or a report or policy paper that focuses on recent research. Or, in the case of dissertations, theses, and review articles, it can be an extensive review of all relevant research.

  • The format is usually a bibliographic essay; sources are briefly cited within the body of the essay, with full bibliographic citations at the end.
  • The introduction should define the topic and set the context for the literature review. It will include the author's perspective or point of view on the topic, how they have defined the scope of the topic (including what's not included), and how the review will be organized. It can point out overall trends, conflicts in methodology or conclusions, and gaps in the research.
  • In the body of the review, the author should organize the research into major topics and subtopics. These groupings may be by subject, (e.g., globalization of clothing manufacturing), type of research (e.g., case studies), methodology (e.g., qualitative), genre, chronology, or other common characteristics. Within these groups, the author can then discuss the merits of each article and analyze and compare the importance of each article to similar ones.
  • The conclusion will summarize the main findings, make clear how this review of the literature supports (or not) the research to follow, and may point the direction for further research.
  • The list of references will include full citations for all of the items mentioned in the literature review.

A literature review should try to answer questions such as

  • Who are the key researchers on this topic?
  • What has been the focus of the research efforts so far and what is the current status?
  • How have certain studies built on prior studies? Where are the connections? Are there new interpretations of the research?
  • Have there been any controversies or debate about the research? Is there consensus? Are there any contradictions?
  • Which areas have been identified as needing further research? Have any pathways been suggested?
  • How will your topic uniquely contribute to this body of knowledge?
  • Which methodologies have researchers used and which appear to be the most productive?
  • What sources of information or data were identified that might be useful to you?
  • How does your particular topic fit into the larger context of what has already been done?
  • How has the research that has already been done help frame your current investigation ?

Example of a literature review at the beginning of an article: Forbes, C. C., Blanchard, C. M., Mummery, W. K., & Courneya, K. S. (2015, March). Prevalence and correlates of strength exercise among breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors . Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(2), 118+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.sonoma.idm.oclc.org/ps/i.do?p=HRCA&sw=w&u=sonomacsu&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA422059606&asid=27e45873fddc413ac1bebbc129f7649c Example of a comprehensive review of the literature: Wilson, J. L. (2016). An exploration of bullying behaviours in nursing: a review of the literature.   British Journal Of Nursing ,  25 (6), 303-306. For additional examples, see:

Galvan, J., Galvan, M., & ProQuest. (2017). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences (Seventh ed.). [Electronic book]

Pan, M., & Lopez, M. (2008). Preparing literature reviews: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Pub. [ Q180.55.E9 P36 2008]

  • Write a Literature Review (UCSC)
  • Literature Reviews (Purdue)
  • Literature Reviews: overview (UNC)
  • Review of Literature (UW-Madison)

The  Evidence Matrix  can help you  organize your research  before writing your lit review.  Use it to  identify patterns  and commonalities in the articles you have found--similar methodologies ?  common  theoretical frameworks ? It helps you make sure that all your major concepts covered. It also helps you see how your research fits into the context  of the overall topic.

  • Evidence Matrix Special thanks to Dr. Cindy Stearns, SSU Sociology Dept, for permission to use this Matrix as an example.
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Master Your Nursing Literature Review & Strive for Excellence

Need help with your nursing literature review, don't struggle with your nursing literature review anymore.

You're not alone if you're struggling with your nursing literature reviews. Many nursing students find it very challenging to take the time and effort to craft high-scoring nursing literature reviews amidst the tough schedule that nursing students have.

Because of that, getting some help with your nursing literature review is certainly not a bad idea. Getting some professional help to create high-scoring nursing literature reviews can not only boost your academic grades but also help free up time that you can spend studying for the infamously difficult nursing final exams.

Why is Nursing Literature Review Important?

Are nursing literature reviews really that big of a deal that you should be getting professional help? Yes, they are.

A nursing literature review is a tool that lecturers use to see your ability to demonstrate knowledge on a key and relevant area of study in nursing. In a nursing literature review, you will be asked to identify gaps in existing literature review, which eventually lays foundation for the proposed research topic to be studied.

In addition to being important for research, nursing literature reviews are also valuable for clinical practice. By staying up-to-date on the latest research, nurses can ensure they provide their patients with the best possible care. Nursing literature reviews can also help you as a nurse in the future to develop new and innovative ways of delivering care.

An example of the above scenario can be an instance where you, as a nurse, may be interested in developing a new educational program for patients with diabetes. To help you, you may be able to review literature on effective diabetes education programs to help you design a program that is evidence-based and likely to be effective.

To sum it up, nursing literature reviews are important not just for the academic progress of nursing students but also for the advancement of nursing practice and the improvement of patient care for you as a nurse in the future.

What is a Nursing Literature Review?

Now that we have established why a nursing literature review is so important let's now discuss what exactly is a nursing literature review.

Is it just like a normal essay but emphasized on a nursing topic? Not really.

Many students make a mistake in misunderstanding a literature review as merely a summary of the sources that they have found on the topic under research.

But that's not all that a literature review in nursing is about.

It is a critical analysis and evaluation of existing research, which shows how it relates to your research question and hypothesis. Hence, what a well-written literature review shows is how the writer has been able to integrate and synthesize the information from different sources. Furthermore, it highlights how the literature review writer has identified the gaps and limitations in the current knowledge surrounding the field of study.

There are several different types of nursing literature reviews, including:

  • ● Systematic reviews: These reviews identify, appraise, and synthesize all the relevant research on a particular topic.
  • ● Metasyntheses: These reviews synthesize the findings of qualitative studies.
  • ● Integrative reviews: These reviews synthesize the findings of quantitative and qualitative studies.
  • ● Narrative reviews: These reviews provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on a particular topic, but they do not use a systematic approach

Main Parts of a Nursing Literature Review

A nursing literature review can be organized in different ways depending on the topic and the level of discipline required by the lecturer. However, there are some common elements that each nursing literature review should include, which are:

a) Clear introduction

This is the first section that a lecturer will read entering into a nursing literature review and is, therefore, very crucial to lay a strong and coherent foundation for the study to follow. The introduction section should first introduce the topic, and then it can go on to define your research question and hypothesis.

