Guidelines for writing a literature review

Sample review of related literature in a research paper. Writing a Literature Review | Library

Narrow the Topic The narrower your topic, the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read in order to obtain a good survey of relevant resources. Writing literature reviews: Step 4: Notice that Falk and Mills weave references to other sources into their own text, but they still maintain their own voice by starting and ending the paragraph with their own ideas and their own words. Use Quotes Sparingly Some short quotes are okay if you want to emphasize a point, or if what an author stated cannot be easily paraphrased. The Writing Center. Your interpretation of the available sources must be backed up with evidence to show that what you are saying is valid.


Be consistent in how you record notes. Use subheadings, especially in long reviews Use transitions to help trace your argument If your topic teaches across disciplines, consider reviewing studies from each discipline separately Write a conclusion for the end of the review: A methodological scope will influence either the types of documents in the review or the way in which these documents are discussed.

Methodological Review A review does not always focus on what someone said [findings], but how they came about saying what they say [method of analysis].

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 5. The Literature Review

This is particularly true in disciplines in medicine and the sciences where research conducted becomes obsolete very quickly as new discoveries are made. Analyze the literature Once you have identified and located the articles for your review, you need to analyze them and organize them before you begin writing: Research methods Summary of research results Step 6: Note however that more authentic thematic reviews tend to break away from chronological order.

A Step-by-Step Guide for Students.

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Sage, ; Sutton, Anthea. After studying residents and staff from two intermediate care facilities in Calgary, Alberta, Smith came to the conclusion that except for the amount of personal privacy available to residents, the physical environment of these institutions had minimal if any effect on their perceptions of control autonomy.

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In other words, a chronological review would have subsections for each vital time period; a south park writing essay review would have subtopics based upon factors that relate to the theme or issue. He suggests that the physical environment in the more public spaces of the building did not have much impact on their perceptions.

Guidelines for writing a literature review

Provenance -- what are the author's credentials? You are also developing skills in reviewing and writing, to provide a foundation on which you will build in subsequent courses within your M.

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Notice that Falk and Mills weave references to other sources into their own text, but they still maintain their own voice by starting and ending the paragraph with their own ideas and their own words.

Decide on a topic It will help you considerably if your topic sample review of related literature in a research paper your literature review is the one on which you intend to do your final M. Anson, Chris M.

Thus, while ambient sexism accounted for some of the masculine bias, sexist language amplified the effect. If you are using an electronic form of note taking, you might note these descriptors in a separate field e.

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New York: Typically it focuses on a very specific empirical question, often posed in a cause-and-effect form, such as "To what extent does A contribute to B? These gaps will be important for you to address as you plan and write your review.

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. Order your sources by publication chronology, then, only if the order demonstrates a more important trend.

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Summarize and synthesize Remember to summarize and synthesize your sources within each paragraph as well as throughout the review. The advantage of using Excel is that it enables you to sort your findings according to a variety of factors e.


While the study focuses on one topic, harpoon technology, it will still be organized chronologically. If the review was written to stand alone, as is the case of a term paper or a review article for publication, the conclusion needs to make clear how the material in the body of sample review of related literature in a research paper review has supported the assertion or proposition presented in the introduction.

Some questions to ask: Political Science and Politics 39 January Although you can always find more articles on your topic, you have to decide at what point you are finished with collecting new resources so that you can focus on writing up your findings.

What sources have they cited to support their conclusions? For instance, the review might examine whaling from pre,and Hart, Chris.

Consider Whether Your Sources are Current Some disciplines require that you use information that is as current as possible.

Clarify If your assignment is not very specific about what form your literature review should take, seek clarification from your professor by asking these questions: Your analysis can make generalizations across a majority of studies, but should also note inconsistencies across studies and over time.

As business plan template makeup artist read widely but selectively in your topic area, consider instead what themes or issues connect your sources together. Does your study extend current research?

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  • Order your sources by publication chronology, then, only if the order demonstrates a more important trend.
  • 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.
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By trend: In the case of this Educ introductory literature review, your initial purpose is to provide an overview of the topic that is of interest to you, demonstrating your understanding of key works and concepts within your chosen area of focus.

If you begin to see the same researchers cited again and again, then this is often an indication that no new ideas have been generated to address the research problem.

Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.

What this handout is about

Here is a sample paragraph from a literature review about sexism and language to illuminate the following discussion: This step requires you to synthesize and make sense of what you read, since these patterns and trends may not be spelled out in the literature, but rather become apparent to you as you review the big picture that has emerged over time.

Identify new ways to interpret prior research. Value -- are the author's arguments and conclusions convincing? In composing a literature review, it is important to note that it business plan template makeup artist often this third layer of knowledge that is cited as "true" even though it often has only a loose relationship to the primary studies and secondary literature reviews.

Literature Reviews - The Writing Center

Los Angeles, CA: Thus, the review loses its chronological focus. Overview business plan template makeup artist articles: Writing the review Galvan, You may find the program Inspiration useful in mapping out your argument and once you have created this in a concept map form, Inspiration enables you to convert this to a text outline merely by clicking on the "outline" button. Lamb, Sandra The other wes moore essay questions. What types of sources books, journal articles, websites?

However, other studies have shown that even gender-neutral antecedents are more likely to produce masculine images than feminine ones Gastil, How will you further your research as a result of the review? You can record the topics in the same box as before User 1 or use User 2 box for the topic s under which you have chosen to place this article.

Use quotes sparingly Falk and Mills do not use any direct quotes.

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Refworks Import Directions for guide on how to do this from different databases. What theories have been used to explain, predict, or understand their research problem?

The following are the key steps as outlined by Galvan Some tips for identifying suitable literature and narrowing your search: Strategies for writing the literature review Find a focus A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organized.

What is a literature review?

A good strategy is to begin by searching the HOMER catalog for books about the topic and review the table of contents for chapters that focuses on specific issues. However, particularly in the social sciences, thinking about research problems from multiple vectors is a key strategy for finding new solutions to a problem or gaining a new perspective.

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You can also review the indexes of books to find references to specific issues that can serve as the focus of your research. Your professor will probably not expect you to read everything that's available about the topic, but you'll make your job easier if you first limit scope of the research problem.

For the Internet in American presidential politics project, one methodological approach would be to look at cultural differences between the portrayal of American presidents on American, British, and French websites. For instance, you might explain that your review includes only peer-reviewed articles and journals.


A Multimodal and Cultural Approach. Summarize the literature in table or concept map format Galvan recommends building tables as a key way to help you overview, organize, and summarize your findings, and suggests that including one or more of the tables that you create may be helpful in your literature review.

The Allyn and Bacon Handbook. Sage, ; Hart, Chris. Objectivity -- is the author's perspective even-handed or prejudicial?

Literature Reviews

Finishing Touches: For more information, please see our handout on plagiarism. Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent.

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An overview of the subject, issue, or theory under consideration, along with the objectives of the literature review, Division of works under review into themes or categories [e. Here are examples of other sections you may need to include depending on the type of review you write: Review not just what scholars are saying, but how are they saying it.

Writing a Literature Review | Library

Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. So you check those out. 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.

Hamilton found that people imagined 3.