Literature review tutorial
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Literature Review Tutorial. January 31 st , 2014 CRM4304. Reminder… What is a literature review?. Analyzes a body of literature Organizes this body of literature by themes or categories

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Literature Review Tutorial

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Literature Review Tutorial

January 31st, 2014


Reminder…What is a literature review?

  • Analyzes a body of literature

  • Organizes this body of literature by themes or categories

  • Presents the research and the ideas on the topic rather than individual work or an individual author by itself

  • The goal is to situate your topic among previous and current research on the subject (my translation,

How to go about writing a literature review

  • Step 1 : Find articles

  • Step 2: Summarize/Synthetize each document

  • Step 3: Identify what each document brings to the topic in general

  • Step 4: Make links between the articles/documents you’ve read

  • Step 5: Present and organize the articles (different ways of doing this, for this class, the prof wants you to organize it by theme)

One way of doing it….

Source: Manuel des sciences sociales, Campenhoudt & Quivy

2 options

- Make a grid for each article where you insert the main ideas and number them so that you can refer to directly to your notes

- Make a grid for all your articles, present the main idea of each article and this will make it easier/quicker to organize your literature at the end.

Finding “good” sourcesSource: Manuel des sciences sociales, Campenhoudt & Quivy

  • Start with a solid research question (this will make sure you don’t lose track of what it is you are looking for)

  • Try to avoid the really long articles/books unless you know they are essential to your topic/ research question

  • Look for articles that don’t only present the findings but that analyze and interpret these findings

  • Try to find articles that study your phenomenon/topic from different angles ( this will help you identify what the literature says and does not say)

Finding appropriate sources

  • For this class…

    • Peer reviewed articles

    • Qualitative (avoid quantitative sources such as psych. Articles)

    • Must have been published between 2000- now

A few other things…

  • Identify the type of data that is used (i.e. ethnographic for example) this might be helpful in organizing your lit. review

  • In the guidelines, Dr. Landry indicated that she wants you to find 4 articles “that will address the qualitative methodological approach you are planning to use”

    • If you plan on doing content analysis for example, this does not mean go find four articles that talk about content analysis as a methodological approach

    • Find articles on your topic, in which authors have used the same approach you plan on using!

    • So if you are planning on doing the content analysis of a show, chances are that you will not be the first person to do this!

A few other things…

  • One last tip…

    • Be clear and concise in what you are saying

    • Avoid using sentences like “In his article [insert title], John Smith discusses…” or “John Smith identifies the theme of poverty in his article [insert title]”

    • Dr. Landry DOES NOT want this. It comes off as space filler

    • She would prefer something like “The theme of poverty ([APA SOURCE], ex. Smith, 2014; 5) is prevalent …”


  • Take 10-15 minutes to go over the abstracts and identify the main ideas

  • Get into small groups and figure out how you would organize these abstracts if you had to write a literature review

  • Chances are the answers won’t be the same even though we all read the same thing!

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