Writing a literature review tutorial

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.

These gaps will be important for you to address as you plan and write your review. 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.

Group the articles into categories e. The following are the key steps as outlined by Galvan Access or File Maker Prowriting a literature review tutorial an Excel spreadsheet, or the "old-fashioned" way of using note cards.

Note key statistics that you may want to use in the introduction to your review. 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.

Check the flow of your argument for coherence. Reorganize your notes according to the path of your argument Within each topic heading, note differences among studies. Plan to discuss how individual studies relate to and advance theory Plan to summarize periodically and, again near the end of the review Plan to present conclusions and implications Plan to suggest specific directions for future research near the end of the review Flesh out your outline with details from your analysis Step 7: The advantage of using Excel is that it enables you to sort your findings according to a variety of factors e.

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students.

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. 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.

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.

Identify major trends or patterns: How you end the review, however, will depend on your reason for writing it. On the other hand, a review in a thesis, dissertation, or journal article presenting original research usually leads to the research questions that will be addressed.

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. Be consistent in how you record notes. Writing the review Galvan, A literature review is not series writing a literature review tutorial annotations like an annotated bibliography.

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. Redefine your topic if needed: Refworks Import Directions for guide on how to do this from different databases.

Some tips for identifying suitable literature and narrowing your search: 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 the review has supported the assertion or proposition presented in the introduction.

Aim for a clear and cohesive essay that integrates the key details of the literature and communicates your point of view a literature is not a series of annotated articles. Evaluate your references for currency and coverage: If you are using an electronic form of note taking, you might note these descriptors in a separate field e.

In the case of a literature review, you are really creating a new forest, which you will build by using the trees you found in the literature you read. Consider how you reassemble your notes: You can also enter references manually into RefWorks if you need to. Identify relationships among studies: This can then be exported into a Microsoft Word document.

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.A search on Google will retrieve numerous guides and tutorials focused on researching and writing literature reviews.

Some are general, i.e. not subject nor level specific while others focus on literature reviews in a specific discipline and/or on a particular level, i.e.

undergraduate, graduate. In the case of a literature review, you are really creating a new forest, which you will build by using the trees you found in the literature you read." Create a topic outline that traces your argument: first explain to the reader your line or argument (or thesis); then your narrative that follows should explain and justify your line of argument.

Interactive tutorial for literature reviews in Education & Behavioral Sciences Need Help Writing the Literature Review?

Guidelines for writing a literature review

VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.

However, if you are writing a review in the humanities, history, or social sciences, a survey of the history of the literature may be what is needed, because what is important is how perspectives have changed through the years or within a certain time period.

After finishing this tutorial, you will (1) have an understanding of the basic concepts of a literature review, (2) have checklists you can use to help you create a literature review, (3) have an example of a literature review, and (4) know how to.

Literature Review is a crucial part of any university assignment. However, most students face various challenges in writing a perfect one. This video takes you through each step that helps in overcoming those issues.

Writing a literature review tutorial
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