Chapter Three – Review of the Literature This chapter is the heart of the Thesis.
Students should choose a topic for which there is sufficient literature available. It is important that the Thesis be supported by ample references to other academic and scholarly material, as it must include references to academic work of the leading scholars in the field.
Chapter Three should include a minimum of 15-20 sources, of which at least 15 should be primary research articles and at least 2 should be from seminal sources. Expert scholars who hold a particular position or who employ the same methodology can be combined under one topic. Similar studies may be considered together as long as any significant differences between studies are noted.
The researcher will use headings to separate the different themes embedded in the research (see 6th edition APA manual p. 62). A critique of the literature will include strengths and weaknesses of the selected research literature. Be sure to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the findings and discussions presented in the literature and analyze the way that these inform your understanding of your research question.
You will then write about the literature through your analysis of themes found in the literature reviewed as relevant to your thesis question. The critique and analysis of the literature does not necessarily involve the finer aspects of the studies (number of participants, type of sampling, etc.) but does include information how the methods, strategies, and interventions found in the study have helped shape the field.