Unit 4 Literature review and journal

Learning Goal: I’m working on a health & medical writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Unit 4: Literature Review

  • Due Sunday by 11:59pm
  • Points 20
  • Submitting a file upload

Summarize Studies

In the last unit, you selected three (3) empirical or theoretical research studies from peer-reviewed journals that are relevant to your topic. In this unit, you will summarize the articles you selected in Unit 3.

Before you begin, you may want to read the following article on how to summarize a peer-reviewed article:

As a reminder which you probably remember from Unit 2 summaries, even though it’s just 3 of the 6 articles you will have in your final paper due in Unit 6 you should have all of the parts that will appear in the final paper:


The purpose of a literature review is to express to your reader the knowledge and ideas that have been established on a topic. Your literature review should describe the strengths and weaknesses in the literature on the topic you have chosen. The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research question). The literature review is NOT just a descriptive list of the material available, or a regurgitation of the summaries will write in preparing your research.

A literature review must do these things:

  1. Be organized around and related directly to your research question
  2. Synthesize and organize results
  3. Identify trends or findings
  4. Identify areas of disagreement
  5. Formulate questions that need further research



Scan at each section of the article to find:

  • Research question – The reason for the study is usually found in the Introduction.
  • Hypothesis – The hypothesis is also usually found in the Introduction.
  • How the hypothesis was tested – This is usually found in the Method section.
  • Findings – Look for this information in the Results section. The figures and tables will include valuable information.
  • Findings interpretation – This is usually found in the Discussion section.

Use the margins of the paper to write key points. Underline key sentences.


When you begin writing the summary, organize it in the same order as in the studies. Each summary should follow the same organization. For each item below, a suggested number of sentences have been provided as a guideline. Adjust the length accordingly depending on the content of your particular article. Remember each summary must be at least 300 words.

  • State the research question and tell why you find it significant or interesting (1-3 sentences).
  • State the tested hypothesis/hypotheses (1 sentence).
  • Describe the methods. These are some of the areas you might discuss: (5-7 sentences).
    • Design
    • Participants
    • Independent variables-what was manipulated
    • Dependent variables-what was measured
    • Method of data analysis
  • Describe the results. Did the researcher/s find significant differences? (3-5 sentences).
  • Explain the main implications of the results. Make sure you note how the results and the interpretation of the results relate directly to the hypothesis. (2-3 sentences)


Next, you will need to put all three summaries into the final draft. The total word count for this paper is 900 words (300 words for each summary) plus 75 words for the intro and 125-150 words for the summary. You final paper should contain the following information:

  • Title page (required) – The title on the Title page should be your research topic or question. Include the author’s name, title of paper, and school affiliation appear on the title page. You can also include the course number, instructor name, and date of assignment.
  • Summary pages (required) (minimum of 900 words; 300 words for each peer-reviewed article)
    • Use first-level centered sub-heading. Use one center-aligned sub-heading for each article you summarize. These sub-headings are in boldface and the first letter of each major word is capitalized. They are NOT the titles of your article, but instead they are more general words that convey the overall focus/topic of the article you are writing about. These sub-headings clarify where the evaluation, discussion, and summaries of each article begins and ends within the overall paper.
      • NOTE: In addition to the sub-headings, the first page of text begins with the title of the paper centered, bolded, first letter of each major word capitalized. The running head and page numbers appear at the top of every page of the paper
  • References page (required) – Prepare full APA citations.
    • The full citations of the selected peer-reviewed journal articles need to be listed on the References page. Every reference cited in the text must appear on the References page and every reference listed on the References page must be cited in the text. A good rule of thumb when summarizing material from a reference is that you have a text citation identifying where the information came from for every paragraph. Be sure the References are listed in alphabetical order, use the hanging indent, only the first word of article title is capitalized on the References page, and italicize the journal name. DO NOT title the References page Works Cited or Bibliography.


  • In Unit 6, you will write your literature review.


  • Second set of study summaries (20 points): Due before 11:59 p.m., Sunday, CT.

Unit 4: Journal

  • Due Sunday by 11:59pm
  • Points 5
  • Submitting a file upload

This unit complete a personal reflection in your journal. Remember, your personal reflection does not need to be lengthy; you are only required to write one paragraph (although you are welcome to write more if you would like).

The journal should:

  • Relate the dynamics of the social theories, concepts, and processes we cover each unit to your life.
  • Use the principles to better understand a reaction you had to a particular situation or person, analyze the behavior of someone else, evaluate the dynamics of a situation, group or organization you interacted with, etc.

Remember your journal entry will only be seen by the instructor and will not be seen or shared with any other students.

Your journal entry is due at 11:59 CT Sunday.

To see the rubric for the Journal see Grading and Rubrics under Course Home.

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