Moreover, the introduction should also explain the main scope and focus of the literature review, alongside stating the main objectives and arguments that will be addressed in the nursing literature review.

b) Clear research question and

The research question and hypothesis are usually part of the introduction section of a literature review. For that reason, it needs its own part because it is so important to a literature study.

Therefore, a clear and well-defined research question will help ensure that the literature review is focused and relevant. In contrast, a well-supported hypothesis will help to guide the review to identify the most important and relevant findings surrounding the topic.

c) Clear research methodology

After sorting out the introduction and the research question of the study, the next step is to discuss the methodology used to support the study and come up with the eventual findings. The section on research methods should also assess the reliability of the references employed in the investigation. This enhances the trustworthiness and transparency of the review in nursing.

d) Comprehensive body

In simpler terms, the body is the engine of a nursing literature review. This section will be responsible for organizing the findings from all the sources according to their similarities and differences, as well as their relevance and importance to the research question and/or hypothesis curated by the writer.

It is important for the body part of a literature review to point out the main strengths, flaws, and points of view of each source used. The section should also compare and contrast all the sources used in the literature review to show how they agree or disagree with each other.

e) Effective conclusion

Many students do not pay much attention and effort in the conclusion section of a literature review. Still, it is very important to have a nursing literature review to end the review on a good note, as it may leave a lasting impact on the readers and the lecturer. It is, hence, a key part of any literature review, let alone a nursing literature review.

Start by stating clearly what your research topic is. Think about the specific aspect in your nursing field you want to explore and move on to the next step which is to conduct a comprehensive literature search.

Structure of a Nursing Literature Review


Your introduction must establish the significance of the topic. Your introduction should provide answers to the following:

  • ● Why you’re writing a review, and why your specific topic is important.
  • ● The scope of the review. By this, we’re referring to aspects of the topic that you will discuss.
  • ● An outline of research done in that area.

Go ahead and conclude with a thesis statement. There are 2 ways to go about this.

  • ● In a standalone literature review, your thesis statement will sum up and give a review of the current state of this field of research.
  • ● If this literature review is part of a thesis, your purpose statement should include how your review findings will influence the research on the topic on which you’re about to embark.

Here in the body, you summarize the current state of knowledge in the field. Each body paragraph will deal with a different theme that is relevant to your specific topic. Take note of the major themes or trends and findings that the researchers agree or disagree on.

The body can include the following:

  • ● Background
  • ● Methodologies
  • ● Previous studies on the topic
  • ● Arguments and disagreements on specific areas
  • ● Critical questions being asked
  • ● A sum up of the conclusions being drawn.

Your conclusion should be a sum of:

  • ● The main agreements and disagreements in the literature
  • ● Any gaps that need to be filed
  • ● Your take on the topic.

How to Write a Nursing Literature Review

To write a good nursing literature review, the 4 steps below can be undertaken:

Step 1- Define your research question

This is the main focus of the literature review, which guides the search for sources and their analysis. The research question should be clear, specific, and relevant to allow the reader to understand what the subsequent study will be about clearly.

Step 2- Conduct a literature search

The next step is to find and select the relevant sources for the research question. Writers can use various databases, journals, and other sources to find the most recent and credible research on their chosen topic. Keywords can be selected by the writer to effectively find the most relevant and suitable journal articles and studies that can be included in the literature review.

Step 3- Evaluate and select the sources

After conducting the literature search, the next step is to assess the quality and relevance of the researched sources. Based on the accuracy and relevance of the sources, alongside whether or not they are peer-reviewed, the sources should be selected to be a part of the final literature review.

Step 4- Write the literature review

After carefully planning the literature review in the first three steps, the fourth and final step is to draft the literature review in adherence with the main parts of a literature review discussed in the previous section.

Example of Nursing Literature Reviews

You can check out the following samples of what an actual Nursing Literature Review should look like:

  • ● Breastfeeding initiation and support: A literature review of what women value and the impact of early discharge.
  • ● The documentation practice of perioperative nurses: A literature review.

Seek Expert Help for Your Nursing Literature Review

The goal of a nursing literature review is for you to collate evidence on a specific topic and give context to your research paper.

A well-done literature review will help you gain much deeper insight into your field and also help you build your own unique perspective on the topic.

Your Nursing Literature Review Questions Answered: A Comprehensive FAQ

Why do i have to write a nursing literature review.

Writing a nursing literature review will help you understand what’s already known in the nursing field.

How Do I Choose a Topic?

Think about what you find interesting the most in nursing and write about it.

Where Do I Find Sources?

You can use websites like PubMed to find articles and studies.


Nursing: How to Write a Literature Review

Traditional or narrative literature review, other types of literature reviews.

  • Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review
  • How to Write a Literature Review

Research Librarian

For more help on this topic, please contact our Research Help Desk: [email protected] or 781-768-7303. Stay up-to-date on our current hours . Note: all hours are EST.

sample nursing literature review essays

This Guide was created by Carolyn Swidrak (retired).

This guide addresses how to prepare a traditional or narrative literature review. 

Why is a literature review important?

“The primary purpose of a literature review is to summarize evidence on a topic – to sum up what is known and what is not known . ” ( Polit & Beck, 2018, p. 107)

Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2018). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice. (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer

A traditional or narrative review is one type of review.  Others include:

  • systematic review
  • integrative review
  • scoping review

For more information on various types of reviews:

  • A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x
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Nursing: Literature Review

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Good Place to Start: Citation Databases

Interdisciplinary Citation Databases:

A good place to start your research  is to search a research citation database to view the scope of literature available on your topic.

