In order to do a systematized review, you will have to have a research question that can be answered by this method. You will likely have to modify your research question to make it fit the method. That does not mean changing your topic, but rather adjusting the question that you are trying to answer. You will want to have a single, well-defined research question.
Systematic reviews often address practical questions that can inform policy and decision making. They frequently identify best practices or determine the effectiveness of a particular intervention.
Your interest may be in a local issue. The way that your research question would be formulated, though, would not include the local nature of your interest. For example, you may be interested in how to solve homelessness in Monterey County. Your research question will be more broad: What are the most effective programs for reducing homelessness? Once you answer that question, you will have a better sense of what programs might work in Monterey County.
Here are some ways to consider phrasing your question:
In ___________[population], what is the effect of ____________[intervention] on ______________[outcome]?
In college students, what is the effect of mindfulness practices on academic achievement?
How do(es) ___________ [intervention] influence ____________ [outcome] in ________________[population]?
How do social media image filters influence eating disorders in adolescent girls?
What are the best practices for ____________[outcome] in _________________[population]?
What are the best practices for the social integration of English language learners in elementary school?
To inform your research question and to help you determine which studies you will include and exclude in your research, you will need to define your PICOS. These five elements make up your eligibility criteria, defining the characteristics of the studies you want to include in your review.
Population: Who are you interested in? Even if you want to apply your findings to the U.S. you may or may not want to limit this geographically, as studies from other countries can provide valuable information about what might work to address a particular social issue.
Intervention: This is the main variable that the studies you include will be evaluating. It might be a way to address/resolve a social issue, or it might be a behavior that your population engages in. "Intervention" sounds like something that's imposed by the researchers, but it can also be an experience, behavior, or condition that's compared with people who haven't had that experience, behavior, or condition. You can also think about this as a causal factor, something that causes (or may cause) the outcome of interest. If you are looking for the best practices for addressing a particular social issue, you might put "any intervention."
Comparison: This is often the current or alternative state. Do you want studies that compare the intervention to something in particular? If not, the comparison could just be "no intervention," which allows you to include studies that compare the intervention with the status quo. Or "any intervention," which allows you to include studies that compare the intervention of interest to any other intervention.
Outcome: What result are you looking for in the studies you collect? What is being looked for or measured? If you're interested in effective interventions, how will the studies you include measure/determine effectiveness? Another outcome could be the result of a particular behavior.
Study type: If you're doing a meta-analysis, you will want to include studies with quantitative data. If you're doing a meta-synthesis, you will want to include studies with qualitative data. For most systematic or systematized reviews, you can include any empirical studies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods).
Note: These criteria do NOT describe your research project, but rather the studies that you want to include in your systematized review.
Example #1: In college students, what is the effect of mindfulness practices on academic achievement?
Example #2: How do social media image filters influence eating disorders in adolescent girls?
Example #3: What are the best practices for the social integration of English language learners in elementary school?
The next step is to identify your main concepts. These are the basis of your search terms, so it's important to have them correctly identified before searching.
Main concepts are typically your population, intervention, and outcome (PIO) from the previous step.
Example 1: In college students, what is the effect of mindfulness practices on academic achievement?
Example 2: How do social media image filters influence eating disorders in adolescent girls?
Example 3: What are the best practices for the social integration of English language learners in elementary school?
Depending on your research question, you may need a fourth main concept that describes the setting (see example 3). This is only necessary if you're only interested in a particular setting and need to exclude studies that were conducted in other settings.