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Literature Reviews

Synthesize the Literature According to Main Themes or Topics

When synthesizing, we combine different thoughts or voices together into a unified whole. 
is a creative process, 
includes critical analysis, and 
integrates different ideas from literature that is focused on a specific problem or research question.  
Do not simply summarize each article one after another.
Synthesizing includes a detailed, critical analysis of the information within the included studies and shows how each source is related to each theme. 
Your synthesis should be more than a long series of paraphrasing and quoting of others’ ideas.
Your Voice Matters 
  • Include statements that show your understanding of how the literature is connected throughout each paragraph.
  • Show logical transitions and connections between ideas and sources in each paragraph.
  • Use your voice to help show these connections.



Watch this 3-minute introduction to synthesizing information.

USU Libraries. (2019, June 25). Research synthesis [Video]. YouTube.


Watch this 3-minute video on synthesizing literature.

Sheridan, N. [Nathalie Sheridan]. (2013, November 23). Synthesizing literature [Video]. YouTube.

More Information

More information can be found in the LC guide on "Synthesizing Information."