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Synthesize - Write a Literature Review - Guides at Johns Hopkins University
Use this template to create your own synthesis matrix to use as you read and synthesize the literature related to your topic. When writing a literature review, your objective is to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge about your topic. Throughout the research process, you will identify a variety of resources that reveal what is known, and what is not known, about the issue described in your research question. As you complete your reading, you'll come across a number of ideas presented by different authors. You are expected to critically evaluate this information, identify themes and gaps, then synthesize what you have learned to provide your reader with a better understanding of the literature related to your topic. Because you'll be working with a large number of resources, you may find it challenging to organize the information in a meaningful way. To help with this, you may want to create a synthesis matrix like the one shown below to record the main points of each information resource and document how they relate to each other.
Eastern Washington University. Facebook Canvas. When we hear the word "literature," we often think of great classic novels or poetry, but in this case "literature" refers to the body of work you consulted in order to make a conclusive recommendation about an issue. In other words, a literature review is a synthesis more on synthesis below of many articles and other published materials on a certain research topic. Depending on the field, the literature review might be a stand-alone piece or part of a larger research article.
Research Tables and Synthesis Tables are useful tools for organizing and analyzing your research as you assemble your literature review. They represent two different parts of the review process: assembling relevant information and synthesizing it. Use a Research table to compile the main info you need about the items you find in your research -- it's a great thing to have on hand as you take notes on what you read! We've included an Excel file with templates for you to use below; the examples pictured on this page are snapshots from that file.
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