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Michigan State University

Nursing Literature and Other Types of Reviews

Step by step guide on how to conduct a literature review.

About Literature Tables and Writing a Synthesis

A literature table is a way to organize the articles you've selected for inclusion in your publication. There are many different types of literature tables-the main thing is to determine the important pieces that help draw out the comparisons and contrasts between the articles included in your review. The first few columns should include the basic info about the article (title, authors, journal), publication year, and the purpose of the paper.

While the table is a step to help you organize the articles you've selected for your research, the literature synthesis can take many forms and can have multiple parts. This largely depends on what type of review you've undertaken. Look back at the examples under Literature and Other Types of Reviews to see examples of different types of reviews.

Examples of Literature Tables

Camak, D.J. (2015), Addressing the burden of stroke caregivers: a literature review. J Clin Nurs, 24: 2376-2382. doi:10.1111/jocn.12884


Balcombe, L., Miller, C., & McGuiness, W. (2017). Approaches to the application and removal of compression therapy: A literature review. British Journal of Community Nursing, 22, S6–S14.