Litreview - Doing a literature review This Advice Sheet...

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1 Doing a literature review This Advice Sheet introduces you to the basics of compiling a Literature review. What is a literature review? It is a critical and evaluative account of what has been published on a chosen research topic. Its purpose is to summarise, synthesise and analyse the arguments of others. (It is not an academic research paper, the main purpose of which is to support your own argument.) You should describe and analyse the knowledge that exists and what gaps occur in research related to your field of interest. (This should clarify the relationship between your own research and the work that has previously been done.) It should reveal similarities and differences , consistencies and inconsistencies and controversies in previous research. What it is not It is not primarily an argument for the importance of what it is you are researching. While it is necessary to explain what is the primary purpose of your research, the reader of a literature review will assume that the need for undertaking the research has already been established. It is not a descriptive list of papers or summaries. You must not just list your sources and describe them in detail one at a time. A literature review is organised around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organised. You should assess previous studies and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. You also have to think about which themes and issues your sources have in common. What is a literature review? 1 What it is not …. 1 Approaches needed …. 1 Approaching your review …. 2 Writing the review …. 3 Further reading …. 4 The approaches needed for different disciplines It is important to note that certain disciplines will have a different approach to literature reviews. Your department may have particular preferences so you should always make sure that you have consulted your supervisor before you start work.
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2010 for the course A a taught by Professor A during the Spring '10 term at American International.

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Litreview - Doing a literature review This Advice Sheet...

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