Proposed Research Topic: Postpartum Depression

Body of Paper Notes

Your paper must include the following four sections. Provide a header for each section using the following four terms.

  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion


The Role of a Good Introduction

The introduction of a literature review is a roadmap for the rest of the paper and provides a solid foundation for the purpose of your research and should state your research question. It conveys information to the reader such as: what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. The introduction should provide the reader with a sense of the kinds of information you will use and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages of the paper. It will provide the reader with their initial impression of your writing style and overall quality of your work. A concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start the reader off thinking highly of your analytical and writing skills, and your paper.

Strategies for an Effective Introduction

Start by thinking about the research question you want to answer. How are you going to answer this question and what are the main points you want to include in your paper to answer this question. It should include a clear statement of the topic, and why the topic is relevant, important, or interesting.

A research paper is an evolving process, meaning that the paper content (argument) may change as you begin to write the body of the paper. It is recommended to revise your paper to make sure the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intended in a scholarly way. Sometimes it is easier to write a tentative introduction first and then refine it after the body of the paper is written.


Method Section Overview

To write a literature review will involve collecting published articles related to a topic and analyzing what can be learned from these collectively. A key aspect to writing a literature review is the systematic approach. This means there needs to be order and structure to how your research has been performed, and it needs to be illustrated in the method section. The method section of a literature review describes to the reader the process the author used to locate articles for the literature review.

What to Include

  1. Where You Searched

    • Specify where you searched for articles that were included in your literature review. Acceptable databases commonly used through MSU’s Library are: Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Health Source-Nursing/Academic, OVID-Nursing, and PubMed. Google Scholar is another acceptable source.
  2. How You Searched
    • Specify the terms (words) that you used when searching for the articles. When searching for articles it is important to use multiple terms and synonyms to get a larger amount of resources. For example, search terms that might be used for researching how to teach study skills would be: teaching, lecture, workshop, seminar, study skill, note taking, students, learners, undergraduates. When you include a sentence in the methodology section to identify your terms, quotation marks are not necessary.
  3. Limiters of your search

    • Specify the criteria that was used to select the articles that were included. The inclusion criteria will be specific to your paper. Some common inclusion criteria that will further narrow down how you selected your articles are: date restrictions, language restrictions, full text, peer-reviewed, and open to nursing.

Example Method Section:

A search was conducted through the Midwestern State University website using the Moffett Library A-Z Databases: Health Sciences & Human Services. CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE Complete and Academic Search Complete were searched using the following key terms: forensic radiology, radiologic imaging compared to autopsy, postmortem imaging, and virtropsy. Other key terms included: importance of radiologic technologists, radiologic technologists in the clinical setting, radiologic technologists in the hospital, and radiographic imaging in the hospital. A filter was also applied so that all articles were peer reviewed and only full-text articles would appear. Articles were picked due to their relevance to forensic radiology and contribution to this paper. Not all articles were published in the last five years due to limited resources on this topic.


This is where all the literature is pulled together so the reader does not have to read each separate source. The writer’s job for this section is to enlighten the reader by synthesizing the literature and reporting on it. Synthesis of material means that information gathered from more than one author are compared and contrasted. For example, one can formulate thoughts based on the literature, but a personal opinion is not appropriate in a research literature review. The writer is reporting on what was found; therefore, it must be supported with reference citations. Do not use personal pronouns such as “I found this…” or “we discovered this…”

Here is a sample paragraph from a literature review:

