Step 1 Focus on your specific topic.
Decide on a topic It will help you considerably if your topic for your literature review is the one on which you intend to do your final M.
However, you may pick any scholarly topic. Identify the literature that you will review: Familiarize yourself with online databases see UMD library resource links below for help with thisidentifying relevant databases in your field of study.
Using relevant databases, search for literature sources using Google Scholar and also searching using Furl search all sources, including the Furl accounts of other Furl members. Some tips for identifying suitable literature and narrowing your search: Start with a general descriptor from the database thesaurus or one that you know is already a well defined descriptor based on past work that you have done in this field.
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.
Redefine your topic if needed: Try to narrow it to a specific area of interest within the broad area that you have chosen remember: 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. Import your references into your RefWorks account see: Refworks Import Directions for guide on how to do this from different databases.
You can also enter references manually into RefWorks if you need to. 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: Skim the articles to get an idea of the general purpose and content of the article focus your reading here on the abstract, introduction and first few paragraphs, the conclusion of each article.
You can take notes onto note cards or into a word processing document instead or as well as using RefWorks, but having your notes in RefWorks makes it easy to organize your notes later. Group the articles into categories e.
Once again, it's useful to enter this information into your RefWorks record. 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.
Decide on the format in which you will take notes as you read the articles as mentioned above, you can do this in RefWorks. You can also do this using a Word Processor, or a concept mapping program like Inspiration free 30 trial downloada data base program e. Access or File Maker Proin an Excel spreadsheet, or the "old-fashioned" way of using note cards.
Be consistent in how you record notes. Note key statistics that you may want to use in the introduction to your review. Select useful quotes that you may want to include in your review.
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.
The rule I follow is to quote only when some key meaning would be lost in translation if I were to paraphrase the original author's words, or if using the original words adds special emphasis to a point that I am making.
Since different research studies focus on different aspects of the issue being studied, each article that you read will have different emphases, strengths.
Your role as a reviewer is to evaluate what you read, so that your review is not a mere description of different articles, but rather a critical analysis that makes sense of the collection of articles that you are reviewing.
Critique the research methodologies used in the studies, and distinguish between assertions the author's opinion and actual research findings derived from empirical evidence. Identify major trends or patterns: As you read a range of articles on your topic, you should make note of trends and patterns over time as reported in the literature.
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. Your analysis can make generalizations across a majority of studies, but should also note inconsistencies across studies and over time.
Identify gaps in the literature, and reflect on why these might exist based on the understandings that you have gained by reading literature in this field of study. These gaps will be important for you to address as you plan and write your review. Identify relationships among studies:A guide to writing the dissertation literature review.
Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 14(13), The Value and Purpose of the Traditional Qualitative Literature Review. The main focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument, and a research paper is likely to contain a literature review as one of its parts.
In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute. A common assignment for a research paper is to write a literature review. However, a literature review has its own structure that is fundamentally different from a generic research paper.
While a research paper traditionally involves the development of a new or original thought based on existing. Writing a Literature Review for a Research Paper Writing a literature review seems to be a bit more difficult than first imagined by students.
Part of this may be due to the writing experience that students bring with them to the project. The audience can make an idea on what is the focus of the paper, for the literature review offers a hint in this direction. Readers can, therefore, predict which is the area of focus. It shows a different perspective on previous research, identifying any contradictions or .
An “express method” of writing a literature review for a research paper is as follows: first, write a one paragraph description of each article that you read. Second, choose how you will order all the paragraphs and combine them in one document.