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AHS 361 - Integrative Physiology

Resources to help you write a literature review

Lit Review 101 - Virginia Commonwealth University - Including a Word and Excel synthesis matrix

How to write a literature review in the Sciences - Monash University

Article in PLOS Computational Biology

What is the difference between summarizing and "synthesizing" literature?

When you Synthesize you draw conclusions about the findings in the literature so that you can identify how the literature addresses your research question.


  • Gather literature that addresses your research question/topic
  • Review literature and take notes: describe, summarize, analyze, and identify key concepts
  • Synthesize literature: compare & contrast, critically evaluate, interpret, so that you can draw conclusion

A short 2-minute video describing finding and entering the research conversation using the concept of "synthesizing the literature."

Manage your Citations

Manage your reference/citations, create bibliographies, and more using Zotero, Mendeley, or Endnote Web.