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Writing a literature review. literature review. A literature review summarizes , interprets, and critically evaluates existing "literature" (or published material ) in order to establish current knowledge of a subject .

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Writing a literature review

Writing a literature review

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


Literature review
literature review

  • A literature review summarizes, interprets, and critically evaluates existing "literature" (or published material) in order to establish current knowledge of a subject.

  • The purpose for doing so relates to ongoing research to develop that knowledge.

  • the literature review may resolve a controversy, establish the need for additional research, and/or define a topic of inquiry.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


T he purpose of a literature review
The purpose of a literature review

  • The purpose of your literature review is to establish current knowledge on an aspect that relates to legal and ethical issues within the practices of professional nursing.

  • The literature review is a "stand-alone" review.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


Steps to prepare a literature review
Steps to prepare a literature review

  • Define your topic: you must define your topic and components of your topic

  • Search for materials: use search tools (such as the library catalogue, databases, bibliographies) to find materials about your topic

  • Evaluate what you have found: read and evaluate what you have found in order to determine which material makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic

  • Analysis and interpretation: provide a discussion of the findings and conclusions of the pertinent literature

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


What format should i use
What format should I use?

A literature review is as aspect of formal academic writing so include:

  • Introduction

  • Body

  • Conclusion

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the introduction
In the Introduction

  • define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern, thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature.

  • point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the introduction1
In the Introduction

  • establish the writer's reason (point of view) for reviewing the literature;

  • explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing literature and the organization of the review (sequence);

  • when necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope).

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the body
In the Body

  • group research studies and other types of literature (reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.) according to common denominators such as:

    • qualitative versus quantitative approaches,

    • conclusions of authors,

    • specific purpose or objective,

    • chronology, etc.

  • summarize individual studies or articles with as much or as little detail as each merits according to its comparative importance in the literature, remembering that space (length) denotes significance.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the body1
In the Body

  • provide the reader with strong "umbrella" sentences at beginnings of paragraphs, "signposts" throughout, and brief "so what" summary sentences at intermediate points in the review to aid in understanding comparisons and analyses.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the conclusion
In the Conclusion

  • summarize major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of knowledge under review, maintaining the focus established in the introduction.

  • evaluate the current "state of the art" for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


In the conclusion1
In the Conclusion

  • conclude by providing some insight into the relationship between the central topic of the literature review and a larger area of study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or a profession.

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


Questions a literature revi ew will try to answer
Questions a literature review will try to answer

  • What do we know about the area of inquiry?

  • What are the relationships between key concepts, factors, variables?

  • What are the current theories?

  • What are the inconsistencies and other shortcoming?

  • What needs further testing because evidence is lacking, inconclusive, contradictory, limited?

  • What designs or methods are faulty?

  • Why study this question further?

  • What contribution will your work make?

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008


Recommended web resources
Recommended web resources

  • How to write a literature review

    http://juno.concordia.ca/help/howto/litreview.php

  • Writing a literature review; Academic Skills Program, University of Canberra

    http://www.canberra.edu.au/studyskills/writing/literature

  • Writing a literature review; Study and Learning Centre, RMIT http://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/lsu/content/2_AssessmentTasks/assess_tuts/lit_review_LL/index.html

  • Writing a literature review; Teaching and Learning Unit, Faculty of Economics and Commerce, The University of Melbourne

    http://tlu.ecom.unimelb.edu.au/pdfs/lit_review.pdf

  • An example of how to write a literature review is found here:

    http://www.york.cuny.edu/~washton/student/Org-Behavior/lit_rev_eg.pdf

Writing a literature review, Stewart McKinney,2008