TIP #1: SEED ARTICLE Begin your research with a "seed article" - an article that strongly supports your research topic.  Then use a citation database to follow the studies published by finding articles which have cited that article, either because they support it or because they disagree with it.

TIP #2: SNOWBALLING Snowballing is the process where researchers will begin with a select number of articles they have identified relevant/strongly supports their topic and then search each articles' references reviewing the studies cited to determine if they are relevant to your research.

BONUS POINTS: This process also helps identify key highly cited authors within a topic to help establish the "experts" in the field.

Begin by constructing a focused research question to help you then convert it into an effective search strategy.

  • Identify keywords or synonyms
  • Type of study/resources
  • Which database(s) to search
  • Asking a Good Question (PICO)
  • PICO - Worksheet
  • What Is a PICOT Question?

Seminal Works: Search Key Indexing/Citation Databases

  • Google Scholar
  • Web of Science

TIP – How to Locate Seminal Works

  • DO NOT: Limit by date range or you might overlook the seminal works
  • DO: Look at highly cited references (Seminal articles are frequently referred to “cited” in the research)
  • DO: Search citation databases like Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar

Web Resources

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of published information on a subject area. Conducting a literature review demands a careful examination of a body of literature that has been published that helps answer your research question (See PICO). Literature reviewed includes scholarly journals, scholarly books, authoritative databases, primary sources and grey literature.

A literature review attempts to answer the following:

  • What is known about the subject?
  • What is the chronology of knowledge about my subject?
  • Are there any gaps in the literature?
  • Is there a consensus/debate on issues?
  • Create a clear research question/statement
  • Define the scope of the review include limitations (i.e. gender, age, location, nationality...)
  • Search existing literature including classic works on your topic and grey literature
  • Evaluate results and the evidence (Avoid discounting information that contradicts your research)
  • Track and organize references
  • How to conduct an effective literature search.
  • Social Work Literature Review Guidelines (OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab)

What is PICO?

The PICO model can help you formulate a good clinical question. Sometimes it's referred to as PICO-T, containing an optional 5th factor. 

Search Example

sample nursing literature review essays

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What is a literature review?

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  • Go to LibrarySearch This link opens in a new window

So you have been asked to complete a literature review, but what is a literature review?

A literature review is a piece of research which aims to address a specific research question. It is a comprehensive summary and analysis of existing literature. The literature itself should be the main topic of discussion in your review. You want the results and themes to speak for themselves to avoid any bias.

The first step is to decide on a topic. Here are some elements to consider when deciding upon a topic:

  • Choose a topic which you are interested in, you will be looking at a lot of research surrounding that area so you want to ensure it is something that interests you. 
  • Draw on your own experiences, think about your placement or your workplace.
  • Think about why the topic is worth investigating.  

Once you have decided on a topic, it is a good practice to carry out an initial scoping search.

This requires you to do a quick search using  LibrarySearch  or  Google Scholar  to ensure that there is research on your topic. This is a preliminary step to your search to check what literature is available before deciding on your question. 

sample nursing literature review essays

The research question framework elements can also be used as keywords.

Keywords - spellings, acronyms, abbreviations, synonyms, specialist language

  • Think about who the population/ sample group. Are you looking for a particular age group, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, health issue etc.
  • What is the intervention/issue you want to know more about? This could be a particular type of medication, education, therapeutic technique etc. 
  • Do you have a particular context in mind? This could relate to a community setting, hospital, ward etc. 

It is important to remember that databases will only ever search for the exact term you put in, so don't panic if you are not getting the results you hoped for. Think about alternative words that could be used for each keyword to build upon your search. 

Build your search by thinking about about synonyms, specialist language, spellings, acronyms, abbreviations for each keyword that you have.

Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Your inclusion and exclusion criteria is also an important step in the literature review process. It allows you to be transparent in how you have  ended up with your final articles. 

Your inclusion/exclusion criteria is completely dependent on your chosen topic. Use your inclusion and exclusion criteria to select your articles, it is important not to cherry pick but to have a reason as to why you have selected that particular article. 

sample nursing literature review essays

  • Search Planning Template Use this template to plan your search strategy.

Once you have thought about your keywords and alternative keywords, it is time to think about how to combine them to form your search strategy. Boolean operators instruct the database how your terms should interact with one another. 

Boolean Operators

  • OR can be used to combine your keywords and alternative terms. For example "Social Media OR Twitter". When using OR we are informing the database to bring articles continuing either of those terms as they are both relevant so we don't mind which appears in our article. 
  • AND can be used to combine two or more concepts. For example "Social Media AND Anxiety". When using AND we are informing the database that we need both of the terms in our article in order for it to be relevant.
  • Truncation can be used when there are multiple possible word endings. For example Nurs* will find Nurse, Nurses and Nursing. 
  • Double quotation marks can be used to allow for phrase searching. This means that if you have two or more words that belong together as a phrase the database will search for that exact phrase rather than words separately.  For example "Social Media"

Don't forget the more ORs you use the broader your search becomes, the more ANDs you use the narrower your search becomes. 

One of the databases you will be using is EBSCOHost Research Databases. This is a platform which searches through multiple databases so allows for a comprehensive search. The short video below covers how to access and use EBSCO. 

A reference management software will save you a lot of time especially when you are looking at lots of different articles. 

We provide support for EndNote and Mendeley. The video below covers how to install and use Mendeley. 

Consider using a research question framework. A framework will ensure that your question is specific and answerable.

There are different frameworks available depending on what type of research you are interested in.

Population - Who is the question focussed on? This could relate to staff, patients, an age group, an ethnicity etc.

Intervention - What is the question focussed on? This could be a certain type of medication, therapeutic technique etc. 

