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Research Methods in HPER (22-636): Literature review

Literature review

Foundation | Summarize  |  Connect  |  Explain 

Your literature review should ... lay the 
foundation for understanding your research and appreciating its value."  

"Summarize and explain what research has already been done on the topic as it relates to your research question), citing the sources in the text as you mention them. Point out the different ways researchers have treated the topic. 

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

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


Credit:  Washington & Lee University 

Types and purpose of journal articles

Review articles comprehensively summarize article after article about what is already known on a topic.  EXAMPLE:  Multiculturalism in Teaching Physical Education: A Review of U.S. Based Literature

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.  



  1. Why do review articles exist? What is their purpose for researchers and scholars?

  2. Why do primary research articles always include a review of literature?​

Not so much


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