How to Write a Literature Review in APA Style

A literature review is a critical summary of what the scientific literature says about your specific topic or question. Often student researchers get confused about how to write a literature review in APA style, but this guide will help you organize your thoughts into a coherent and correctly formatted literature review.

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What is a literature review?

A literature review is a “review” of “the literature” on a topic. What does that mean? In this case, “literature” means “published scholarly writing.” So a literature review is a survey of scholarly articles, books and other sources relevant to your research topic.

Why do we write literature reviews? To help you understand what other scholars have found about your topic; to evaluate the current state of knowledge; and, in some cases, to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in your field.

In psychology, there are two common types of literature reviews: (a) those written as part of an empirical research paper and (b) those written as standalone reports. For our purposes, we will focus on standalone literature reviews. However, keep in mind that they are not too different from empirical literature reviews. The main difference is that empirical papers focus on reporting original research whereas standalone literature reviews focus on synthesizing multiple sources.

Why write a literature review?

The literature review is a required part of research papers in many classes, including psychology, education, nursing, and other social sciences. Its purpose is to give you an overview of the research that has been done on your topic, and to demonstrate how your research fits into the larger body of work on the subject.

A literature review can be a standalone paper or part of a larger research project. In either case, its purpose is to:

– Summarize the current state of knowledge on your topic
– Identify gaps in that knowledge
– Point out areas of controversy in the field
– Suggest ways to further investigate your topic

What is APA style?

American Psychological Association (APA) style is a commonly used style for writing in the social sciences. It includes guidelines for formatting papers and citations. The APA style literature review is a specific type of research paper that focuses on published literature in a particular field. It is often used in the introduction to a research paper to describe the current state of knowledge on a topic.

How to write a literature review in APA style

A literature review is a critical evaluation of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. In college, literature reviews are commonly assigned in research courses, as their purpose is to survey the most current and relevant academic sources on a particular topic. When writing a literature review, remember to:

-Include an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that provides an overview of your topic and its significance.

-Organize your body paragraphs by theme, with each theme represented by one or more cited sources.

-Summarize and synthesize the key points of each source, making sure to critique them as well.

-Conclude your review with a paragraph that synthesizes the overall argument of your paper and reminds the reader of its relevance.

Tips for writing a literature review in APA style

Are you working on a literature review for a class in APA style? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Start by reading through the assignment instructions carefully. This will help you make sure that you understand what is expected of you.

Next, familiarize yourself with the basics of APA style. You will need to know how to format your paper and how to cite sources correctly. The APA Style Guide website can be a helpful resource for this.

Once you have a good understanding of the basics, start searching for sources. Try to find scholarly articles, books, and other reliable sources that are relevant to your topic.

As you read through your sources, take note of any important points or ideas that you come across. You may want to keep a running list of these so that you can refer back to them later when you are writing your paper.

Once you have collected all of your sources, it’s time to start writing. Begin by introducing your topic and providing any necessary background information. Then, start discussing the key points and ideas that you identified in your reading. Be sure to use evidence from your sources to support your points.

Finally, conclude your literature review with a brief summary of the main points covered and an explanation of their significance.

How to format a literature review in APA style

A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The APA style guide has a specific format for abstract pages, so you should be familiar with that format before you begin your review.
The basic format of an APA abstract is as follows:

1. Start on a new page and center the word “Abstract” at the top of the page.
2. Do not indent the first line of your abstract.
3. Your Abstract should be between 150 and 250 words in length (typically 3-5 sentences).
4. Begin your Abstract with a brief statement about the purpose of your paper and its main points. Note that you do not need to label this section “Introduction.”
5. Use third person point of view when writing your Abstract (e.g., “it was found that”).
6. Do not include citations or references in your Abstract

What to include in a literature review in APA style

When writing a literature review in APA style, include the full citation for each work you are discussing, as well as a brief summary or assessment of its content. Your goal is to provide a critical analysis of the research that has been conducted on your topic, showing both what has been done and what still needs to be done.

Begin your literature review with a discussion of the research problem or research question you are investigating. This will help to set the context for your work and give your readers an overview of the current state of knowledge on your topic. You should then go on to discuss the methodological approach or approaches that have been used to study this problem. This will involve a close examination of the research designs and methods that have been employed.

Next, you will need to provide a comprehensive review of the existing literature on your topic. This should include a discussion of both primary and secondary sources, as well as any tertiary sources that you deem relevant. In each case, you should provide a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the research that has been conducted. Be sure to synthesize the literature in such a way that you identify gaps or unresolved issues which could form the basis for further research.

Finally, draw conclusions from your analysis and reiterate the importance of the research problem or question that you were investigating. Suggest areas for future research and outline how your own work has addressed this problem.

How to cite sources in a literature review in APA style

When citing sources in a literature review in APA style, you must first provide an introduction to the topic, declare your research question, and explain your rationale for pursuing the review. After that, you’ll need to cite all of the source material you consulted in your research. The American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual (6th edition) provides specific guidelines for how to cite sources in a literature review.

To cite sources in a literature review in APA style, you’ll need to provide brief citations for each source you consulted. These citations should include the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example:

(Smith, 2020)

If you’re citing multiple works by the same author, you can list them chronologically by adding a comma and the year of publication for each work:

(Smith, 2020, 2019)

If you’re citing multiple works by different authors, list them alphabetically by last name:

(Smith, 2020; Jones, 2019)

How to proofread and edit a literature review in APA style

APA style is a writing style and format for academic documents such as journal articles and books. It is commonly used for citing sources within the social sciences. The APA style guide includes guidelines on how to proofread and edit a literature review in APA style.

Here are some tips on how to proofread and edit your literature review in APA style:

-Read your paper out loud. This will help you catch any errors or awkward phrases.
-Have someone else read your paper. Another set of eyes can often catch errors that you missed.
– Use spell check and grammar check. These can be helpful, but they are not perfect. Be sure to proofread your paper carefully.
– Use a citation checker. This will help you ensure that all of your citations are accurate and complete.
– Format your paper according to APA guidelines. Be sure to use the correct margin sizes, font sizes, and other formatting details.

How to get help with writing a literature review in APA style

If you need help with writing a literature review in APA style, there are many resources available to you. The best place to start is the library. Many libraries have reference librarians who can help you find the resources you need. You can also ask your professor for help. Most professors are familiar with APA style and can give you specific guidance on how to format your literature review. Finally, there are many online resources available that can provide you with helpful tips and examples.

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