Suicide and educators

Chapter 2: Literature Review[NU1] [NU2] [NU3] [NU4]

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Begin with the first sentence of the purpose statement and problem statement that leads to a brief explanation of the organization of the literature review. Do not simply cut and paste the Purpose Statement section from Chapter 1.

Provide an overview of the sub-headings in the literature that will be discussed.

At the end of this section, indicate the databases accessed and the search engines used. Discuss all the search parameters, including the search terms and their combinations (with more detailed search terms located in an appendix, if appropriate), range of years, and types of literature.

Devote approximately 30 to 60 pages ] to this chapter to include citations to at least 50 relevant sources.

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework

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Describe the guiding theoretical/conceptual framework of the study, including the definitions of all the concepts, an explanation of the relationships among the concepts, and a presentation of all the assumptions and propositions.

Explain the origin and development of the framework. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of and familiarity with both the historical and the current literature on the framework. Identify existing research studies that used this framework in a similar way. Mention alternative frameworks, with a justification of why the selected framework was chosen. Describe how and why the selected framework relates to the present study and how it guided the development of the problem statement, purpose statement, and research questions.


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Level 3 Heading


Level 4 Heading. Text…


Critically analyze (i.e., note the strengths and weaknesses) and synthesize (i.e., integrate) the existing research. Rather than reporting on each study independently, describe everything known on the topic by reviewing the entire body of work. Present a balanced integrative critical review of the literature, ensuring all points of view are included. Cover all the important issues with a discussion of areas of convergence (i.e., agreement) and divergence (i.e., disagreement). Provide potential explanations for areas of divergence.

Address issues of authority, audience, and/or bias/point of view in the sources used.



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Briefly restate the key points discussed in the chapter. Review the headings and/or table of contents to ensure all key points are covered.Highlight areas of convergence and divergence as well as gaps in the literature that support the need for the study. This discussion should logically lead to Chapter 3, where the research methodology and design will be discussed.



Tip: Think of Chapter 2 as a funnel and lead the reader from the broad context of the study to an explanation of why this specific study is needed.

Tip: To ensure your study is relevant and current, continue to expand and update the literature review through the final dissertation manuscript draft.

The Academic Success Center has a weekly group session on Synthesis and Analysis. Learn more about this session and find the link to register here.

Tip: For exemplars on what synthesis and critical analysis look like, try searching for published literature using the following terms “critical review of the literature [school]”, inserting the name of your school.


Chapter 2 includes the statement that it is to have 30-60 pages. Depending on the topic this can be shorter. Refer to your Chair for guidance.

[Select the heading that reflects whether you are using a theoretical or conceptual framework, but do not keep both words in the title. For PhD – Theoretical Framework, for applied doctorate Conceptual Framework.

Replace “Subtopic” with an idea from the integrative critical review of the literature. Repeat this process until each idea is included.

The level 3 heading is flush left, bolded, and italicized. The title should be in tile case, and the text begins as a new paragraph after the heading. Apply additional level 3 headings using the Heading 3 style options under the Styles gallery. Use APA’s Headings guide to assist with proper header formatting.

[NU9]If additional subheadings are needed, use this format per APA guidelines.

The level 4 heading is indented and bolded. The title should be in tile case, and the title ends with a period. The text begins directly after the heading in normal paragraph format. Apply additional level 4 headings using the Heading 4 style option in the Styles gallery. Use APA’s Headings guide to assist with proper header formatting.

[Tip: Use the Academic Success Center’s Synthesis and Analysis guide that has several resources, including a synthesis matrix to assist with this section.

Tip: In essence, the summary is the “take-home” message of the integrative critical review of the literature with a specific emphasis on how the literature supports the need for your study.

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