This sections answers the following questions:
The review of literature section is an integrated and succinct discussion of most relevant students found in the literature related to the purpose of the study. A mix of levels of evidence based research designs is recommended. Studies need to be current (published with the most current five to eight years), although exceptions are allowed when supported by the preceptor. This section include information regarding the theoretical constructs (theory, model or frame of reference) on which your study is based. There should be strong links between your theory or frame of reference and your study. This can be achieved through the use of research studies and other literature. Keep in mind the literature review is a synthesis of the literature you find, identifying larger themes or patterns within your topic. There are several formats for writing the results of the review of literature.
Two formats are presented in the following sections:
Begin the literature review by defining concepts related to your study. Follow this by describing what others have done, and gradually narrow this to where you describe why there is a need for your study.
Format #1: If there are experimental studies conducted under controlled circumstances, report these first. Theoretical positions set forth by "experts" in the field might follow. Sometimes it makes the most sense to organize these reviews chronically, however, sometimes it makes for a better "flow" to organize them ideologically. Be specific in your critique of studies...What did the researcher (s) do and what were the results?
Format #2: In a sequential logically structured discussion, usually organized much the same as the introduction, the author brings together the results of existing research and presents what is currently know about and relate to the problem of being studied. Sample, instrumentation, procedures and findings about the relevent research studies selected are discussed.
The literature review is followed by the purpose statement and/or research questions/hypotheses:
For either of the above formats, it will flow most easily if you start out with an outline of relevant topics related to your study. It is common to have Level 1, Level 2, and possibly Level 3 headings in a literature review.
Methodology tells how you accomplished your study in a series of logical steps. This needs to be specific enough to be replicated. Depending on the nature of your study, the methodology section may have the follwing subparts (typically, Level 2 Headings):
Appendices will be referred to throughout the methodology section of your manuscript. Simply refer to them in-text chronically and include them in the Appendices section(s) at the end of your manuscript. They will be displayed in the order in which they were presented in the manuscript. Appendices may include a copy of the Informed Consent, a copy of the instrument used, or any other deemed appropriate by your preceptor. Examples of Appendices formatting are included later in this guide.
This section tells the reader what was found (objective findings). Presentation is in a statistical terms and is concerned with only the findings of the research study (numbers and details, but not the meaning and impact). Depending on journal submissions requirements, you may begin with a concise summary of the purpose of the study and then follow the sequence listed below:
Generally speaking, a table, a figure or a graph will support the text. Often, it makes sense to order the data in terms of your research questions. It is important to:
Two major principles guide the structure of the results section:
The discussion section is the heart of a research article. It reflects the researchers; interpretation of the results in terms of the purpose of the study and the outside world. In this part of the paper the author(s) express opinions, make inferences, and use literature to support their inferences made. The discussion section commonly has Level 2 headings for the limitations of the study, suggestions for future research, and implication to practice.
The commentary about the importance of results does not reiterate the results section, but focuses on alternative explanations of the outcomes, emphasizing how they either support or refute previous work of clinical theories. Results reported in the "Results" section need to be addressed, including those that were not significant. This is where you describe your thoughts on the results, why you got these results, and hope the results relate to previous research. Author(s) need to provide perspective on how the results apply to practice and further study.
Limitations of the study, including possible extraneous variables that could have affected the outcomes, need to be identified before the study began and others will have become evident during the course of data collection or analysis. These may include small sample size, attrition of importance of these limitations to the interpretation of results. It is essential that authors delineate all major extraneous factors so that the reader can examine the results realistically.
Most research endeavor leads to further questions. Sometimes these questions arose out the expressed limitation of a study and the need to clarify extraneous factors. In clinical research, alternatives methods exist for studying the same or similar research questions and these may need to be examined. given the results of a study, authors may want to reconsider a particular theory and how it may be applied. Suggestions for future research will develop from these ideas ans should be expressed.
The implications to practice should be acknowledged by authors. Their perspectives on theory, applied science, or service effectiveness. Commonly, this section of a directed study contains the following sections:
The conclusion is typically brief but provides the reader with conise summary of your findings, and what you want the reader to take away from the study.