Answer Key

Chapter 1: Practice

Abstract 1: Integrative. Frequently the type of literature review will be clearly given in either the article title or in the abstract. In this case, the authors describe their work as “An integrative literature review between 2004 and 2015…” Additionally, the methodology section of the article may further describe the research methodology and why the integrative approach was chosen.

Abstract 2: Meta-analysis. The authors describe their methodology in this way: “The research design of this study is meta-analysis. Instead of students or schools, we use prior studies as our unit of analysis. Meta-analysis allows researchers to gather information about prior studies and then estimate effect sizes of various components of the combined research studies.”

Chapter 1: Test Yourself

  1. False. A graduate-level literature review is a compilation of the most significant previously published research on your topic
  2. True
  3. Narrative. “During the preparation of this narrative review, the literature on e-cigarettes available within the network PubMed was retrieved and examined.”
  4. Focused. “She wishes to construct a narrowly-focused and succinct literature review of thinkers who have donned a feminist lens to analyze Dewey’s approaches to education…”

Chapter 2: Practice

  1. Good places to find basic information on any topic are textbooks, and encyclopedia. You may also find a book chapter that will be able to give you the basics. If you were looking for a quick answer or definition, the Web can give you some ideas though you would need to be more critical of the source.
  2. Often these radio broadcasts, or news items in newspapers or magazines will give you enough information to find a study. They may state where a study was published, the names of the researchers, where the study was conducted, etc. Using these clues you can do a web search for more details and find a citation for a journal article or conference proceeding. Another way to find the study is to go to a subject specific database that indexes articles from scholars in that discipline and use your clues and search terms about the study and see what you find.
  3. Trade publications are a good place to find practical information about how professionals are applying research to everyday practice. For some issues you might find monographs that cover practical application, too. Always be aware of who is writing these articles and books. Are qualified to speak on the topic?
  4. Grant applications will require you to show what is being published on the research topic you want to explore. They will require you to cite studies from journals that are scholarly and peer reviewed. It is also possible to cite conference proceedings and professional websites but journal articles will likely be the bulk of your evidence that the topic is of interest and that you have checked to see if anyone else has done this study before.
  5. Remember that primary sources are those that came first. You could look for newspaper articles or advertisements from the time period you are studying. Diaries might also be a source of information as well as medical books published during that time. Historical societies and museums also have artifacts and old print material. There are some encyclopedias and monographs that contain historical documents and there are many that are digitized and can be found on the Web.
  6. To be sure there are no other theses like the one you want to write you can look in dissertation and theses databases, such as ProQuest’s Dissertation Express or search the web to see if any are available.
  7. Check any Facebook hyperlinks to determine the quality and authenticity of the source. You can also look at fact-checking sites such as, or to determine the veracity or accuracy of a posting.

Chapter 2: Test Yourself

  1. Match the type of periodical to its content:
  • Magazine – contains articles about a variety of topics of popular interest and contains advertising.
  • Trade publication – has information about industry trends and practical information for professionals in a field.
  • Scholarly journal – written by scholars in an academic field and reviewed by experts in that field.
  1. Put the following information sources in order from the least accurate and reliable to the most accurate and reliable. (1 least accurate/4 most accurate)
  • News broadcasts and social media directly following an event.
  • Analysis of an event in the news media or popular magazine weeks after an event.
  • Articles written by scholars and published in a journal.
  • Books and encyclopedias
  1. What is the information called that is either a diary, a speech, original research, data, artwork, or a religious book?


  1. To find the best information in databases you need to use keywords that are used by the scholars. Where do you find out what keywords to try?

All of the above

  1. Which of the following is NOT true about scholarly journals?

They are of interest to the general public

Chapter 3: Practice

  1. Which of the following questions seems the most viable for further study and why?
  • Defines and describes a population (rural adult learners) and sets up a comparison with another population (adult learners in general). Potential to broaden or narrow scope and depth as needed.

Questions b) and c) are more descriptive and lack specifics.

  1. Can you spot the research question? What are the PICO factors for each?
  • What types of workplace hazards do nursing assistants face? Population (nursing assistants in the US); Outcome (prevention, improved training)
  • What are the family needs of children affected by parental mental health problems? Population (families affected by mental health issues); Comparison (needs of parents/needs of children)
  • What are the contributions of music to peacebuilding? Intervention (music); Comparison (peacekeeping/violence)
  • What health literacy programs are available for older adults? Population (older adults); Intervention (health literacy programs)
  • Are reading instruction programs effective for English language learners? Population (English language learners); Intervention (reading instruction programs)
  • Are cultural interventions effective in treating addictions? Population (indigenous people with addictions); Intervention (culture-based programs); Outcomes (dimension of wellness)

Chapter 3: Test Yourself

  1. False
  2. B
  3. A
  4. D
  5. No
  6. 2

Chapter 4: Practice

Self-guided study

Chapter 4: Test Yourself

Self-guided study

Chapter 5: Practice

Self-guided study

Chapter 5: Test Yourself

For Nursing students: #1 is the correct answer. Although article #2 concerns vaccinations, it does not appear to link to autism.

For Education students: #2 is the correct answer. Although #1 concerns music intervention, your topic is about therapy, not vaccinations.

Chapter 6: Practice

Self-guided study

Chapter 6: Test Yourself

  1. Guidelines/State
  2. All of the above
  3. (Barrett, 1991, p. 17)
  4. Poortman, A. (2005). How work affects divorce: The mediating role of financial and time pressures. Journal of Family Issues 26(2), 168-180.
  5. Sources cited in the paper must appear on the reference page in alphabetical order

Chapter 7: Practice

Self-guided study

Chapter 7: Test Yourself

Self-guided study

Chapter 8: Practice

  1. For example: This introductory paragraph does state an overall topic (graduate student writing among nursing or education students) however:
  • The tone and style of a literature review is formal, generally written in the third person
  • In the first sentence, ‘motivate’ may not be the correct term. Perhaps ‘inform’ would be more appropriate here
  • Although ‘purpose’ of the chapter is mentioned several times, it is unclear if the literature review has one purpose or several purposes. If the only purpose of this review is to critically evaluate previous research, that should be stated more clearly
  • Later sentences and paragraphs must also:
    • Establish your reason for undertaking this research and your point of view. The reader doesn’t know from this paragraph what ‘my study’ means
    • Define the general topic and thereby provide an appropriate context for the remainder of the review
    • Point out gaps in the existing literature that your research will fill
    • Describe how the lit review will be organized
  • Review this module for more ideas on how to prepare an introduction to your own literature review.
  1. For example: The search strategy yielded five different studies. Three described online programs in general; 1 looked specifically at positive outcomes of online programs, the other described negative aspects. No studies that assessed outcomes for in-class compared to online teaching were found.

Chapter 8: Test Yourself

Self-guided study

Literature Review Example for Education

Kose, L. K. (2013). Challenges of charter schools with special education: Issues of concern for charter school authorizers and services providers. Mid-Atlantic Education Review 1(1), 36-45.

Author retains copyright and grants license of first publication to the Mid -Atlantic Education Review. Article published under a Creative Commons BY-NC license. Readers may copy and distribute for non-commercial purposes provided they indicate original authorship and original publication.

Literature Review Example for Nursing

Balzer, K., Bremer, M., Schramm, S., Luhmann, D., & Raspe, H. (2012). Falls prevention for the elderly. GMS Health Technology Assessment 8, 1-18.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


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Literature Reviews for Education and Nursing Graduate Students Copyright © by Linda Frederiksen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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