Literature Review Comprehensive Examination Paper

Welcome to Module 1 (Weeks 1-3) Literature Review Comprehensive Examination Paper

The purpose of this Literature Review Examination Paper is to demonstrate your ability to search, synthesize, analyze and discuss the existing literature related to your project in a scholarly written format. A comprehensive literature review is a organized explanation of the body of knowledge that provides empirical evidence and background to support the choice of aims, measures and design of your capstone project. Competency to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills from coursework, practicum and campus-based activities to the formulation of the paper will be evaluated.

Over the next 3 weeks, you will develop and write your 8-page literature review paper. While this is an independent examination process, Module 1 provides guidance to help you organize content for this paper. A satisfactory score is required to submit the second paper of the Comprehensive Exam, fulfill requirements for completion of the program and achieve eligibility for conferral of the Master of Science degree.

The Literature Review Paper contains 6 sections:

1.     Introduction

2.     Background, Significance and Organizational Context

3.     Search Strategy

4.     Synthesis, Analysis and Summary of the field of literature

5.     Critique of a selected study

6.     Conclusion/Review of Important Point

Paper Formatting Requirements

Requirements: Scholarly writing is a required element of each section of the paper.

Paper Length

This is an 8 page double spaced examination paper (not including title page/references/appendices).


Use 1.0 inch margins on all four sides of the page.


Use 12-point, black, standard font (Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, etc.).

Title Page

Include name with credentials, title of the paper, program and university affiliation and date of submission.


Be thoughtful in selecting an 8-10 word title for your paper. This is an academic paper and the title will set the tone for the reader to understand what is to unfold. No need to be clever or try to come up with a catchy title – rather, select a succinct title that reflects the essence of your paper. (Hint: revisit your title after completing your paper)


Number pages except the title page.


Use a shortened title as the “running head”

Editorial Format

Adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition, 2nd printing.

Do not use the first person. Refer to yourself as ‘project leader’ or other third-person descriptor.

Write in the past tense.

If including diagrams, graphs or tables in the appendices, provide appropriate text in the body of the paper and properly label each including a caption.

Section Headings and Subheadings

A heading should be provided for all sections of the paper except the introduction.

Use subheadings as guideposts to ensure content is presented in a logical way. No subheadings should be used for the introduction or conclusion sections.

Citations and Reference List

Ensure all information is properly cited and the reference list is complete and adheres to APA formatting.

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