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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Masters/PhD. LECTURE REVIEW OF LITERATURE Assoc. Prof. Dr. Parmjit Singh. OBJECTIVES. By the end of this lecture you should: Understand what a literature review is Discuss the main functions a review of literature serves in research

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research methodology masters phd

RESEARCH METHODOLOGYMasters/PhD

LECTURE

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Parmjit Singh

objectives
OBJECTIVES

By the end of this lecture you should:

  • Understand what a literature review is
  • Discuss the main functions a review of literature serves in research
  • Differentiate among major reference sources in education
  • Detail a systematic progression of steps in organising the review of literature
  • Write a report of a literature review
review of literature
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
  • A literature review is basically a synthesis of relevant and significant literature on a research problem by accredited scholars and researchers in the specified area of interest.
  • Wiersma (1995: 406), points out that the review of the literature provides “the background and context for the research problem. It should establish the need for the research and indicate that the writer is knowledgeable about the area."
purpose of lit review
PURPOSE OF LIT. REVIEW
  • To convey to the readers what knowledge and ideas have been established with regards to the research topic, and what the limitations are.
  • A review of related literature will comprise the following:
  • important findings within the stipulated research area
  • areas that still need to be investigated, and
  • whether your research is likely to add new information to the existing body of knowledge.
functions of lit review
FUNCTIONS OF LIT. REVIEW
  • Enables researchers (Rs) to define the frontiers of their field
  • Helps Rs to place their questions in perspective
  • Aids Rs. to limit their research questions and to classify and define the concepts of the study
  • A critical review often leads to insights into the reasons for contradictory results in an area
  • Helps Rs learn which methodologies have proven useful and which seem less promising.
  • Avoids unintentional replication of previous studies
  • Places Rs in a better position to interpret the significance of their own results
functions of lit review6
FUNCTIONS OF LIT. REVIEW
  • Shows your knowledge on the subject being investigated
  • Indicates aspects of a research topic that have been studied adequately and those that have not
  • Presents challenges that one may encounter in the study
  • It demonstrates your understanding & knowledge of the theoretical and research issues related to your RQ
  • It displays your awareness of what has been done so that you do not ‘reinvent the wheel’.
functions of lit review7
FUNCTIONS OF LIT. REVIEW
  • It exhibits your ability to critically evaluate the information in the relevant literature and formulate questions that need further research
  • It shows your ability to synthesize all the results into a summary of what is known and what is not known.
  • If the information obtained in the current literature exhibits a gap, you should be able to demonstrate how your research will help narrow the gap or make a contribution to the existing field of knowledge.
types of sources
TYPES OF SOURCES
  • General References
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
general references
GENERAL REFERENCES
  • General References – used to locate other sources
  • Most frequently used general references in educational research – Education Index and SSCI (Social Science Citation Index)
  • Others include Government Publications, Dictionaries, Statistical Sources, The Internet,
general sources
GENERAL SOURCES
  • Alkin’s Encyclopedia of Educational Research (1992) – 4 Volumes approx 200 topics – contains a critical synthesis and interpretation of reported educational research
  • Walberg and Haertel’s International Encyclopedia of Enducational Evaluation (1990).
  • International Encyclopedia of Education & Encyclopedia of Higher Education with CD-ROM entitled The Complete Encyclopedia
  • Handbook of Research on Teaching ( Gage – 1963, Travers 1973, Wittrock 1985) – review literature in field of teaching
periodical indexes citation indexes
PERIODICAL INDEXES & CITATION INDEXES
  • The ERIC Database
  • Educational Resources Information Centre (ERIC) established by US Dept. of Education in 1966 to collect, store and disseminate information on education
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI)
primary sources
PRIMARY SOURCES
  • Primary sources are publications in which researchers report the findings of their investigations.
  • Primary sources usually represent original, creative thinking such autobiographies, diaries, literary works, eyewitnesses, press reports and historical documents.
  • The value of the source will be determined by the source itself, e.g. a newspaper report on a certain situation could be unreliable if the reporter approached the event from a biased angle.
  • Descriptors are key words used by researchers to locate primary sources
secondary sources
SECONDARY SOURCES
  • Secondary sources are normally derived from the primary source
  • Secondary Sources – publications where authors describe work of others
  • It is important that one study the secondary source carefully especially if these are translations that may have changed the original interpretation of the primary source.
  • The value of secondary sources depends greatly on the insight of the reporter, the accuracy of the interpretations and evaluations and the usefulness of the conclusions.
computer search www
COMPUTER SEARCH (WWW)
  • Fast
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Current
  • Access to wide variety of materials
  • Varied formats
  • Immediacy (open 24 hours)
  • Provide printouts
  • Provide researchers to search using more than one descriptor
computer search www15
COMPUTER SEARCH (WWW)

