Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MSHAL Literature Review: Step 5: How to Organize the Review

How to Organize your Literature Review

You can organize your literature review in many different ways

  • different theoretical approaches
  • specific concepts or issues
  • different methodologies
  • level of support to your theory

Example:

Background

  • History of standardized tests
  • Different types of standardized tests
  • Rationale of standardized tests
  • Role of high stakes tests
  • Standardized tests and the law

Standardized Tests in Practice

  • Testing at elementary school
  • Testing at secondary school
  • Statistics

Critics and Proponents of Standardized Tests

  • Testing of students with disabilities
  • Testing of minority students
  • Testing of students from different social backgrounds
  • Gender differences in testing
  • Case for bias
  • Case against bias
  • Teachers’ perspectives
  • School administrators’ perspectives
  • Students’ perspectives

How to Structure a Literature Review

Categorizing the Literature

When categorizing your articles, you may consider:

  • the methodology;
  • the quality of the findings or conclusions;
  • the documents major strengths and weaknesses
  • what beliefs are expressed?
  • is there an ideological stance?
  • is the article comprehensive or narrow?
  • are the results generalizable?

Similar Studies

If there are similar studies you may want to discuss the most important ones and write that the results were confirmed in other studies.