What does critically evaluating the literature mean?
- Asking the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’, not the ‘whats’
- This means being analytical, not just descriptive. You need to:
- Consider how valid and reliable the research is
- What are its strengths and weaknesses?
- Consider how applicable to your research question the research is
- Draw comparisons with other research findings
- Ask the ‘why’ questions, like:
- Why do the results differ from findings of other similar research?
- What explanations have the authors suggested and are there alternatives?
- Make links with practice and wider populations where appropriate
We have a checklist of questions to ask which will help you.
PILOT - Writing a critical review by Steve Draper, Glasgow University, Dr Jane McKay, GCU modified by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/resources/crs.html.