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Math 315

What is a Literature Review?

  • A literature review summarizes and discusses previous publications on a topic.


  • It should also:

    • explore past research and its strengths and weaknesses.

    • be used to validate the target and methods you have chosen for your proposed research.

    • consist of books and scholarly journals that provide research examples of populations or settings similar to your own, as well as community resources to document the need for your proposed research.

    • The literature review does not present new primary scholarship. 

    • be completed in the correct citation format requested by your professor (see the Citations Tab)

Empirical Research

Empirical Research is research that is based on experimentation or observation, i.e. Evidence. Such research is often conducted to answer a specific question or to test a hypothesis (educated guess).

How do you know if a study is empirical? Read the subheadings within the article, book, or report and look for a description of the research "methodology." Ask yourself: Could I recreate this study and test these results?

These are some key features to look for when identifying empirical research.

NOTE: Not all of these features will be in every empirical research article, some may be excluded, use this only as a guide.

  • Statement of methodology
  • Research questions are clear and measurable
  • Individuals, group, subjects which are being studied are identified/defined
  • Data is presented regarding the findings
  • Controls or instruments such as surveys or tests were conducted
  • There is a literature review
  • There is discussion of the results included
  • Citations/references are included

See also Empirical Research Guide

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