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: note relationships among studies, such as which studies were landmark ones that led to subsequent studies in the same area.
You may also note that studies fall into different categories categories that you see emerging or ones that are already discussed in the literature. When you write your review, you should address these relationships and different categories and discuss relevant studies using this as a framework.
Keep your review focused on your topic: make sure that the articles you find are relevant and directly related to your topic. As you take notes, record which specific aspects of the article you are reading are relevant to your topic as you read you will come up with key descriptors that you can record in your notes that will help you organize your findings when you come to write up your review. If you are using an electronic form of note taking, you might note these descriptors in a separate field e.
Evaluate your references for currency and coverage: 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.
However, before you begin writing, you must evaluate your reference list to ensure that it is up to date and has reported the most current work. Typically a review will cover the last five years, but should also refer to any landmark studies prior to this time if they have significance in shaping the direction of the field. If you include studies prior to the past five years that are not landmark studies, you should defend why you have chosen these rather than more current ones.
Step 5: 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.
If you do include tables as part of your review each must be accompanied by an analysis that summarizes, interprets and synthesizes the literature that you have charted in the table. The advantage of using Excel is that it enables you to sort your findings according to a variety of factors e. Research methods Summary of research results Step 6: 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.
The following are the key steps as outlined by Galvan Consider your purpose and voice before beginning to write. 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.
You are also developing skills in reviewing and writing, to provide a foundation on which you will build in subsequent courses within your M. You may do it: chronologically, by trend, thematically. The chronological way is suitable when trends change over time.
The second method is good when stance of each publication is different. For example, if approaches develop from radical to conservative, arranging by publication show their progress.
When the trend is in focus, information may be arranged by this feature uniting time periods or regions. Thematic principle helps to form parts of the body by their meaning. Stages of development Structurizing gives a chance to organize literature analysis in form.
There are stages which are used to help in organizing the work according to its internal dynamics. Formulate the problem and say on what field of science it is being examined. Organize literature search which will help to find publications relevant to your theme from sources you can trust. Evaluate the data choosing which literature is more precious for your subject.
Analyse and interpret the findings of the chosen publications and evaluate how they are suitable for your work. Accuracy of information If you do not know something or it is not clear enough for you, clarify your doubts as soon as possible. You may ask your professor to give answers to your questions.
He always knows how to do a literature review and may give a useful piece of advice. Questions may concern any peculiarities of the work — from types of publications, such as articles from journals, books or websites, to a number of subheadings and other formal, at first glance, information. Besides, you can find a model for your work. There are a lot of similar literature analysis which may become an example for you.
Take one of them as a basis but do it formally in order to avoid plagiarism. It will do your work easier if you narrow down the scope of possible themes in your review. It will automatically reduce the number of sources you have to study and will make the work more concrete. If you really want to make a contribution to science you should check the sources for their relevance.
Some information may be out of date and you should replace it with fresh data. Writing the text, pay attention to evidence you use. It confirms your desire to substantiate the ideas that you are expressing and helps to make the whole work argumentative. Do not forget that this is you, who does the review. What kind of literature?
Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative. An extensive review of relevant material will include — books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources. The Library would be the best place to search for your sources. How many resources? The number of sources that you will be required to review will depend on what the literature review is for and how advanced you are in your studies.
It could be from five sources at first year undergraduate level to more than fifty for a thesis. Your lecturer will advise you on these details. These details will save you time later. Read the literature Critically read each source, look for the arguments presented rather than for facts. Take notes as you read and start to organise your review around themes and ideas. Consider using a table, matrix or concept map to identify how the different sources relate to each other.
Analyse the literature you have found In order for your writing to reflect strong critical analysis, you need to evaluate the sources. For each source you are reviewing ask yourself these questions: What are the key terms and concepts?
Standards: the way in which you present your information. It is better to underline how one work differs from others devoted to this problem. 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.
It is not a list like an annotated bibliography in which a summary of each source is listed one by one. Important: A literature review is not series of annotations like an annotated bibliography. Chronologically with the date of publication, or 3. It confirms your desire to substantiate the ideas that you are expressing and helps to make the whole work argumentative. A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.
Selection Methods: the criteria you used to select and perhaps exclude sources in your literature 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. The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint. What are the major relationships, trends and patterns? 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. When you decide on a research topic, usually the first step you take in the direction of conducting research is learn more about the previous research published on the topic, and this eventually translates into literature review when you write your research paper.
There are stages which are used to help in organizing the work according to its internal dynamics. Identify relationships among studies: note relationships among studies, such as which studies were landmark ones that led to subsequent studies in the same area. This is an important introductory sentence that will tell your reader what the topic is and the overall perspective or argument you will be presenting. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
Once the sample studies have been shortlisted, they are analyzed in detail. A review organized in this manner would shift between time periods within each section according to the point made.