Assessment Component 1 – Conducting a critical review
The main aim of this task is to allow you to demonstrate not only your critical skills in analysing research based and theoretical material, but also your ability to present a logical and coherent account of it.
In conducting your literature review you will be expected to include the following:
• reading in your immediate area of interest but also in related theoretical areas which strengthens relevance and importance of topic
• insight into the search and review method
• a critical analysis of the research related to your topic using your knowledge of the research process and research methodology and methods.
• a discussion of any relevant theoretical aspects of your topic with identification of the ways these have been derived from, or supported in, the literature.
• an identification of the strengths, weaknesses and omissions in the literature
• a discussion of the implications of the literature for current and future practice of your discipline.
8.1 Structure and format of the critical review
You should adhere to the structure and format in the guidelines detailed below. Failure to do so will be reflected in the mark awarded.
1) Review title:
The title should encapsulate what it is that you have done. The title should be concise and informative; a poorly worded title often indicates a poorly thought through project. The title will be dependent on your review topic and the review question you choose to study within that topic. See box 1 for examples titles derived from the review topic.
Topic: Vulnerable children
Final Title: “Building resilience in vulnerable children: a critical review of practice”.
A word about your review topic:
In principle the process of allocating topics will involve the offer of a selection of a fairly broad area of investigation; some supervisors may in fact leave the topic completely open and allow you a free choice (but this must be within an area of competence of the supervisor). It will then be your job to turn that topic into a manageable subject from which you can devise a review question. Projects should be practice rather than policy focused, though you will need to demonstrate an awareness of relevant policy.
Remember: critical (and systematic) reviews don’t restrict themselves to evidence of effectiveness (see Example 3 above). The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) approach to systematic evidence review helpfully provides a typology of evidence identified by the acronym FAME (see Box 2).
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