How to write a systematic literature review with examples from a TDH expert.

Before performing any research, the first thing you do to get the ball rolling is EXTRACTING THE DATA off the internet about your topic. The research you are about to perform is based on the data you have extracted earlier.

One of the best professional dissertation writers believes that a student’s foremost mistake in research is when writing a literature review. And when the students are opting for the systematic literature review, their chance to get lost in the vast amount of data is greatly minimized. Specifically, the systematic literature review is the correct option to get the information when conducting the secondary research.

What is a systematic review?

“A systematic review states the clear objective of your research. It includes all the shreds of evidence that support your research questions.”

A systematic literature review aims to study and critically analyze the data for a formatted research question. Thus, a systematic literature review is thorough and transparent research conducted over all the shaded or grey data on the internet to be reviewed and replicated by other researchers.

A systematic literature review must be;


How to know if a systematic literature review is a suitable option for you?

Well, there are some attributes that you should consider when you are opting for a systematic literature review;

  • checked If you wish to gather and study analysis on a particular topic, SLR is the right option.
  • checked If you have more than two people to research with you, then SLR is the right option for you as it is an extensive method.
  • checked If you have a year or more to submit your research, you should go for a systematic review.
  • checked If you have a well-defined research question on which you are willing to do Meta-analysis, then a systematic literature review is the ultimate option for you.

Steps for writing a systematic literature review

With assistance from our PhD dissertation proposal writing experts, the following are the steps of writing a successful systematic literature review.

Let’s learn about the unique steps in a systematic review.

Step1: Formulate a Research question

This step is to develop the research question or gap that can be further studied. A well-structured systematic literature review must begin with a well-structured question as well. It provides a boundary to your research which ultimately narrows down your focus to related information. The research question may follow the PICOS framework, according to which your question must be designed with strength to answer the following aspects;

Formulate a Research question

Example: Violent games initiate hyperactivity in the kids.

Step2: Identify your research question

In this step, you will have to identify your research question. Then, make decisions here about what to study within the niche areas. You will also need to identify the top researchers whose work you are likely to read. Finally, remember the criteria to set your research question so that it can encounter a bigger picture.

Example: If you are studying the effects of violent games, you will target gamers, explore technology, and by doing so will help you identify your research question.

Step3: Define eligibility criteria 

Defining eligibility criteria means that you are setting boundaries to include or exclude the studies in your research. Abundant information is available on the internet, so you limit what you research to account for your input.

After you have set the criteria, make sure you stick to that to ensure the exclusion part of the research does not get involved. The study’s outcomes can not be part of the criteria, but some reviews set eligibility in such a way to get a specific outcome.  You have all the freedom on this step, and you can always set criteria based on your convenience.

Example: To know about the negative impacts of violent games, you would not want to include the opinion of those gamers whose bread and butter runs on playing violent games.

Step4: Develop a research protocol 

Before developing a research protocol, it is better to know what a research protocol is. A research protocol is creating a document containing the outline of your research, what questions will be answered, the description of your objectives search strategy, and the eligibility criteria you are looking forward to adopting in your review. Even if you have looked for a systematic review methodology example off the internet, you can share those methodologies in your protocol. If you face trouble setting the methods, you can learn from the systematic review methodology example

Step5: Conduct literature search

You have given yourself the map to research in the previous step; it is time to follow the lines. You must identify the studies to read the relevant and precise data. The more you read on your research, the harder it would get for you to control. You can expect yourself to get a large number of data depending on the scope of your topic, so you must know about the several techniques to conduct a quality literature search;

  • checked Databased search
  • checked Identifying the search terms
  • checked A thorough reading of specialized journals.
  • checked You may coordinate with the respective experts that are working in the field.
  • checked Make sure to read the grey literature related to your topic.

Example: The search terms to help you get the relevant data would be gaming related, technology-related, etc.

Step6: Select studies per protocol

This step instead calls for teamwork to ignore biasness. Upon conducting the literature search, you have now access to a good amount of information. So, now it is time to analyze the data and check if that information is eligible enough to be included in your research. For this step, you may divide the among the two or three participants and then start studying the literature with the following techniques;

  • checked Study the abstracts first as they are the nectar of the whole research, so you can fathom if that particular research is proper for you or not.
  • checked It would be best if you make the final decision on study inclusion.
  • checked Try to get the full text of your relevant studies so you can examine them to determine eligibility.
  • checked Once you are done with it, you should keep track of why you have omitted some studies, just for future reference.

Step7: Appraise studies per protocol

Ensure to check and balance if the studies you have selected for your research are based upon the research protocol you have made earlier. This step is to ensure that the conclusion of the studies is not biased.

Step8: Extract data

Now that you have selected the relevant studies, it is time to extract the data from those particular studies. At least two of the members of your research team should be bound to extract the data from those studies independently; they should now be making notes about the methodologies, hypothesis, discussion and results of relevant search studies. The data should be in the right, balanced amount as extracting too much and too little data can lead to oversight of essential results.

Step9: Access the quality of evidence and present results

This step is to analyze the pieces of evidence to interpret the results.  By accessing the quality of your studies, you give strength to the evidence provided in your systematic review. You can even set specific criteria for the quality assessment of your review.  It can have the following attributes;

  • checked How much it supports the objective of your research?
  • checked Calculate the ratio of biasness in your result.
  • checked How much generalizability does your research solutions have?
  • checked What is the quality of reporting?

Dos and Don’ts


By following the above systematic literature reveiew steps, I am sure you can write a systematic review without hiring any systematic literature review services. And feel free to share this blog with anyone looking for systematic literature review help as it enunciates all the technicalities of an SLR.

Good Luck!

Read more

Free presentation slides

If you are a course instructor willing to educate your class or a student who wants to learn then refer to our free presentation slides available for Google slides and Microsoft PowerPoint.