Comparison/Context - This may be with our without the intervention or it may be concerned with the context for example where is the setting of your question? The hospital, ward, community etc?

Outcome - What do you hope to accomplish or improve etc.

Sample - as this is qualitative research sample is preferred over patient so that it is not generalised. 

Phenomenon of Interest - reasons for behaviour, attitudes, beliefs and decisions.

Design - the form of research used. 

Evaluation - the outcomes.

Research type -qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods.  

All frameworks help you to be specific, but don't worry if your question doesn't fit exactly into a framework. 

There are many critical appraisal tools or books you can use to assess the credibility of a research paper but these are a few we would recommend in the library. Your tutor may be able to advise you of others or some that are more suitable for your topic.

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)

CASP is a well-known critical appraisal website that has checklists for a wide variety of study types. You will see it frequently used by practitioners.

Understanding Health Research

This is a brand-new, interactive resource that guides you through appraising a research paper, highlighting key areas you should consider when appraising evidence.

Greenhalgh, T. (2014) How to read a paper: The basics of evidence-based medicine . 5 th edn. Chichester: Wiley

Greenhalgh’s book is a classic in critical appraisal. Whilst you don’t need to read this book cover-to-cover, it can be useful to refer to its specific chapters on how to assess different types of research papers. We have copies available in the library!

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What are Systematic Reviews? (3 minutes, 24 second YouTube Video)

Systematic Literature Reviews: Steps & Resources

sample nursing literature review essays

These steps for conducting a systematic literature review are listed below . 

Also see subpages for more information about:

  • The different types of literature reviews, including systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis methods
  • Tools & Tutorials

Literature Review & Systematic Review Steps

  • Develop a Focused Question
  • Scope the Literature  (Initial Search)
  • Refine & Expand the Search
  • Limit the Results
  • Download Citations
  • Abstract & Analyze
  • Create Flow Diagram
  • Synthesize & Report Results

1. Develop a Focused   Question 

Consider the PICO Format: Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome

Focus on defining the Population or Problem and Intervention (don't narrow by Comparison or Outcome just yet!)

"What are the effects of the Pilates method for patients with low back pain?"

Tools & Additional Resources:

  • PICO Question Help
  • Stillwell, Susan B., DNP, RN, CNE; Fineout-Overholt, Ellen, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN; Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN; Williamson, Kathleen M., PhD, RN Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question, AJN The American Journal of Nursing : March 2010 - Volume 110 - Issue 3 - p 58-61 doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000368959.11129.79

2. Scope the Literature

A "scoping search" investigates the breadth and/or depth of the initial question or may identify a gap in the literature. 

Eligible studies may be located by searching in:

  • Background sources (books, point-of-care tools)
  • Article databases
  • Trial registries
  • Grey literature
  • Cited references
  • Reference lists

When searching, if possible, translate terms to controlled vocabulary of the database. Use text word searching when necessary.

Use Boolean operators to connect search terms:

  • Combine separate concepts with AND  (resulting in a narrower search)
  • Connecting synonyms with OR  (resulting in an expanded search)

Search:  pilates AND ("low back pain"  OR  backache )

Video Tutorials - Translating PICO Questions into Search Queries

  • Translate Your PICO Into a Search in PubMed (YouTube, Carrie Price, 5:11) 
  • Translate Your PICO Into a Search in CINAHL (YouTube, Carrie Price, 4:56)

3. Refine & Expand Your Search

Expand your search strategy with synonymous search terms harvested from:

  • database thesauri
  • reference lists
  • relevant studies


(pilates OR exercise movement techniques) AND ("low back pain" OR backache* OR sciatica OR lumbago OR spondylosis)

As you develop a final, reproducible strategy for each database, save your strategies in a:

  • a personal database account (e.g., MyNCBI for PubMed)
  • Log in with your NYU credentials
  • Open and "Make a Copy" to create your own tracker for your literature search strategies

4. Limit Your Results

Use database filters to limit your results based on your defined inclusion/exclusion criteria.  In addition to relying on the databases' categorical filters, you may also need to manually screen results.  

  • Limit to Article type, e.g.,:  "randomized controlled trial" OR multicenter study
  • Limit by publication years, age groups, language, etc.

NOTE: Many databases allow you to filter to "Full Text Only".  This filter is  not recommended . It excludes articles if their full text is not available in that particular database (CINAHL, PubMed, etc), but if the article is relevant, it is important that you are able to read its title and abstract, regardless of 'full text' status. The full text is likely to be accessible through another source (a different database, or Interlibrary Loan).  

  • Filters in PubMed
  • CINAHL Advanced Searching Tutorial

5. Download Citations

Selected citations and/or entire sets of search results can be downloaded from the database into a citation management tool. If you are conducting a systematic review that will require reporting according to PRISMA standards, a citation manager can help you keep track of the number of articles that came from each database, as well as the number of duplicate records.

In Zotero, you can create a Collection for the combined results set, and sub-collections for the results from each database you search.  You can then use Zotero's 'Duplicate Items" function to find and merge duplicate records.

File structure of a Zotero library, showing a combined pooled set, and sub folders representing results from individual databases.

  • Citation Managers - General Guide

6. Abstract and Analyze

  • Migrate citations to data collection/extraction tool
  • Screen Title/Abstracts for inclusion/exclusion
  • Screen and appraise full text for relevance, methods, 
  • Resolve disagreements by consensus

Covidence is a web-based tool that enables you to work with a team to screen titles/abstracts and full text for inclusion in your review, as well as extract data from the included studies.

Screenshot of the Covidence interface, showing Title and abstract screening phase.

  • Covidence Support
  • Critical Appraisal Tools
  • Data Extraction Tools

7. Create Flow Diagram

The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram is a visual representation of the flow of records through different phases of a systematic review.  It depicts the number of records identified, included and excluded.  It is best used in conjunction with the PRISMA checklist .

