Analyze! Evaluate! Synthesize!*
- Keep an eye out for:
- Pertinent info – who/what/where/when/why
- Page numbers if you quote something (for easy transfer into your paper!)
- Numbers (not just “increase/decrease” but “up 50%” or “down 24%”)
- What seems to occur regularly? -- Patterns
- What issue has no one written about yet?
- Use your spreadsheet (or whatever means by which you keep your articles organized) to sort the articles by pattern or theme
- Write what you found into a linear narrative, tying all the studies together by their subject matter and findings, grouping certain studies by pattern/theme
- Quote if necessary but sparingly
- Keep it succinct -- it’s a lot of material but it’s not the bulk of your paper (unless it’s your whole paper!)
*Froese, A. D., Gantz, B. S., & Henry, A. L. (1998). Teaching students to write literature reviews: A meta-analytic model. Teaching of Psychology 25, pp. 102-105.