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Psychology: Lit Reviews

WHAT IS A LITERATURE REVIEW

LITERATURE REVIEW - SYNTHESIS

To create a synthesis matrix:

1. As you read your source material, take note of words or ideas that repeat themselves.

2. As you read your source material, also make note of conflicts or contradictions in the information.

3. Based on the repetitions and contradictions you notice, write down the main research question that the source material answers. A good research question should be open-ended.

4. Make a list of the key ways the research answers the question. Make sure your answers account for both the contradictions and repetitions you discovered. Turn these answers into “categories.”

5. Create a grid using authors’ names and categories as organizing features.

6. Fill in the grid with details from source material. 

WRITING LITERATURE REVIEWS

WHEN TO PARAPHRASE AND WHEN TO QUOTE

Most of your literature review should be in your own words but sometimes we have to quote others' work. Here is a helpful website to determine when to paraphrase and when to quote.