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United States Military Academy Library


Chemistry and Life Science: CH479

What is a Literature Review?

 

A Literature Review IS...

  • a selective, integrated analysis and synthesis of what has been researched and published on a particular topic
     
  • a process, typically starting from selecting a topic to review and concluding with writing a manuscript to report the published works on the topic
     
  • an iterative process: you may have to keep coming back to previous stage(s) to refine your topic, modify the search statements, and/or revise a working thesis, etc. 

A Good Literature Review IS NOT...

  • a mere summary of what you have read on a topic
  • a summary of everything that is reported on a topic
  • an annotated bibliography 

         ...BUT IS/DOES

  • a critical summary of relevant and selective literature on the topic
  • situate and focus your research in context
  • use credible and most relevant sources
  • written in clear language
  • a piece of research on its own
  • add value to the existing knowledge on the topic 

 

Useful Databases for this project

AMA Manual of Style

NOTE:  Unfortunately the AMA Manual of Style is not very specific on formats to use, including a format for the Title Page. Be sure and check with your instructor or the publisher to whom you are submitting a paper for more specific formatting rules.

Formatting a paper means using proper references within the text and bibliography, but also using the stylistic matters laid out in the AMA Manual of Style to format the text. This includes such factors as using headings and capitalizing them appropriately, line spacing, margins, text style issues (such as using "one" or "1", using AM or a.m. or A.M.), placement of page numbers, preferred font and spacing for graphs, preferred size and shape for tables, etc. This guide includes some basic help on manuscript style, but it is not extensive.

Consult the https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/ama_style/index.html for detailed information on manuscript style.

Acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms:

Acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms are discouraged from use, except for well-known and accepted units of measurement and some well-recognized terms. 

  • If used, spell out at the first use, even if the acronym or initialism is well-known. Do not place periods between the letters of an acronym, abbreviation or initialism.
  • State names should always appear as full names in the text of a manuscript. If included in references, use the two-letter abbreviation.

Numbers:

Numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) should be used in all writing, except when:

  • The number begins the sentence or title
  • Common fractions
  • Ordinals: first through ninth
  • Number spelled out in quotations or titles of works cited.
  • One number may be spelled out, if the sentence requires multiple numbers to be placed next to each other. e.g., "If 12 16-year-olds had this reaction..." should be changed to "If twelve 16-year-olds..."

Time:

  • To indicate a time of day, use AM or PM in small capitals. (18.5.3)
  • Conventional 12-hour clock time is preferred. However, 24 hour or military time convention can also be used to convey precise timing when needed, such as when describing drug dosage regimens.

Dates:

  • When dates are provided in the text, use numerals for day and year, and write out the month, e.g., April 2, 2010.
  • If using dates in a table, you may use numerals for the month (e.g., 4/2/2010).

Measurements:

  • Use SI (Le Système International d'Unités) standards for writing measurements. Numbers are always written in plain text, there is a space after the number and prior to the unit, and never a period after the unit (unless it ends a sentence).
  • Do not include commas in longer numbers (e.g., 1600 km, not 1,600 km).

Adapted from USC Norris Medical Library AMA:Citing Your Sources

 

 

SCOUT Search. Simple and Advanced

Scout Search. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) within search phrases, you must enter them in uppercase letters

SCOUT Search. Parentheses allow you to group search terms and alter their order.

SCOUT Search. To search for an exact phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase.

SCOUT Search. Search Result

CH479 Methods & Applications of Biotechnology; Writing a Literature Review

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