Example PRISMA diagram showing number of records identified, duplicates removed, and records excluded.

Example from: Stotz, S. A., McNealy, K., Begay, R. L., DeSanto, K., Manson, S. M., & Moore, K. R. (2021). Multi-level diabetes prevention and treatment interventions for Native people in the USA and Canada: A scoping review. Current Diabetes Reports, 2 (11), 46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-021-01414-3

  • PRISMA Flow Diagram Generator (ShinyApp.io, Haddaway et al. )
  • PRISMA Diagram Templates  (Word and PDF)
  • Make a copy of the file to fill out the template
  • Image can be downloaded as PDF, PNG, JPG, or SVG
  • Covidence generates a PRISMA diagram that is automatically updated as records move through the review phases

8. Synthesize & Report Results

There are a number of reporting guideline available to guide the synthesis and reporting of results in systematic literature reviews.

It is common to organize findings in a matrix, also known as a Table of Evidence (ToE).

Example of a review matrix, using Microsoft Excel, showing the results of a systematic literature review.

  • Reporting Guidelines for Systematic Reviews
  • Download a sample template of a health sciences review matrix  (GoogleSheets)

Steps modified from: 

Cook, D. A., & West, C. P. (2012). Conducting systematic reviews in medical education: a stepwise approach.   Medical Education , 46 (10), 943–952.

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Nursing Care, Literature Review Example

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You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

According to the American Nurses Association, “nursing-sensitive indicators reflect the structure, process and outcomes of nursing care” (ANA, n.d.). The structure of nursing care is generally determined by the education level and certifications that the nursing staff holds in addition to his or her experience. Indicators of process include nurses’ job satisfaction, assessment, and intervention. Patient outcomes are correlated with the quantity and quality of care received. Many healthcare professionals have conducted studies to ensure that there will be quality improvement in patient satisfaction and outcomes in hospitals of the southwest region of Montana. This paper will analyze the findings of these studies and determine whether there is a need for future research on the topic.

A study entitled “The interpretation of “culture”: Diverging perspectives on medical provision in rural Montana” suggests that providing healthcare professionals with knowledge about the cultural beliefs and other ideologies of their patients will assist the health quality of minority groups and enhance healthcare practices overall (Johnston et al., 2006). This study implicates a need for the adaption of the structure aspect of nursing-sensitive indicators because it asks for nurses to pay greater attention to certain non-medical aspects of their patients’ health. To determine whether cultural competency is a necessary trait in the healthcare field, the investigators conducted a qualitative, interview-based investigation. Specifically, they aimed to determine how culture was exhibited by Mexican agricultural workers and rural healthcare providers in the state of Montana. They found that a majority of healthcare workers focused on the cultural characteristics that made their patients unique. Overall, they found that cultural competency was a major issue in this area. This study should be conducted to extend to areas with more diverse populations to determine the relationship between cultural competency of nurses as it pertains to specific cultures; in addition, the study should be configured so as to provide suggestions as to how we can prevent discrimination in healthcare.

An essential way to improve both the structure and patient outcome aspects of nursing-sensitive indicators is to implement programs that make nurses aware of the most frequent problems they will face while serving their community. Because the demographics of southwest Montana differs greatly compared to the rest of the United States, nurses in this geographic region will need to be more aptly trained in certain areas of healthcare than nursing programs have prepared them for. Although a major way to ensure this skill is through practice and experience, hospitals and private practitioner offices in the area should offer additional training to nurses to ensure that they are prepared to manage these types of patient cases. For example, the article “Radioactive Pain Relief: Health Care Strategies and Risk Assessment Among Elderly Persons with Arthritis at Radon Health Mines” discusses a health issue unique to southwest Montana. This article proposes the health benefits of radon exposure for people with arthritis (Erickson, 2007). Since many other parts of the United States don’t have access to this sort of treatment, it is likely that it hasn’t been considered feasible elsewhere. However, this may be an important for patients in Montana because there is a high prevalence of arthritis and many conventional treatments don’t seem to help. To analyze whether this method works, the researcher used a qualitative study design based on loosely structured and open-ended interviews which were then analyzed for patterns. Patients were recruited over a period of 5 years from a southwestern Montana radon health mine. Statistical analysis revealed that a majority of the patients believed that the radon therapy was helping their arthritis. To ensure that radon actually has a positive effect however, patients with arthritis should be randomized to radon exposure or not in addition to their current therapy. Improvement should be noted in both groups and then a student’s t-test should be used to compare the two groups.

Unfortunately, not many studies have been conducted that specify nursing practices in southwest Montana; however, studies of regions with similar demographics can be used and we can use inferences from these studies to draw conclusions about our target population. For example, “The Economic Importance of Southwest Healthcare Services to Bowman County, North Dakota” is an ecologic study that details healthcare needs according to economic status in North Dakota (Huso, 2010). Since southwest Montana has a similar economic distribution, we can assume that the two study populations are somewhat comparable. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the impact that Southwest Healthcare Services has on Bowman County. Surveys and census data were used to collect economic and health information and statistical analysis was used to draw relationships. The author found that Southwest Healthcare Services improves the quality of life for people in Bowman. It would therefore be useful to determine the impact of southeastern Montana healthcare services on the economy of the people and determine how this improves this populations’ quality of life and therefore the patient outcome aspect of nursing-sensitive indicators.

