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Biosciences Seminar (04-491/680): Literature review


Review articles are very comprehensive in summarizing articles about what is already known on a topic.

Primary research articles report new findings. The review of literature in a primary article is based on significance and relevance to the research question rather than being comprehensive.  

Literature review

Summarize  |  Connect  |  Explain  |  Synthesize
Summarize research related to the primary research question.

Point out any connections between the sources especially where one source built upon prior study. 

Explain how this past work fits together to make your research question significant. 

The literature review lays the foundation for understanding and synthesizing your research.
Credit:  Washington & Lee University 

NOTE: commonly known scientific knowledge does not need to be referenced in a review of literature.

How do poster session authors decide what articles to include in a brief literature review? 

Take a look at some sample posters.  Can you infer from them why the authors are citing when they do? 

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