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Preparing for a Comprehensive Literature Review

Defining Your Research Question

Defining  your research question is first step in preparing to do a comprehensive review.

Step 1.  Write out your question as a question

Example 1:  In middle aged men, what is the effect on body composition of resistance training versus ketogenic diet, alone?

Step 2.  Make sure that your review is needed.  Check to see if a similar review has been done recently.

Do a simple search in Google Scholar or a relevant database (Medline, Sport Discus, PsycInfo), to see if there are recent reviews covering your subject.

Step 3:  Use the PICO format (or similar) to identify the major concepts in your question.

P (Population)              middle aged men

I (Intervention)              resistance training 

C (Comparison)           ketogenic diet     

O (Outcome)               change in body composition