How review literature
For instance, you might explain that your review includes only peer-reviewed articles and journals. It may be a separate assignment, or one of the introductory sections of a report, dissertation or thesis.
Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? What exactly are your objectives and what do you need to find out? You are also developing skills in reviewing and writing, to provide a foundation on which you will build in subsequent courses within your M. Have I critically analysed the literature I use? A good literature review should also have some evaluation of the quality and findings of the research.
Developing a coherent essay Galvan, In the sciences, for instance, treatments for medical problems are constantly changing according to the latest studies. Here is a sample paragraph from a literature review about sexism and language to illuminate the following discussion: Is it clearly defined? Why do we write literature reviews? Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography—see the bottom of the next page , but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis.
You can also enter references manually into RefWorks if you need to. In the case of a literature review, you are really creating a new forest, which you will build by using the trees you found in the literature you read.
Arrange it by publication. Develop an organization for your review at both a global and local level: The following are the key steps as outlined by Galvan What should you expect when writing one? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject? Research methods Summary of research results Step 6: Its purpose is to prevent duplication of efforts, resolve conflicts, and point the way for further research.
Good research should have been replicated by other independent researchers, with similar results, showing that the information is usually fairly safe to use. For the sperm whale project, one methodological approach would be to look at cultural differences between the portrayal of whales in American, British, and French art work. Find models Look for other literature reviews in your area of interest or in the discipline and read them to get a sense of the types of themes you might want to look for in your own research or ways to organize your final review.
The main thing is to structure the internet research as if it were on paper. Use quotes sparingly Falk and Mills do not use any direct quotes. Synthesize the literature prior to writing your review Using the notes that you have taken and summary tables, develop an outline of your final review. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
If you copy the exact words from an article, be sure to cite the page number as you will need this should you decide to use the quote when you write your review as direct quotes must always be accompanied by page references. Upper Saddle River, N. Discuss what you have drawn from reviewing literature so far. Hamilton found that people imagined 3. For instance, the review might examine whaling from pre, , and How will trends change in the future? They may be able to find a fresh and original research question, identify a heretofore, unknown gap in the literature or make surprising connections.
This makes you wonder about American whaling methods during the time portrayed in Moby Dick, so you find some academic articles published in the last five years on how accurately Herman Melville portrayed the whaling scene in his novel. Place each work in the context of its contribution to the understanding of the subject under review Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration Identify new ways to interpret, and shed light on any gaps in, previous research Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort Point the way forward for further research Place one’s original work in the case of theses or dissertations in the context of existing literature The literature review itself, however, does not present new primary scholarship.
No, you are not presenting information that sprang up from the wonders of your own mind, but you should still start and end each paragraph with your own words. Include a short summary at the end of each section.
You will need to experiment with different searches, such as limiting your search to descriptors that appear only in the document titles, or in both the document title and in the abstract. The Harcourt Brace Guide to Writing in the Disciplines. Here are a couple of examples: More and more cultural studies scholars are accepting popular media as a subject worthy of academic consideration.
Scholars need to be scanning the literature long after a formal literature review product appears to be completed. How many sources should you include? Then your review would have subsections according to eras within this period. You are using your own words backed up by the works of professionals. Types[ edit ] The main types of literature reviews are: Do you need to provide background information, such as definitions or histories, to aid in your audience’s understanding?
So you check those out. How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing? It is a good idea, as part of your literature search, to look for existing literature reviews that have already been written on this topic.
If you are using an electronic form of note taking, you might note these descriptors in a separate field e. On the other hand, a review in a thesis, dissertation, or journal article presenting original research usually leads to the research questions that will be addressed. A thematic review would have subtopics based upon factors that relate to the theme or issue. A methodological scope will influence either the types of documents in the review or the way in which these documents are discussed.
Before you start reading it may be useful to compile a list of the main areas and questions involved, and then read with the purpose of finding out about or answering these. This is not a problem, and is part of the scientific process ; if a research program is well constructed, it will not affect the results.
According to Caulley of La Trobe University, the literature review should: Evaluate the current “state of the art” for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.