This guide is designed to support research for students in HED 395: Planning Health Promotion Programs. Use the tabs on the left to browse recommended resources.
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Think of scholarly papers like a conversation. A paper takes a look at what people are saying on a particular topic and then adds something new to the conversation based on their own research. A literature review is how scholars get caught up on the conversation so they will know what to say or ask next.
A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.
A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates.
A research question is what forms and guides your literature review. It is the question that you want the literature to answer for you. A research question should be specific, focused, and concise.
To develop a research question, start with a general topic of interest to you. You'll want to do some preliminary and background research on this topic to think through what specific questions you might have.
Sample Topic: heart disease among the Native American population
Sample Research Question: What environmental factors impact rates of heart disease among the Native American population?
Need more guidance on developing your topic into a research question? Check out this video from the library at Northern Kentucky University.
The University Writing Center is available to help you with your writing assignments. The UWC can help with your writing at any stage, including: finding a topic for a paper, organizing ideas and clarifying thoughts, and drafting and revising papers. Make an appointment on their website for a consultation with a writing coach.
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