A major aspect regarding healthcare for the southwest Montana area is the ability of patients to actually access the care that healthcare institutions offer them. Nursing-sensitive indicators can only be positive if the nurse actually has an opportunity to do his or her job and assist public health. In “Frontier residents’ perception of health care access”, the author discusses that it may be difficult for people to access healthcare due to “cost, lack of insurance, and lack of available resources” (Smith, 2008). In this article, the author aims to “explore frontier residents’ health care access resources, investigate frontier residents’ utilization of health care services, search for reasons frontier residents seek healthcare, and explore the residents’ overall satisfaction regarding their health care access options”. To do so, the author used open ended questions and a qualitative approach by interviewing 11 residents in southwestern Montana. He found that while people were generally satisfied with the healthcare they were getting, many people didn’t regularly visit clinics due to the price of gas, the distance of the clinic or hospital, weather, taking off of work, and insurance deductibles or copays. Since these were major problems for residents of southwestern Montana, it is important to conduct a study that will help healthcare professionals persuade these people that it is necessary to seek medical advice despite these barriers.

Another article that attempts to answer questions regarding healthcare access in southwestern Montana is entitled “Rural Montana: Mobile Health Clinics” (Mensch, 2011). Here, the author uses the same study design, research questions, collection procedures, and conceptual framework as the previously mentioned study, however she interviewed 12 southwestern Montana residents instead of 11. Although Mensch had the same findings as Smith, she proposed that a solution to the lack of patient access to care in this region would be to implement mobile health clinics that come to the patient instead of requiring the patient to come to the clinic or hospital. It may be worthwhile to investigate this plan and studies should be conducted to determine whether this type of plan would be feasible and whether it would truly improve quality of care and patient outcome for the residents of southwestern Montana.

The conceptual framework that will be used to conduct future studies on this topic will be qualitative in nature due to the use of surveys and interviews as measures of the outcome. The goal this project will be to determine what makes southwestern Montana’s health needs unique from other populations and geographic regions and based on these facts determine how we can best deliver health services to residents. Variables that will be measured include health outcome, demographic distribution, and prevalence of illnesses. This study will build upon previous studies by considering what is currently known and stated in the literature and using this information to draw useful conclusions about the study population.

ANA. (n.d.). Nursing-Sensitive Indicators. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/PtientSafetyQuality/Research-Measurement/The-National-Database/Nursing-Sensitive-Indicators_1

Erickson, BE. (2007). Radioactive Pain Relief: Health Care Strategies and Risk Assessment Among Elderly Persons with Arthritis at Radon Health Mines. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2006.6213

Huso E. (2010). The Economic Importance of Southwest Healthcare Services to Bowman County, North Dakota. The University of North Dakota. Retrieved from http://ruralhealth.und.edu/projects/flex/cahprofiles/economic_bowman.pdf

Johnston ME, Herzig RM. (2006). The interpretation of “culture”: Diverging perspectives on medical provision in rural Montana. Social Science and Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953606003170

Mensch, DL. (2011). Rural Montana: Mobile Health Clinics. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/handle/1/1862

Smith RJ. (2008). Frontier residents’ perception of health care access. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/handle/1/2308

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Top Nursing Literature Review Examples for UK-Based Researchers

Top Nursing Literature Review Examples for UK-Based Researchers

When it comes to conducting research in the field of nursing, a well-crafted literature review is the cornerstone of your academic journey. As a UK-based researcher, you understand the importance of aligning your work with the latest healthcare policies, guidelines, and research priorities. To help you on your path to excellence, we’ve compiled a curated selection of top nursing literature review examples that will not only inspire you but also provide practical insights into creating your own stellar literature review .

Table of Contents

The Crucial Role of a Nursing Literature Review

Before we delve into the world of nursing literature review examples, let’s take a moment to appreciate the pivotal role this section plays in your research:

  • Knowledge Synthesis: A nursing literature review is your opportunity to synthesize existing research and knowledge related to your topic. It allows you to identify key themes, trends, and gaps in the literature.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Nursing is a field where evidence-based practice is paramount. Your literature review provides the foundation for making informed decisions in clinical practice, policy development, and research design.
  • Critical Analysis: It demonstrates your critical thinking and analytical skills. A well-crafted literature review showcases your ability to assess the quality and relevance of research articles.
  • Contextualization: Your literature review places your research within the broader context of the field, allowing readers to understand the significance of your work.

Given the significance of the nursing literature review , it’s essential to have access to high-quality examples that can guide you in creating a literature review that stands out.

Nursing Literature Review Example: A Source of Inspiration

Nursing literature review examples serve as beacons of inspiration for researchers at all levels. Here’s why they are so valuable:

  • Structural Guidance: Examples provide insight into how to structure your literature review effectively. You can see how to introduce, organize, and conclude various sections.
  • Writing Style: By studying examples, you can get a sense of the appropriate academic writing style, tone, and language for your literature review .
  • Citation and Referencing: Examples demonstrate how to properly cite and reference sources, which is crucial for maintaining academic integrity.
  • Research Focus: Examining examples specific to nursing allows you to understand the key areas of research and the current state of knowledge in the field.

Now, let’s explore where you can find these invaluable examples.

1. University Libraries and Databases

University libraries and academic databases are excellent starting points. Most universities provide access to digital dissertations, theses, and research papers through their library websites. Academic databases such as PubMed and CINAHL also host a vast collection of nursing literature reviews. You can search for literature reviews related to your specific nursing topic and access them online.

2. Online Academic Repositories

Numerous online platforms specialize in hosting academic research, including nursing literature reviews. Websites like ResearchGate and JSTOR offer a wealth of resources. These platforms often provide downloadable PDFs of research papers, dissertations, and theses.

3. Nursing Journals

Academic nursing journals frequently publish literature reviews as part of research articles. Journals like the “Journal of Advanced Nursing” and the “Journal of Nursing Scholarship” feature high-quality literature reviews. You can access these articles online and download them for reference.

4. Nursing Schools and Departments

Check the websites of nursing schools and departments at renowned universities. They often showcase exemplary student work, including literature reviews. These examples are typically curated to showcase exceptional research.

