The literature review is a key step in research in psychology: the point at which you summarize the state of what is known in your topic area, and highlight what remains to be learned. The literature review that you complete for your dissertation will provide the primary evidence to support the importance of your dissertation topic. The word review may not communicate the full process involved. A well-developed literature review does “review” the research that has been completed in a particular topic area; however, in addition it also synthesizes the results of that literature and attempts to paint a clear picture of the state of knowledge on that subject.


To complete a successful draft literature review:

  1. Write your Draft Literature Review. Begin with a clear problem statement. As you work through the ideas involved, describe each of the major viewpoints that you encountered in the literature. Compare and contrast the differing viewpoints, pointing out ideas that appear to be shared, as well as those areas in which different authors took differing approaches. Finally, synthesize a summary of the state of knowledge on your topic by using critical thinking approaches you have learned in this course.

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA (6th edition, second printing or later) style and formatting.
  • Number of resources: Minimum of 10 scholarly resources.
  • Length of paper: 6–7 typed double-spaced pages.

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