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How to write a literature review - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Literature Review Taken From: University of Washington Psychology Writing Center 2 Main Approaches Choose an area of research, read all the relevant studies and organize them in a meaningful way Choose an organizing theme or a point that you want to make, the select your studies accordingly

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literature review

Literature Review

Taken From:

University of Washington

Psychology Writing Center

2 main approaches
2 Main Approaches
  • Choose an area of research, read all the relevant studies and organize them in a meaningful way
  • Choose an organizing theme or a point that you want to make, the select your studies accordingly
two purposes
Two Purposes
  • To thoroughly describe work done on specific area of research
  • To evaluate this work
    • Identify relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature and by suggesting the next step needed to solve the research problem
    • Compare studies in terms of assumptions about the research question, experimental method, data analysis and any conclusions drawn
select a research topic
Select a Research Topic
  • Select a topic of current interest
  • Select a well-researched area
  • Narrow
  • Plan on spending half of your time selecting a topic and reading articles and the other half writing
collect the relevant articles
Collect the relevant articles
  • Do a preliminary search on PsycInfo
  • Further narrow your topic if necessary
  • Find your pivotal article –what article do all the other articles cite
  • Do an author search and see what other articles the author has written (PsycInfo)
  • See who has cited those authors (SSCI)
    • Find readable articles
    • Identify accessible articles
reading the articles
Reading the Articles
  • Read the easier articles first
  • Scan the articles
    • Identify the research question
    • Specific hypotheses
    • The findings
    • How the findings were interpreted
  • Read abstract, look at graphs and read discussion
  • Jot down main conclusion of articles on a summary sheet or next to the abstract
  • Now do a careful read of the articles and look for differences in theoretical outlook
writing the literature review
Writing the Literature Review
  • Number of articles reviewed
    • 5-15
  • Length
    • 8-20 pages
  • Organization
    • Introduce research question]
    • Narrow research question to the studies discussed
    • Briefly outline the organization of the paper
      • E.g., 3 methods have been used and each will be described and a comparison among them will be made
writing the literature review8
Writing the Literature Review
  • Describe studies in detail
  • Compare and evaluate studies
  • Discus implication of studies
  • USE CONCEPTUAL HEADINGS:
    • Read 5 articles first then write headings
    • Literature is SDs for what you write as headings not other way around
    • Headings are conclusions not predictions
      • Definition of terms
      • Description of research question
      • What population have been used
      • Skills taught using this teaching procedure
      • Studies that measured a particular variable
      • Studies that did not measure a particular variable
writing the literature review9
Writing the Literature Review
  • Write the Introduction
    • Start off with the research question and progressively narrow it.
    • State the specific lines of research you will be discussing
    • Establish a brisk but even pace
      • Avoid sudden jumps in logic
      • It is your job to make reading your article as easies as possible on the reader –assume nothing about their background
writing the literature review10
Writing the Literature Review
  • Describe each article
    • Compare research assumptions, research theories tested, hypotheses stated, research designs used, variables selected, equipment used, instruction given, results obtained, interpretation of results, researcher speculations about future studies
    • If you’re having trouble here, then you don’t thoroughly understand the articles. Go back and read them again
  • Evaluate the work don in the area you are researching
    • State strengths and weaknesses and what remains to be done.
    • Assertions must be well supported by evidence
    • Recommend future studies
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Don’t start writing too early –you’ll write in circles because you don’t have anything to say
  • Leave time for breaks to get a fresh perspective
  • Use specific language and support your arguments with concrete examples
    • Don’t say “this illustrates” say “this experiment illustrates”
    • Use as few words as possible (write actively)
    • Never use a word with more syllables if the small word says the same thing “utilize and use”
    • Paragraphs need a main point
  • Paraphrase NEVER quote
  • Evaluate what you report
    • Synthesize the research, not just describe it
  • Avoid plagiarism –give credit
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