Writing a Literature Review: CAEX 8350/8351

CODE: Hide Guide Name

SKIL 8350/8351:
Writing a Literature Review

The Writing a Literature Review course was designed to help you when you have an approved prospectus and have begun reading articles on your capstone project and want to improve skills in search strategies, synthesis, and organization.

NOTE: This course is for Doctoral students only


Free tuition for current Walden doctoral students. Students are responsible for any applicable fees, including the tech fee

Course Information

Course Description

Doctoral students with strong research, critical thinking, and writing skills are better equipped to complete the literature review section of their capstone. This 8-week course focuses on understanding the purpose of the literature review and the foundational skills needed to complete it, such as developing search strategies, synthesizing sources, and constructing paragraphs. Students have the opportunity to apply writing, research, and critical thinking skills in writing components of the literature review. In the second half of the course, students may submit up to five pages of the literature review per week for instructor feedback. By the end of the course, students will have a clear plan in place for drafting the rest of their literature review. 

PLEASE NOTE: Students who have already begun writing the literature for their proposal should take the Doctoral Writing Workshop: Revising and Editing the Literature Review course instead. 

Course Outcomes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of the literature review.
  • Develop foundational skills to complete the literature review.
  • Develop skills for search strategies, synthesizing sources, and constructing paragraphs for the literature review.
  • Apply writing, research, and critical thinking skills in developing components of the literature review.
  • Create and submit a draft of the literature review.
Register for a SKIL course or workshop

To Register for any SKIL course or workshop, contact your Student Success Advisor.

You can contact your Student Success Advisor 

Term Dates


Frequently Asked Questions

How much time can I expect to spend on a SKIL course?

Most SKIL courses are 1.5 quarter credits and 1 semester credit. Therefore, according to Walden’s Credit Hour Guidelines, you should expect to spend 42 total hours on SKIL coursework. This translates to 10.5 hours per week for 4-week courses, 7 hours per week for 6-week courses, and 5.25 hours per week for 8-week courses. Note that these numbers are only an estimate, as the actual time spent depends largely on the student and their specific abilities and needs.

Are there any required texts for SKIL courses or workshops?

Most of our courses and workshops require the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (i.e., APA manual). This is the only text we require; other learning resources are built into the classroom.

How are SKIL Courses Graded?

SKIL courses, seminars, and workshops are graded on the S (Satisfactory) / U (Unsatisfactory) system. Grades in SKIL courses do appear on your transcript, but the grades do not impact your Grade Point Average (GPA).


Do you have a question about the SKIL courses or workshops? E-mail us at OASIS@mail.waldenu.edu.

Testimonial 4

"I highly recommend this course to everyone before or during the first term of writing the literature review with the dissertation chairperson. This is a highly effective companion course."



"Great course. It should be required because the literature review process is so overwhelming. The course helped provided options for learning and structure to the lit review process."



“[This course] pushed me to keep producing work for Chapter 2.”