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Step 4: Organize and Synthesize the Evidence

At this stage, it is time to start making connections. You will need to organize your findings and synthesize the information you have found. Overall, you need to examine if the evidence you collected does, or does not, support your original hypothesis and explain how it does, or does not, based on the relevant articles you selected to include in your review. You may want to: 

  • Identify core themes and concepts (usually 2-3 for a strong commentary). Use the evidence you collected from individual papers to illustrate the larger concepts and explain how they relate (or not) to your original hypothesis
  • Present trends over time and patterns in the evidence by summarizing relevant articles. Avoid summarizing articles in a laundry list style without also connecting them to each other or your hypothesis 

You can present your findings in a variety of ways. This could be purely narrative or could be tabular (sometimes called a "Pinch Table" or "Evidence Table").

For advice on how to present your findings, it is best to talk with your instructor or supervisor.