The components of a systematic review

  • 1. Decide the topic and the question that the review will be designed answer. Part of this is to determine why it is important to do such a study. This will form the introduction of your paper.
  • 2. Work out what types of studies you will need to collect to address your research question.
  • 3. Carry out a systematic search of the literature to identify the reports of research you need.
  • 4. Filter the results of each search according to those that fit your inclusion criteria.
  • 5. Work through each selected paper determining those elements that are pertinent to the way you have framed your study.
  • 6. Based on your analysis you should be in a position to synthesise your findings and address your research question.
  • 7. You will likely have further questions that derive from your work, a good sign. All research is about asking better questions.

It is crucial that you keep a good record of all of your work in your trusty notebooks. If you don't writing your paper will be a nightmare, literally!!

And remember, the early stages of this work, the planning, you need to allow the various elements to interact, the topic, question, design, theory, methodology to interact so that you achieve a good fit for all.

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