Review not just what scholars are saying, but how are they saying it. Ways to Organize Your Literature Review Chronology of Events If your review follows the chronological method, you could write about the materials according to when they were published. This slight change in perspective, completely shifted my writing experience. Final Notes: A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. Sometimes you may need to quote certain terminology that was coined by the author, not common knowledge, or taken directly from the study. Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. Your ideas should be at the center of your writing, but your work has to be embedded in what has come before to demonstrate its relevance and importance to the subject.
It can give you a degree of control, in what can feel like an overwhelming and uncontrollable stage of the research process. A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. This published material can be any source like a book, a dissertation, thesis or a research paper. Often this form is used to help establish a lack of appropriate theories or reveal that current theories are inadequate for explaining new or emerging research problems. This approach should only be followed if a clear path of research building on previous research can be identified and that these trends follow a clear chronological order of development. Instead of trying to cover everything, make sure that what you do include is chosen for a clear reason, and is effectively critiqued.
Sources that are used should be relevant, up to date, and have been written by authorities in the field. You may have read it so many times you can no longer see you lapsed into Portuguese absent-mindedly. Your thesis statement will not necessarily argue for a position or an opinion; rather, it will argue for a particular perspective on the material. Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. Then, read through the sources and come up with a thesis statement for your paper. I had written literature reviews for my courses before, but I was never proud of them.
You need to be able to demonstrate that you are aware of current issues and research, and to show how your research is relevant within a changing context. By Publication Order your sources by publication chronology, then, only if the order demonstrates a more important trend. In this Article: Some people might think of a literature review as reading a book and then giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Ploughing a little-known furrow as a novice researcher is going to be very difficult, and you may find it difficult to get much support or help. Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? Ways of finding relevant material Electronic sources Searching electronic databases is probably the quickest way to access a lot of material. . Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice.
This is where the reader gets a final extract of your literature review. Were the results effectively interpreted and reported? The type of information you choose to mention should relate directly to the research problem, whether it is thematic, methodological, or chronological. Your intro should give a quick idea of the topic of your review, be it thematically or by organizational pattern. Increased ease of access to a wider range of published material has also increased the need for careful and clear critique of sources. Some professors like their papers a certain way.
Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach. This will help you structure your paper immensely, zeroing in on what will give your paper purpose. Hand searching of journals No electronic literature search can be 100% comprehensive, as the match between search terms and the content of articles will never be perfect. The conclusion is the last and most basic part of the literature review as it gives a summary of the whole chapter. Sort through current bibliographies or literature reviews in the field to get a sense of what your discipline expects.
Am I looking at issues of theory? Through citations, situate your research in a larger narrative. Unrelated works are removed completely while the marginal ones are considered critically. Systematic Review This form consists of an overview of existing evidence pertinent to a clearly formulated research question, which uses pre-specified and standardized methods to identify and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect, report, and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review. The literature review conclusion is very important because it summarizes the topics covered. Make sure your sources are evaluated on a number of levels. It is done as a first step while conducting a research on the particular subject. The bibliography or reference section of sources you've already read are also excellent entry points into your own research.
What other sections you include in the body is up to you but include only what is necessary for the reader to locate your study within the larger scholarship framework. If you are dealing with varying opinions by era or changing trends over time, chronological organization may make the most sense. The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals. Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis? Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. In this part, the author is required to give insights on how the literature reviews central topic is related to a broader field of study as a discipline, profession or scientific events. Luckily, the professor gave me the opportunity to rewrite what I turned in, and I learned some valuable lessons for my next paper.