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Literature Review: A Silly Example

Describes what a literature review is and how to conduct a literature review

Let's Try to Apply This Idea to a Silly Example!

The Goal of the body of your Lit Review is to combine studies into logical groups and summarize them.  There may be several ways to combine the articles you find in your search, as seen in our fictional examples below.


Studies Combined based on Apple Uses

Apples have many uses.  Many people enjoy eating apples raw.  The foundational study by Betty Crocker in the 1950s noted that the Red Delicious apple and the McIntosh were fantastic for eating raw, but a more recent study by Smith (2017) indicated that the Gala apple is now gaining popularity in the United States after its introduction to the country in the 1970s.  

Grandmothers across the southern United States have sworn by the Granny Smith for baking since the 1500s.  Systematic reviews in 1956, 1967, 1994, and 2003 confirm that there is no other apple endorsed by southern grandmothers.

There are several versatile apple varieties.  A survey of cohort studies indicated that people on the west coast of the US love the Golden delicious for eating and baking, while those in the Midwest enjoy the Fuji and the Honeycrisp when they make apple turnovers and when they reach for a quick snack.  In the Northeast, the Empire has overtaken the Pink Lady as the favorite for snacks with peanut butter, but the Pink Lady is holding the Empire off as the favorite for baking.  Either variety can be successfully used for both purposes.


Studies Combined based on Apple Color

Many people automatically associate the apple with the color red, so it is no surprise that the most popular apple, based on randomized controlled trials in grocery stores in the United States is the Red Delicious apple.  According to Jones (2012), people associate apples with the color red, and when a selection of apples in different colors is placed in front of people, "most people immediately walk toward the red apples".  When the Red Delicious apples are removed from the selection, people choose other red apples, such as the Cameo, and the Jazz. 

Of the Green apples, the most popular is the Granny Smith.  Studies conducted at the University of Braeburn have analyzed the availability of apples throughout the US and wonder if this popularity is because of its availability.  According to their studies, the Granny Smith is available in 85% of grocery stores, while other varieties of green apples are only available in 7% of stores.  They are promoting the availabiity of other green apples, such as the Crispin and the Pippin.  Preliminary studies by the Apple Growers Association have indicated that there may be more health benefits from eating green apples than from eating red apples.  They are preparing randomized controlled trials to confirm these results.

Studies of elementary children over the last century have confirmed that the most neglected color of apple is the yellow apple, the most notable of which is the Golden Delicious.  Many of the participants believe these fruits are lemons or pears, according to case studies.  Cohort studies have indicated that these opinions start to change in the teen years; however, these studies are based on individuals in more affluent areas.  Further studies need to be conducted based on a more representative population sample.


Studies Combined Based On Results

Early reports from the Apple Growers Association indicated that the Red Delicious was the most popular apple in the US.  Southern Grandmothers argued that the reports were biased, however the University of Braeburn conducted initial Cohort Studies in 1954 that indicated that the Red Delicious was, in fact, the US's favorite apple.  After the introduction of the Gala apple in the 1970s, surveys were conducted to determine if the popularity of the Red Delicious had declined.  After preliminary results indicating their popularity had a slight decrease,  the University of Braeburn conducted a nationwide randomized controlled trial in 1974 that supported the claim that the Red delicious was, in fact, the favorite.  Randomized controlled trials by Smith (1984), Jones (2001), and Paul (2005) all show that the Red Delicious cntinues to be the most popular apple in the US.

The Apple Growers Association indicates that the Granny Smith, on the other hand, is the favorite in France.  Their 2014 systematic review examined randomized controlled trials and concluded that the Granny Smith is the most popular apple in France, followed by the Rome and the McIntosh.  The Red Delicious, a recent import, was excluded from the study due to its limited availability.  The Apple Growers Association believes that the Granny Smith may not be the favorite apple in the US, but that it is the most popular apple worldwide with recent cohort studies from China, India and Australia showing frequent consumption.  Further studies are needed to confirm this assertion.

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Jamie Bloss
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