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KIN 386 - Research Methods

Finding Sources

Literature Reviews

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.

Developing a Research Question

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?

Turning a Research Question into a Search Strategy

In order to search most effectively, break your research questions into it's main concepts. Exp:

  • intermittent hypoxia intervention
  • type 2 diabetes
  • physical limitations
  • health outcomes

Do background research and brainstorming to discover other terms the literature may use for these concepts.

  • Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) Terms
  • Database thesauri
  • Encyclopedias
  • Exploratory database searches 


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


Books on Literature Reviews

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