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Review_of_Literature_ldyeager_2010 - L Dayle Yeager...

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L. Dayle Yeager, Professor Industrial Engineering and Technology 595, Research 1 Review of Literature Recommended Guidelines Introduction Autonomy A “Review of Literature” is one of the more important and revealing aspects of a research document. However, as related to “research assignments,” theses, and dissertations, this investigative segment is often either poorly designed or ineptly executed. Among those reasons for major shortcomings are misunderstanding as to its importance, limited time constraints, inferior research tools, and poor investigative techniques. Often the problem centers about a lack of understanding as to what is the real purpose surrounding literature reviews. Most researchers will agree that the purpose of any “Review of Literature” is to show at least the following: (1) background of problem being investigated, (2) present status of problem being researched, and (3) future implications for problem being studied. Such objectives involve a systematic process of not only identifying pertinent documents but also analyzing these documents. Critical information may be typically located in articles, abstracts, reviews, monographs, books, and unpublished research (primarily theses and dissertations). The Internet (www) is especially useful when attempting to locate some of the more recent findings and conclusions. Magnitude Several of the more critical questions concerning a “Review of Literature” relate to length and currency. How short or how long is the literature review and how recent is the origin of information cited? The first answer is difficult and largely is governed by the problem being studied. Perhaps the best answer is simply to provide enough literature data required for a reader to appreciate the background, current status, and future of research without becoming bored or lost in the narrative. Caution should be exercised to avoid extremes ranging from too little background documentation to excessive, robust documentations that eventually become meaningless in the overall research perspective. The second answer is almost without exception dictated by the discipline being researched and the method of investigation. For example, most descriptive and experimental studies require more recent findings and conclusions while historical and causal comparative studies may be supported by literature completed much earlier. Source Investigative sources are routinely identified as being either (1) primarily or (2) secondary? A primary source may be defined as the person or organization that initially generated those circumstances, facts and/or data being cited. A secondary source may be
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L. Dayle Yeager, Professor Industrial Engineering and Technology 595, Research 2 described as a person or organization that may have interpreted and/or reported those circumstances, facts and/or data created by the entity that actually caused or created the actual information being cited. Which is more important and reliable? This answer depends on the type of research being conducted.
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  • Fall '10
  • Dr.L.Yeager
  • Source text, L. Dayle Yeager, Professor Industrial Engineering, Professor Industrial Engineering and Technology

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