5. Online Academic Writing Services

Another valuable source of nursing literature review examples is online academic writing services like ours. These services often maintain a repository of sample papers and dissertations that students and researchers can access for reference. These examples are typically well-crafted and can serve as a guide for your own work.

Example of a Nursing Literature Review PDF: Tailored to Your Field

If you’re pursuing a nursing degree or conducting research in nursing, you may require literature review examples specific to your field. Here’s where to find an example of a nursing literature review PDF:

  • University Nursing Departments: Nursing departments of universities often showcase the work of their students on their websites. These examples are tailored to nursing topics and can provide valuable insights.
  • Nursing Conferences and Seminars: Nursing conferences and seminars often feature presentations and research papers with literature reviews. You may find relevant literature review examples presented at these events.

Nursing Research Organizations: Organizations like the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the UK may publish research papers and literature reviews on their websites.

Literature Review Examples Nursing: How to Make the Most of Them

Now that you know where to find nursing literature review examples, it’s crucial to understand how to make the most of these resources:

  • Analyze Structure: Pay close attention to the structure of the literature review . Observe how it begins with an introduction, progresses with literature synthesis, and concludes with a summary.
  • Study Citation Style: Examine how sources are cited and referenced. Ensure that you understand the citation style used (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) and follow it consistently in your own work.
  • Identify Key Themes: Look for the identification of key themes, theories, or gaps in the literature. Understanding how these elements are woven into the narrative can guide your own literature review .

Adapt to Your Research: While examples provide valuable guidance, remember to adapt them to your specific research question and context. Your literature review should reflect your unique research focus.

Conclusion: Elevating Your Nursing Research

In your journey to contribute to the field of nursing research, access to high-quality nursing literature review examples is a powerful asset. They offer guidance, structure, and inspiration to create a literature review that makes an impact. Whether you’re a student, a seasoned researcher, or a clinician seeking to integrate evidence-based practice, these resources can help you excel.

Nursing literature review examples provide a roadmap for your research journey. They help you navigate the complexities of academic writing, ensure the credibility of your sources, and demonstrate the relevance of your research. Embrace these examples as valuable tools on your path to excellence.

Remember that while examples are invaluable, your own research and unique contribution to the nursing literature are what truly matter. Use these examples as guides, build upon them, and embark on your journey to elevate nursing research in the UK and beyond. Your dedication and commitment will shape the future of healthcare and make a lasting impact in the field of nursing.

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  • Organizing/Writing
  • APA Style This link opens in a new window
  • Chicago: Notes Bibliography This link opens in a new window
  • MLA Style This link opens in a new window

Sample Lit Reviews from Communication Arts

Have an exemplary literature review.

  • Literature Review Sample 1
  • Literature Review Sample 2
  • Literature Review Sample 3

Have you written a stellar literature review you care to share for teaching purposes?

Are you an instructor who has received an exemplary literature review and have permission from the student to post?

Please contact Britt McGowan at [email protected] for inclusion in this guide. All disciplines welcome and encouraged.

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  • Next: Get Help! >>
  • Last Updated: Mar 22, 2024 9:37 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.uwf.edu/litreview


Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

  • The EBP Process
  • Forming a Clinical Question
  • Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
  • Acquiring Evidence
  • Appraising the Quality of the Evidence
  • Writing a Literature Review
  • Finding Psychological Tests & Assessment Instruments

What Is a Literature Review?

A literature review is an integrated analysis of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question. Put simply, it's  a critical evaluation of what's already been written on a particular topic . It represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a connection between those writings and your research question.

A literature review may be a stand-alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment. Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you.

What a Literature Review Is Not:

  • A list or summary of sources
  • An annotated bibliography
  • A grouping of broad, unrelated sources
  • A compilation of everything that has been written on a particular topic
  • Literary criticism (think English) or a book review

Why Literature Reviews Are Important

  • They explain the background of research on a topic
  • They demonstrate why a topic is significant to a subject area
  • They discover relationships between research studies/ideas
  • They identify major themes, concepts, and researchers on a topic
  • They identify critical gaps and points of disagreement
  • They discuss further research questions that logically come out of the previous studies

To Learn More about Conducting and Writing a Lit Review . . .

Monash University (in Australia) has created several extremely helpful, interactive tutorials. 

  • The Stand-Alone Literature Review, https://www.monash.edu/rlo/assignment-samples/science/stand-alone-literature-review
  • Researching for Your Literature Review,  https://guides.lib.monash.edu/researching-for-your-literature-review/home
  • Writing a Literature Review,  https://www.monash.edu/rlo/graduate-research-writing/write-the-thesis/writing-a-literature-review

Keep Track of Your Sources!

A citation manager can be helpful way to work with large numbers of citations. See UMSL Libraries' Citing Sources guide for more information. Personally, I highly recommend Zotero —it's free, easy to use, and versatile. If you need help getting started with Zotero or one of the other citation managers, please contact a librarian.

  • << Previous: Appraising the Quality of the Evidence
  • Next: Finding Psychological Tests & Assessment Instruments >>
  • Last Updated: Nov 15, 2023 11:47 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.umsl.edu/ebp


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  1. Nursing: How to Write a Literature Review

    Once you have read and re-read your articles and organized your findings, you are ready to begin the process of writing the literature review. 2. Synthesize. (see handout below) Include a synthesis of the articles you have chosen for your literature review. A literature review is NOT a list or a summary of what has been written on a particular ...

  2. PDF Effects of patient death on nursing staff: a literature review

    The aim of this literature review is to explore how the death of patients in a hospital setting impact on nursing staff. Methodology: A review of the literature was undertaken using the online databases CINAHL, Medline and PsychInfo. The search was limited to articles in the English language and those from peer reviewed journals. Results:

  3. Reviewing the literature

    Implementing evidence into practice requires nurses to identify, critically appraise and synthesise research. This may require a comprehensive literature review: this article aims to outline the approaches and stages required and provides a working example of a published review. Literature reviews aim to answer focused questions to: inform professionals and patients of the best available ...