According to Baumeister et al. (2015), PMCT is currently used as a forensic imaging tool. One important advantage of CT is its speed, and subsequent availability (Arthurs et al., 2016). Unfortunately, MRI protocols can be lengthy and difficult to achieve at institutions with a high case load (Arthurs et al., 2016). However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates more detailed images than CT. For this reason, some view MRI as the most promising forensic radiographic modality for decedents of all ages and diagnostic scenarios (Arthurs et al., 2016). Advantages of MRI include detecting gasses in the body, obstructions of the blood vessels, aspirated or inhaled fluid in the lungs (including water and blood), pathology of subcutaneous fatty tissue, and hemorrhaging (Bixby, 2010; Bolliger et al., 2015; Gupta, et al., 2015). MRI also shows a more detailed image of organs and soft tissues than CT (Bolliger et al., 2015). In recent studies, PMMR has also been found to weigh organs and estimate volume, like traditional autopsies (Arthurs et al., 2016). This explains why PMMR is starting to be used in conjunction with PMCT (Baumeister et al., 2015; Bixby, 2010; Bolliger et al. 2008). Since CT is better at depicting bone and MR is better at depicting muscles and other soft tissues, combining PMCT and PMMR could almost eliminate the use of autopsies.

Use evidence

In the example above,the writer refers to several other sources when making their point. Your interpretation of the available sources must be backed with evidence to show what you are saying is valid. Notice that the writer does not use personal pronouns to get their point across.

Be selective

Select only the most important points in each source to highlight in the review. The type of information you choose to mention should relate directly to the literature review’s focus.

Use Quotes Sparingly

The nature of a literature review does not allow for in-depth discussion or detailed quotes. Avoid direct quotes; some short quotes here or there or are ok if you want to emphasize a point or if what the author said cannot be written in your own words. Do not use block quotes.

Summarize and Synthesize

Remember to synthesize and summarize your sources within each paragraph as well as throughout the literature review.

Keep Your Own Voice

While the literature review presents ideas of other’s research, the writer’s voice should remain front and center. Notice the author in the above example weaves references to other sources into their own text, but they still remain in their own voice. While keeping your voice keep the paper in third person NOT in first person.

Revise Revise Revise

Spending time revising is a wise idea, because your main objective is to present the material, not the argument. So check over your literature review to make sure it follows the assignment guidelines, has a logical flow, and offers concise information without your opinion. A couple of things you can do to review your paper is read it out-loud, have Word read it back to you, or have someone else read your paper. Finally, double check that you have documented your sources and formatted the review correctly.


The conclusion should help the reader see why all your analysis and information matter. This is a place to summarize your paper, demonstrate the importance of your topic, and make a good final impression. It can push beyond the boundaries of your research question and make new connections and elaborate on significant findings. This is a summation of your paper. What important things did you find out? Was there anything that made you change your mind about the topic? Did you expect to find out one thing when you started the paper but instead found out another? There is nothing wrong with this. Making different conclusions than you expected to when you started a project is good scientific reporting. This is a summary of your paper, so it should not have any quotes or citations in this section. Your final paragraph of this section should be your suggestions for future research, and any limitations you found to your study as you conducted it. If this ends up being more than a couple of paragraphs, then you might want it give it a new section.

Example Conclusion

Autopsies are still perceived as the best tool in forensic investigations in the court of law; however, it has some limitations as to what it can detect. With advancing technology, forensic imaging is beginning to be recognized as a reliable resource. It is apparent that both radiographic imaging and autopsy are beneficial in forensic investigations. They have great overlap in what they detect, but they also have substantial advantages in different areas of interest. Research must be conducted to determine the best protocols for each forensic imaging modality. Additional research and advocacy must be done to obtain more facilities with RTs to perform these postmortem studies. With this in mind, radiographic imaging performed by RTs, including CT, MRI, x-ray, virtopsy, etc., should be used in conjunction with autopsies to get a more precise anatomic representation of the condition of the body, which could aid in the investigation and in the courts.

***For this assignment, you are to write a 3-5 page (not including the title and reference page) mini literature review based on the topic chosen on your RQA form, and the references previously submitted.

You should include a corrected title and reference page and the sections of the paper covered in the notes for this module.

Submit as one Word document to the assignment dropbox by the due date. Title the assignment “Your Last Name Body of Paper”

Review rubric for grading information. write in APA 7

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