Outline–Literature Review

Assignment: Write a formal outline of your literature review; although there is not a page minimum, a thorough outline will be more than a single page. Your outline should be single-spaced but in accordance with all other APA guidelines in terms of margins, font, etc. No title page is necessary for this assignment.

Possible outline templates–(1) simple and (2) slightly more complex.

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Simple Outline Template:
I. Introduction
A. Identify the topic: What is the issue?
B. Establish the importance of the topic: Why it is important to the field? Provide context: how prevalent is this issue?
1. Number of individuals affected
2. Impact on individuals
C. Definitions of key terms. Identify themes and trends in research questions, methodology, and findings.
D. Hypothesis/thesis. Give a “big picture” of the literature.
E. Describe possible solutions.
II. Body of Review
A. Heading 1
1. Subheading
(repeat for each theme)
III. Discussion
A. Conclusions
B. Implications
C. Suggestions for Future Research
More Complex Outline Template:
I. INTRODUCTION
A. Identify the topic
B. Establish the importance of the topic
1. Number of individuals affected
2. Impact on individuals
C. Definitions of key terms
D. Literature search strategies
E. Descriptions of the extent and nature of the literature
F. Overview of the organization of the rest of the review
II. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS
A. Theory X
B. Theory Y
III. BODY OF THE REVIEW
(This may consist of multiple headings and subheadings, see following example)
Theme A[1]
Overview of characteristics of the theme (commonalities, differences, nuances)
Sub-theme – narrow but grouped findings related to the theme
Define, contextualize, etc. the sub-theme
Study 1 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Study 2 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Study 3 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Sub-theme – narrow but grouped findings related to the theme
Define, contextualize, etc. the sub-theme
Study 4 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Study 5 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Study 6 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings) – give context
Etc., etc., etc. with other findings that fit Theme A; studies can be repeated if there are multiple findings that fit under more than one theme. However, no need to re-write methods/participants in detail (just enough to remind the reader about the study).

 

Theme B – follow a, b, c, and so on from above

 

Keep repeating with themes

[1] Remember: The theme is a phrase that synthesizes a more narrow group of related findings. E.g., a theme of “Resistance” would include types of resistance, resistance to whom, resisting what, etc.

IV. SUMMARY
(Summary of Part III)
V. DISCUSSION
A. Conclusions
B. Implications
C. Suggestions for Future Research

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