  4. Writing a Literature Review

    Run a few sample database searches to make sure your research question is not too broad or too narrow. If possible, discuss your topic with your professor. 2. Determine the scope of your review. The scope of your review will be determined by your professor during your program. Check your assignment requirements for parameters for the Literature ...

  5. Literature Review

    A literature review is NOT an academic research paper, an annotated bibliography, or a report on original research. Unlike an academic research paper, the main focus of a literature review is not to develop a new argument. A literature review is an overview of a topic that shows the reader what research has been done on that subject.A literature review may build on an annotated bibliography ...

  6. PDF Undertaking a literature review: A step-by-step approach

    review, meta-analysis and meta-synthesis. Undertaking a literature review includes identification of a topic of. interest, searching and retrieving the appropriate literature, analysing and synthesising the findings and writing a report. A structured step-by-step approach facilitates the production of a.

  7. Literature Reviews

    A literature review can be a short introductory section of a research article or a report or policy paper that focuses on recent research. Or, in the case of dissertations, theses, and review articles, it can be an extensive review of all relevant research. The format is usually a bibliographic essay; sources are briefly cited within the body ...

  8. PDF Reviewing the literature

    fi. taken is in uenced by the purpose of the review and. fl. resources available. However, the stages or methods used to undertake a review are similar across approaches and include: Formulating clear inclusion and exclusion criteria, for example, patient groups, ages, conditions/treat-ments, sources of evidence/research designs;

  9. Nursing Literature Review

    Enhance your nursing literature reviews with expert tips, a comprehensive guide, and illustrative examples at Nursing-Essay. Elevate your academic writing with our valuable resources. 718-568-5079

  10. Nursing: How to Write a Literature Review

    This guide addresses how to prepare a traditional or narrative literature review. Why is a literature review important? "The primary purpose of a literature review is to summarize evidence on a topic - to sum up what is known and what is not known. " (Polit & Beck, 2018, p. 107) Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2018). Essentials of nursing ...

  11. Nursing: Literature Review

    A literature review is a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of published information on a subject area. Conducting a literature review demands a careful examination of a body of literature that has been published that helps answer your research question (See PICO). Literature reviewed includes scholarly journals, scholarly books ...

  12. PDF Critical Thinking and Writing for Nursing Students

    Three interventions are located within the research literature, one associated with group teaching, another with the use of video training and a third linked to coaching. Step 2: Select the best fitting intervention in view of client problems, situation and outcomes.

  13. LibGuides: Nursing and Midwifery: Literature Reviews

    Greenhalgh's book is a classic in critical appraisal. Whilst you don't need to read this book cover-to-cover, it can be useful to refer to its specific chapters on how to assess different types of research papers. We have copies available in the library! Last Updated: Apr 18, 2024 12:13 PM.

  14. Conducting integrative reviews: a guide for novice nursing researchers

    Step 1: Write the review question. The review question acts as a foundation for an integrative study (Riva et al. 2012).Yet, a review question may be difficult to articulate for the novice nursing researcher as it needs to consider multiple factors specifically, the population or sample, the interventions or area under investigation, the research design and outcomes and any benefit to the ...

  15. Literature Reviews

    Literature Review & Systematic Review Steps. Develop a Focused Question; Scope the Literature ... Kathleen M., PhD, RN Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question, AJN The American Journal of Nursing: March 2010 - Volume 110 ... Download a sample template of a health sciences review matrix (GoogleSheets) Steps modified from:

  16. Nursing Care, Literature Review Example

    The structure of nursing care is generally determined by the education level and certifications that the nursing staff holds in addition to his or her experience. Indicators of process include nurses' job satisfaction, assessment, and intervention. Patient outcomes are correlated with the quantity and quality of care received.

  17. How to Write a Literature Review

    Examples of literature reviews. Step 1 - Search for relevant literature. Step 2 - Evaluate and select sources. Step 3 - Identify themes, debates, and gaps. Step 4 - Outline your literature review's structure. Step 5 - Write your literature review.

  18. Nursing Lit Review Example

    Knowledge Synthesis: A nursing literature review is your opportunity to synthesize existing research and knowledge related to your topic. It allows you to identify key themes, trends, and gaps in the literature. Evidence-Based Practice: Nursing is a field where evidence-based practice is paramount. Your literature review provides the foundation ...

  19. Sample Literature Reviews

    Steps for Conducting a Lit Review; Finding "The Literature" Organizing/Writing; APA Style This link opens in a new window; Chicago: Notes Bibliography This link opens in a new window; MLA Style This link opens in a new window; Sample Literature Reviews. Sample Lit Reviews from Communication Arts; Have an exemplary literature review? Get Help!

  20. Nursing Handover Literature Review

    The literature review revealed that there are different types of nursing handover and three themes emerged from it, bedside handover, verbal handover (office based handover) and tape recorded handover and bedside handover being the most favoured. The evidence on the most effective handover method is weak, however the literature review ...

  21. Writing a Literature Review

    A literature review is an integrated analysis of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question. Put simply, it's a critical evaluation of what's already been written on a particular topic.It represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a connection between those writings and your research question.

  22. Nursing Literature Reviews

    Nursing Literature Reviews. The nursing literature reviews below were written by students to help you with your own studies. If you are looking for help with your nursing literature review then we offer a comprehensive writing service provided by fully qualified academics in your field of study. Literature Review Service.

  23. PDF Writing a Literature Review

    Your introduction should give an outline of why you are writing the review, and why the topic is important. ü "the scope of the review — what aspects of the topic will be discussed. ü the criteria used for your literature selection (e.g. type of sources used, date range) ü the organisational pattern of the review" (Citewrite, 2016 ...