How to Write A Systematic Literature Review?

A systematic analysis is a study that looks at a lot of different research. To address a particular research query, it attempts to collect all available information on a specific subject. Before beginning the systematic review, the authors provide guidelines for determining which evidence should be included or omitted. This reduces the chance of bias and improves the reliability of the results.

A Systematic literature review is a multi-stage method that can be published in the form of an original research article of the same name. Systematic evaluations should include the following:

  • Explicitly state the goals
  • Attempt to classify all studies that meet the eligibility requirements through a rigorous search strategy
  • Determine the validity of the results of the included studies
  • Synthesize the findings of the studies in a systematic way


What are the Steps in a Systematic Literature Review?

Phase 1 Systematic Review Planning

Make up a research topic

  • Before you begin your project, consider whether a systematic analysis is needed.
  • Determine if you have enough time and money to perform a thorough analysis. Keep in mind that finishing it could take longer than a year.
  • Form a team of collaborators to assist you.
  • Put your subject into the “Well-Built Clinical Question” structure to start your systematic analysis.


Create a Study Plan

  • Select your Review Studies.
  • By screening titles/ abstracts, you will be able to reject those who don’t fulfill your inclusion criteria.
  • Clearly describe the review methodology and eligibility requirements.
  • A thorough search should be conducted.
  • Make a table of contents you will read in detail and those that will be rejected.


Phase 2 Systematic Review Execution

Form Protocol

  • A research protocol is a step-by-step plan for investigating a biomedical or health-related issue and formulating the Problem
  • The goals of your research, information on the procedures and processes that will be used, eligibility requirements for individual studies, how data will be collected from individual studies should be included in your systematic review protocol.
  • Review the literature to make sure it has not been done before.
  • Form a Hypothesis and give the review a title.
  • Describe the steps that will be followed by the Reviewer


Data Extraction

  • Summarize findings of studies reviewed in a form of a table with References, Study Parameters, Focus, Gap, Findings.


Quality & Validation

  • Methods for Quality Evaluation of the Review Studies has an impact on the conclusion, so it is necessary to avoid any bias.
  • Make a table of research.
  • Analyze data for issues including heterogeneity (differences between studies) and sensitivity of results.
  • Consider doing a meta-analysis of the findings.
  • Make a list of studies that were omitted accessible to interested readers.



Systematic literature reviews are widely regarded as one of the most effective tools for summarising and synthesizing evidence related to a particular research topic. A systematic literature review aims to classify, critically appraise, and summarise the current evidence concerning an identified issue, similar to conventional literature reviews.

Tips for Describing Methodology in a Thesis or Dissertation

Of all the critical sections of a dissertation, the methodology is perhaps the most important one. Whether it be a qualitative analysis or empirical study, the main focus of the thesis or dissertation is obviously the key findings and for that the methodology section assumes importance. You may lay the groundwork for your exercise with a detailed review of the literature and setting a suitable hypothesis in your study, but it is really what you have done that matters. writing a suitable methodology section is therefore very important and needs special attention.

Here are some tips on how to write a proper methodology section.

Method and methodology: First and foremost, you must understand the distinction between method and methodology. The methodology is about the underlying theory and analysis of the exercise you undertake; it is the set of principles behind the design of the research study. Methods on the other hand refer to the techniques and tools you use for the study. For instance, your methodology may include a sample survey, while your method is how you draw those samples. A proper methodology section needs to report both, in a proper structure so as not to confuse between both. Give an overview of the methodology you are following in your thesis and then report the methods adopted to execute it.

Qualify your methodology: At the very onset, you need to clarify the type of methodology you have adopted. Broadly, there are two types of a methodology based on two types of methods; empirical methods like primary surveys or experimentations best used for measuring or quantifying certain variables, and qualitative methods like interviews for contextualizing, or deriving deep insights on certain issues. You can also have mixed methods, combining both forms of inputs. All these methods come under the bigger umbrella of your thesis methodology, where you specify which methods you are using, and how.

Justify your methodology: You have to justify why the methodology you adopted is the best fit. This stems from the review of literature, the gaps you have identified in existing literature, the hypothesis you are exploring, and various other factors. While you contextualize your thesis to substantiate it, you also need to justify the methodology adopted for credibility. This involves a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your exercise, the reliability and limitations of your methods, what are the control mechanisms you have used for checking the validity of your results. You also need to clarify the observed results and how you interpret these results to derive qualitative conclusions.

Schematics and figures: It is very important to develop schematics of your methodology for ease of understanding. For instance, simple flowcharts help clarify matters to a great extent. You may also use complex infographics if it helps. Charts, flowcharts, diagrams are some tools you need to explore beforehand as they are often mandatory for certain types of methodology.

A well-developed methodology is an asset for your dissertation and helps raise it appreciation to a great extent.

Guidelines to write an effective abstract

The abstract, which is a concise portrayal of the research work, is a decisive factor for the target journal or reader. It is not only essential to encourage people to read your paper, but also to persuade them to cite it in their research work. Thus, it is worth investing some extra time to write an attractive yet simple abstract.

First, it is important to read the main text several times to mentally absorb and retain the whole research work. Thereafter, attempt a draft that does not merely copy the sentences from the main text of the paper. Instead, the abstract should encapsulate the research concisely. Going through several iterations is a good way of improving an abstract.

The first few sentences of the abstract should illustrate the background and the purpose of the research work. These sentences should grab the reader’s attention and create an inquisitiveness to read in greater depth. The next couple of sentences should focus on the methodology of the research. Finally, the abstract should end with the result and conclusion part, which should be summarized in just 3-5 sentences. This part should be concise and emphasize the significant results and not the statistics.

Once the draft is done, proofread the draft to refine it as much as possible. Avoid verbose writing and verify the text for coherence of the information provided and proper usage of grammar. Besides text, scientific journals have come up with a new idea of summarizing their research paper through a graphical abstract. A graphical abstract is a single, concise, pictorial and visual summary of the main findings of the article. It could either be the concluding figure from the article or a figure that captures the content of the article for readers at a single glance. These days, researchers and scientists find abstract writing to be a cumbersome process and instead opt for a graphical abstract.

Regardless of the type of the abstract, it is an essential part of your manuscript that persuades editors, reviewers, and other researchers to absorb your research in detail.