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SLP 696 Research Methods Applied & Basic

The following guide presents a collection of informational resources to support the graduate level research process

Stages to Literature Review:

1. Topic Exploration and Refinement:

  • Define and clarify the research topic and its specific components or sub-issues.
  • Use the "Topic" tab for tips on staying updated, examining existing literature, and identifying gaps in the research for your area of study.

2. Search Strategy Development:

  • Identify and compile a comprehensive list of keywords, synonyms, and relevant MeSH Terms to use in your literature search.
  • Utilize the Search Strategy tab for guidance on developing effective search terms.

3. Database Selection and Inclusion Criteria:

  • Determine which Databases are most appropriate for your research topic and objectives.
  • Define clear inclusion and exclusion criteria for the types of materials you'll include in your literature review.

4. Literature Search:

  • Review titles and abstracts of search results to identify materials that are highly relevant to your research topic.
  • Utilize cited linking tools and cited reference searches to trace influential work to gather more relevant sources 
  • Make use of the Databases tab to understand how to effectively employ these tools.

5. Refining and Adjusting the Search:

  • After reviewing initial search results, evaluate the effectiveness of your search strategy and make necessary adjustments.
  • Consider adding or modifying keywords and search parameters based on the preliminary findings.

6. Material Collection and Organization:

  • Organize collected materials based on research methodology, study design, relevance, and other appropriate criteria.
  • Map the literature you gather into the Table of Evidence Document.  Use Mendeley, or Zotero to help you organize the literature online and map the literature according to the type of research methodology/study design by creating folders, and sub-folders.

7. Analysis and Interpretation:

  • Discuss and analyze the findings and conclusions of the relevant literature you've gathered.
  • Address the evolution of research on your topic, highlighting the progression and changes in understanding over time.
  • Explore relationships within the literature, such as common methods, procedures, analysis techniques, and recurring themes.

8. Developing Your Own Ideas:

  • Synthesize your own insights and interpretations based on the findings of the reviewed literature.
  • Identify gaps, controversies, or areas where your thesis could contribute new perspectives or ideas.
  • Consider how your own research could build upon or challenge existing research in the field.
  • Ensure that each stage is well-documented, and maintain a structured approach to your literature review process.