Literature review in Quantitative Research Methods and Mixed Methods

Literature Review of Quantitative Research and Mixed Methods

When compiling a literature review, it is usually difficult for researchers to determine how much literature should be reviewed. In qualitative research, a literature review may explore aspects of the main phenomena discussed and divide them into specific topics. 

However, the literature review in this qualitative research can be written for different purposes (for example, as a reason or logical explanation of the research problem, as something that is discussed throughout the study, as something that is compared with the results of the study, and so on).

For quantitative research or mixed method that prioritizes quantitative research, literature review writing contains important materials in the literature related to independent variables, dependent variables, and the relationship between independent variables and dependent variables. 

This writing Model seems appropriate for dissertations or for conceptualizing literature in scientific articles/papers. Make a literature review consisting of five components: introduction, Topic 1 (about independent variables), Topic 2 (about dependent variables), Topic 3 (other information that discusses the relationship between independent and dependent variables), and Conclusion. For more details, note the following details:

  1. Write the initial paragraph of the literature review detailing the parts that will be covered in it. This paragraph is more of an explanation of the arrangement of each section in the literature review you wrote.
  2. Review Topic 1, namely by reviewing the academic literature about one or several independent variables. If there are several independent variables ), and discussed in the literature, pay attention to the subsections or focus on one variable that is most important. Don't forget to discuss the explanation in the literature that is only related to the independent variable, not the dependent variable.
  3. Review Topic 2, namely by reviewing the academic literature on one or several dependent variables. If the literature discusses several dependent variables, pay attention to the subsections or focus on the longest dependent variable.
  4. Review Topic 3, namely by reviewing the academic literature that discusses the relationship between independent variables and dependent variables (variables). This is where the basic core of your research lies. for this reason, this section must be dense and contain other literature that is very related to your research topic. Take one section of the literature that is closely related to the topic or review other sections that address the topic in general.
  5. At the end of the literature review, make a conclusion or summary that highlights the literature that is considered most relevant; indicate the main themes raised by the literature, explain why these themes need further research and of course, convince the reader why further research and of course convince the reader why your research can meet this need.

The above steps can be applied to writing a literature review for a type of research that addresses variables (usually quantitative or mixed method research with quantitative weights). Not only that, these steps can also narrow the scope of the proposed research so that the formulation of problems and research methods that will be presented can really be well affordable.


Before looking for Literature, identify your topic, for example by designing a clear headline or stating the formulation of the main problem. Also, consider whether your topic can and needs to be researched by finding out if there is access to participants and other sources and whether the topic will contribute to existing literature, will be of interest to others, and is consistent with its primary purpose.

In the literature review, the researcher should use the academic literature to present the results of previous studies, linking his research with the literature! and provide a framework for comparing the results of his research with the results of other studies. for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research, the literature has varying purposes. In Cua's qualitative research, the literature help verifies the problem. Research, but the literature does not narrow the view of the participants. 

A common approach used in qualitative research is to include more literature at the end than at the beginning. In quantitative writing, literature not only helps to verify the problem but also shows the possible need for problems or hypotheses to be discussed. In quantitative research, literature reviews are usually placed separately in a special section. However, in mixed method research, the use of literature review depends on the type of design and the weight given to quantitative and qualitative aspects.

When going to do a literature review, identify keywords (keywords) to search for Literature. Then, look for online databases, such as ERIC, ProQuest, Google Scholar; PubMed, and other more specific databases, such as PsycINFO, Sociofile, and SSCI. Then, look for literature that matches the priority, first look for journal articles, then books, and so on. Identify other studies that contribute to your research. 

Group these studies into literature maps that reflect the main categories of the studies and position your research in these categories. Start writing research abstractions, while paying attention to the style of writing references based on style instructions (such as APA, 2001). Briefly describe the important information about the research which includes the research question research problem, the collection and analysis of the research data, and the final results of the research.

Define key terms and if needed provide a specific subsection for the definition of these terms in your proposal; or if not, include those definitions in the literature review. at the final stage, consider the overall structure of the preparation of your literature review, for quantitative research, you can provide a special section for literature review based on the main variables, top based on the important sub-themes of a phenomenon for qualitative research.


Creswell, J.W. (1999) Mixed method research: Introduction and application. In G.J. Cizek (Ed.). Handbook of educational policy (pp. 455-472). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choos¬ing among Five Approaches ( 3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational Research: Ptoming, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Creswell, J.W. & Brown, M.L. (1992, Fall). How chairpersons enhance faculty research: A grounded theory study. The Review of Higher Education, 16(1), 41-62.

Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D. (2000). Determining validity in qualita¬tive inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.

Creswell, J.W. & Piano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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