The Review Paper in Science
What is a Review paper? According to the APA (2001, 7): "Review articles, including meta-analyses, are critical evaluations of material that has already been published. By organizing, integrating, and evaluating previously published material, the author of a review article considers the progress of current research toward clarifying a problem. In a sense, a review article is tutorial in that the author
- defines and clarifies the problem;
- summarizes previous investigations in order to inform the reader of the state of current research;
- identifies relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature; and suggests the next step or steps in solving the problem."
There are many different types of reviews, for example, reviews of methods or historical reviews. You will be writing the most common and useful review (for a health practitioner): The State of the Art Review-- "A state-of-the-art review presents an up-to-date, interpretative synthesis of our knowledge of a certain subject or issue, with emphasis on the most recent literature. For example, an author might look at what is currently known about the advantages and disadvantages of a particular surgical method for mastectomy, or a particular chemotherapy regime in the treatment of breast cancer." --"How and Why Biologists Write", Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences, McMillan, 2006, 114 (bolding added).
Your Assignment: To help prepare you for both reading the primary literature well as sharpen your research writing skills, you will get the opportunity to write a 5-7 page "state of the art," informative review paper about some topic relevant to medicine. You can choose any topic you wish, but experience has shown that ethical issues make poor topic choices. To prepare for this writing, you will first narrow down your areas of interest to a "research question." Second, you begin working on the Annotated Bibliography. Third, you'll get some practice using those sources by giving a brief presentation. Finally, you'll write the review paper itself, section by section. This paper will be submitted in 12 pt NTR font (or other serif style), double-spaced, with a title page, page numbers (upper left), using AMA citation style.NEXT