LIMITATIONS

  • Information disorganised
  • Time commitment
  • Lack credibility (sometimes)
  • Uncertain reliability
  • Ethical violations
  • Undue reliance
some considerations
SOME CONSIDERATIONS
  • Length
  • Accuracy
    • Are factual statements supported with bibliographies, endnotes, links to useful sources?
    • Are statistics given dates & are the sources cited?
some considerations17
SOME CONSIDERATIONS

Timeliness

  • When was information originally published?
  • When was web-based information last updated?
  • If links to outside Web pages are provided, are the links still active or are they linking to sites that have moved or changed address?
  • Useful introduction to Internet – The Whole Internet :The Next Generation: A Completely New Edition of the First and best User’s Guide to the Internet. (Krol& Conner Sax, 1999), The Internet for Dummies (Levine, Baroudi & Young, 2000).
steps in a literature search
STEPS IN A LITERATURE SEARCH

1. Define the research problem as precisely as possible

2. Locate relevant secondary sources

3. Select appropriate textbooks (1-2)

4. Formulate search terms (key words/phrases) pertinent to research problem.

5. Search the general references for relevant primary sources.

6. Read and summarise key points in the sources.

report
REPORT
  • Literature Review report should consist the following:
  • Introduction
  • The body of review
  • A Summary
  • The researcher’s conclusion
  • Bibilography
writing a literature review
WRITING A LITERATURE REVIEW
  • STEP 1 – Contextualize the research
  • STEP 2 – Locate the resources
  • STEP 3 – Read the literature
  • STEP 4 – Compile and summarize the

information

  • STEP 5 – Organise the literature review
  • STEP 6 – Report the literature review
points to consider
POINTS TO CONSIDER
  • At this initial stage, look into the theoretical framework of the research problem to demonstrate your familiarity with present currents and concerns.
  • Determine the focus in the specified field’s theoretical themes.
  • The theoretical review presented must also justify the research question and help determine your research design.
  • Begin with general reference texts and move on to more specific materials such as journal articles, dissertations and other scholarly works.
points to consider22
POINTS TO CONSIDER

While reading, focus of the following information and make short notes:

  • Why, where and by whom the research was conducted
  • What were the underlying assumptions of the study
  • How was the methodology conducted
  • What were the major findings
  • What contribution did the study make to the existing body of knowledge in the particular field
  • Which references are most useful to one’s study
points to consider23
POINTS TO CONSIDER
  • After reading, compile and summarize the information
  • Make short notes or write an abstract of the relevant studies.
  • Next compile all the summarized information into an organizer – such as database of a computer using software programmes like ‘endnotes’ or electronic notes.
  • If you are one of those traditional ‘paper and pen’ types you can write it down using 3x5 cards.
  • Remember each card should only contain information from a particular source and the topic being researched.
points to consider24
POINTS TO CONSIDER
  • Generally, a literature review is developed in such a way that it moves from general to specific perspectives.
  • It can also be presented chronologically or historically. Here one can either start by reviewing the past to the present / current research studies and beliefs or from the latest research to the least recent research / materials.
  • Another way is to organize it in such a way that each variable and research question /hypothesis of the research is substantiated by the relevant literature.
  • The writing of the sections is usually based on the variables mentioned in the title of your research
  • For certain research topics that are controversial or have differing schools of thought it is best to ensure that the review of literature is presented in a balanced manner.
writing lit review logical argument a critique
Writing Lit. Review – Logical Argument / A Critique

A was the earliest writers to discuss . . .

B made a valuable contribution to the discussion of this problem . . .

C argued that D had not used the appropriate methods . . .

In the 1990s E proposed a completely different approach. . .

The best study of this problem is perhaps is by F . . .

activity 1
ACTIVITY 1
  • The question / hypothesis in my study is _______
  • The general reference(s) I consulted was(were)_________________
  • The search term(s) I used were
  • 3 Journals I consulted were_____
  • My literature review report outline is as follows:________________________
thank you
THANK YOU

FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION