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Module 3 Discussion

The importance of a literature review is to develop a strong knowledge base in order to complete a research study or execute an evidence-based practice project, and to carry out research (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2018). A literature review forms the basis for high-quality medical education research and helps to maximize the significance, originality, and impact (Maggio et al., 2016). A literature review also provides context, avoids duplicative research, maximizes innovations, and ensures that current professional standards are being met (Maggio et al., 2016).

The literature review should help to articulate clear goals, communicate pertinent results, engage in insightful critique, select appropriate research methods, and support adequate preparation (Maggio et al., 2016). Conducting the literature review can be more easily obtained by utilizing the PICO format. PICO format includes the problem or population, intervention, comparison, and outcome (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2018). Literature review is a vital part of medical education research and should occur throughout the entire research process to help support a strong study that can properly communicate the importance of the discovered results (Maggio et al., 2016). There are four key outcomes of performing a literature review, and they are: Assessment of the current state of research on a particular topic; identification of who the experts are on the chosen topic; identification of key questions about the topic that require more in-depth research; and a determination of methodologies used in past studies on the same or similar subject (University of Florida [UNF], 2021). Upon completion of the literature review, the person performing the research should have a solid foundation of knowledge on the subject area and have a confident feeling of what direction any new research should take. In the even that additional queries may arise, the researcher or research team will easily be able to identify the correct experts to consult with in order to clarify any confusion or misconceptions (UNF, 2021).

There are some specific things to avoid when performing a literature review, especially when attempting to avoid failure while conducting a high-quality research project. The main things to avoid include: A lack of current literature from low-quality research sources; a lack of breakthrough and influential literature; an over reliance on low quality research sources; a lack of integrating new found research in place of using previously recorded descriptive statements; irrelevant or unfocused content; poor layout and chapter structures; and poor referencing and plagiarism (Jansen, 2021). Failure to conduct a high-quality literature review has been associated with several problems identified in the medical education literature, including studies that are repetitive, not based in current theory, and add nothing to expand the knowledge of the reader, thereby failing to contribute new knowledge (Maggio et al., 2016).


Jansen, D. (2021, June). Writing a literature review: 7 common (and costly) mistakes to avoid.

Lobiondo-Wood, G. & Haber, J. (2018). Nursing research: Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (9th ed.). Elsevier.

Maggio, L. A., Sewell, J. L., & Artino, A. R., Jr (2016). The literature review: A foundation for high-quality medical education research. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 8(3), 297–303.

University of North Florida. (2021, July 13). Benefits of conducting a literature review.

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