Public Perception on Opioid Crisis

Literature Review (minimum of 10 empirical articles)
• Establish the context by providing a brief and balanced review of the pertinent published literature that is available on the subject. All articles must be public opinion/perception research on the student’s specific topic. Students are encouraged to have the instructor of record approve the articles.
• The key is to summarize (for the reader) what we knew about the specific problem before you did your experiments or studies. This is accomplished with a general review of the primary research literature (with citations) but should not include very specific, lengthy explanations that you will probably discuss in detail later in the Discussion. The judgment of what is general or specific is difficult at first, but with practice and reading of the scientific literature, you will develop e firmer sense of your audience. In the mouse behavior paper, for example, you would begin the Introduction at the level of mating behavior in general, and then quickly focus to mouse mating behaviors and then hormonal regulation of behavior. Lead the reader to your statement of purpose/hypothesis by focusing your literature review from the more general context (the big picture e.g., hormonal modulation of behaviors) to the more specific topic of interest to you (e.g., role/effects of reproductive hormones, especially estrogen, in modulating specific sexual behaviors of mice.)

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What literature should you look for in your review of what we know about the problem? Focus your efforts on the primary research journals – the journals that publish original research articles. Although you may read some general background references (encyclopedias, textbooks, lab manuals, style manuals, etc.) to get yourself acquainted with the subject area, do not cite these, because they contain information that is considered fundamental or “common” knowledge within the discipline. Cite, instead, articles that reported specific results relevant to your study. Learn, as soon as possible, how to find the primary literature (research journals) and review articles rather than depending on reference books. The articles listed in the Literature Cited of relevant papers you find are a good starting point to move backwards in a line of inquiry. Most academic libraries support the Citation Index – an index that is useful for tracking a line of inquiry forward in time. Some of the newer search engines will actually send you alerts of new papers that cite particular articles of interest to you. Review articles are particularly useful because they summarize all the research done on a narrow subject area over a brief period of time (a year to a few years in most cases).
A good literature review will contain the following items:
1. A title page including your name, social security number and an interesting title
2. An introduction – what is your topic specifically?
3. Answer the question “why?’ Make a case for studying your topic. Include prevalence rates and statistics.
4. Summarize the literature in a succinct and coherent manner. Organize the literature by topic, chronologically or theoretically. Do not just summarize each article separately

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Methods Section:
Function: In this section you explain clearly how you carried out your study in the following general structure and organization (details follow below):
• The organism(s) studied (plant, animal, human, etc.) and, when relevant, their pre-experiment handling and care, and when and where the study was carried out (only if location and time are important factors); note that the term “subject” is used ONLY for human studies.
• If you did a field study, provide a description of the study site, including the significant physical and biological features, and the precise location (latitude and longitude, map, etc);
• The experimental OR sampling design (i.e., how the experiment or study was structured. For example, controls, treatments, what variable(s) were measured, how many samples were collected, replication, the final form of the data, etc.);
• The protocol for collecting data, i.e., how the experimental procedures were carried out, and,
• How the data were analyzed (qualitative analyses and/or statistical procedures used to determine significance, data transformations used, what probability was used to decide significance, etc).
• How each research question will be assessed and analyzed from the collected data.
Organize your presentation so your reader will understand the logical flow of the paper; subheadings work well for this purpose. Each procedure should be presented as a unit, even if it was broken up over time. The research design and procedure are sometimes most efficiently presented as an integrated unit, because otherwise it would be difficult to split them up. In general, provide enough quantitative detail (how much, how long, when, etc.) about your experimental protocol such that other scientists could reproduce your experiments. You should also indicate the statistical procedures used to analyze your results, including the probability level at which you determined significance (usually at 0.05 probability).

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2. Style: The style in this section should read as if you were verbally describing the conduct of the experiment. You may use the active voice to a certain extent, although this section requires more use of third person, passive constructions than others. Avoid use of the first person in this section. Remember to use the past tense throughout – the work being reported is done, and was performed in the past, not the future. The Methods section is not a step-by-step, directive, protocol as you might see in your lab manual.


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