Besides enjoying a social life and a wide circle of friends, college life is about writing research papers and assignments. Research is a critical part of your academic life and benefits you in your professional life as well. Your research relies on the kind of research area you aim to explore. It also depends on the research method you decide to conduct and the method of analysis you employ. One of the ways to analyse your research data and conduct thorough research is a narrative review.
What Is A Narrative Review?
A narrative or conventional literature review is a thorough, analytical and impartial examination of a certain issue’s present state of knowledge. It is an important component of the research process since it assists in defining a conceptual framework and emphasising the backdrop of your investigation. It is a common strategy that many students learn in their first year of college. Its goal is to discover a few publications that illustrate an interesting subject. There is no preconceived research question or search technique in narrative reviews, only a subject of attention is required. It is not methodical and does not adhere to any set process. No criteria or norms guide the narrative review.
Narrative reviews are evidence-based descriptions of a single, specified topic, including various specific concerns ranging from pathology to therapy. The topic may be therapeutic, moral, political, or regulatory. Narrative reviews should determine the scope of the research as a result of which the research would be able to delve deep into his chosen topic and draw out effective inference. However, in case of any problem when working on it, you can hire cheap essay writing services UK.
How Do You Structure A Narrative Review?
You must structure your narrative review based on the following steps:
Define A Research Topic And Your Audience
The first and foremost step while conducting a narrative review is to define your research area. Choose a topic that not only interests you but others as well, such as academicians, policymakers and editors of a journal. Ensure your research topic applies to contemporary clinical settings or policies in some manner. The role is to ensure there is enough literature information to do a narrative review, but your effort must not overpower.
Research Prior Studies
Locate relevant literature in your research area by searching for important online databases such as PubMed, Cochrane and Medline. You can combine keywords with Boolean operators, such as “AND” “OR” and “NOT,” that can narrow down your research. Boolean operators may help you explore the relevant literature and exclude the irrelevant ones.
Critical Analysis Of Prior Studies
Your narrative review should not only summarise the relevant literature, but should also analyse, discuss critically and evaluate the research method. It should also identify any research gaps, and such an analysis helps achieve the goal of your review. It helps recognise fresh insights and justify publishing your work as a fresh contribution to the literature. You must also make notes while you are reviewing prior literature so that you can incorporate your critical analysis along the way. As you read, jot down and document your opinions and any possible source or reference.
Theme-Based Or Point-By-Point Structuring
Compose your narrative review in a simple and acceptable way. It consists of an introduction that lays the groundwork, body paragraphs and a conclusion summarising the important ideas. But you can divide the body paragraphs based on themes, chronological sequence and complexity. Structure your review paragraph by paragraph, starting with the most important information. Conventional writing methods apply here, such as aiming for simplicity and the lack of vagueness.
How Do You Analyse A Narrative Review?
While reading prior literature, keep in mind the goal of your narrative review:
- You must know your goals before you read any prior publication and know what you want to do.
- Scrutinise the abstract, title, conclusion, and summaries of chapters of your publications.
- Concentrate on the arguments instead of the evidence.
- You should study, write notes and begin to arrange your evaluation as well
- Consider using a review matrix or idea map to determine how various literature connect.
- Jot down around four to five points for each research publication you review and note the important findings of each.
- You should add impartiality to your critical analysis.
How Is A Narrative Review Different From A Systematic Review?
There are no predefined criteria for literature search, review questions and appraisal in narrative reviews. They use only description and appraisal of published studies. In comparison, systematic reviews require predefined criteria for literature search, keyword selection, research questions, and analysis. It uses a clear criterion for selecting items from the databases for literature review. Techniques of extracting data and processing are explicit. It requires extensive investigation to locate all relevant studies. Systematic reviews also require the implementation of principles for the critical evaluation of qualitative research.
We use narrative reviews to provide rationale for future research and analysis of new interventions for future use. In contrast, systematic reviews gather what we already know about a topic and determine the source of that knowledge. External organisations may examine the rationale, premises, and methodology.
We cannot reveal the concepts and plans in narrative reviews, and we cannot identify selection biases. It is also not replicable. Systematic reviews are limited because it restricts the scope of the review, and readers need to reformulate review questions.
A narrative or traditional literature review is an in-depth, critical and unbiased study of the current state of knowledge on a certain topic. There is no pre-set research topic or search strategy in narrative reviews, but simply a focus of attention. It is not systematic and does not follow any fixed procedure. Any criteria or rules do not guide the narrative review. Researches use descriptions and evaluations of published studies. These are the top things that you must know about a narrative review. You can conduct thorough narrative reviews the next time you conduct research.