A literature review is an important element of any research study. For research to move forward, researchers much be familiar with the research that has been conducted before and situate their own projects within the broader scholarly conversation.
A literature review has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.
Your research question forms and guides your search strategy. It is the question that you want the literature (and/or your own study) 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 or where gaps may exist in the existing literature.
Sample Topic: Intermittent hypoxia and diabetes
Sample Research Question: Does repeated exposure to intermittent hypoxia intervention improve health outcomes for patients with type 2 Diabetes who have physical limitations?
In order to search most effectively, break your research questions into it's main concepts. Exp:
Do background research and brainstorming to discover other terms the literature may use for these concepts.
|Concept||MeSH Heading(s)||SportDiscus Thesaurus||PsycINFO Thesaurus|
intermittent hypoxia intervention
|Hypoxia/physiology"[Mesh] OR "Hypoxia/physiopathology"[Mesh] OR "Hypoxia/rehabilitation"[Mesh] OR "Hypoxia/therapeutic use"[Mesh] OR "Hypoxia/therapy"[Mesh]||Hypoxemia (SU), anoxaemia, anoxemia, anoxhemia, anoxia, oxygen deficiency||Anoxia (SU)|
|type 2 diabetes||"Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2"[Mesh]||NON-insulin-dependent diabetes (SU), ADULT onset diabetes, KETOSIS resistant diabetes, MATURITY onset diabetes, NIDDM, NONINSULIN-dependent diabetes, STABLE diabetes||Type 2 Diabetes (SU), Diabetes Mellitus, Type II Diabetes|
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