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Literature Review Workshop. Lourdes Villarreal March 24, 2010 2:00-3:30 ACB 214. Overview. Introduction What is a Literature Review? What is the Purpose of a Literature Review? Strategies for Writing Literature Reviews SES Website Resources Hands-on Activity: Literature Review Sample

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literature review workshop

Literature Review Workshop

Lourdes Villarreal

March 24, 2010


ACB 214

  • Introduction
  • What is a Literature Review?
  • What is the Purpose of a Literature Review?
  • Strategies for Writing Literature Reviews
  • SES Website Resources
  • Hands-on Activity: Literature Review Sample
  • Questions & Concluding Remarks
  • Lourdes Villarreal
  • Workshop Attendees

Questions to Attendees

A. What do you already know?

B. What do you want to know?

C. What do you notice? (from sample lit review)

what is a literature review
What is a Literature Review?
  • A literature review is the critical examination of the research that has been done in a particular field or on a particular subject.
what is the purpose of a literature review
What is the Purpose of a Literature Review?
  • The purpose of a literature review is to test your abilities as a researcher. In other words, the scholar (you) will

A. Become well versed in the research conducted in the field and or your subject

B. Be able to recognize the work of others

purpose continued
Purpose Continued
  • Be selective of the sources used
  • Be able to hone your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills
purpose continued1
Purpose Continued
  • Be able to contribute to the scholarly body of work that already exists.
  • Be able to contribute to the betterment of society.
  • Be able to differentiate how a literature review is written for a seminar paper, a published article, or a dissertation.
purpose continued2
Purpose Continued
  • Be humbled by the realization that there is much more to know and to discover!
the challenges
The Challenges
  • Where to Begin

A. Narrow vs Broad (pros and cons)

B. Within a Theoretical Perspective

how to organize the review
How to Organize the Review
  • Multiple Theoretical Perspectives
  • Historical Analysis (how the subject has been written about in the literature; for example how a subject was being written about in the 50s may be very different than how it is written about in the 60s)
  • Themes (historical development could be a theme, variables, findings)
  • Methodology (research design: quantitative vs. qualitative)
writing the review
Writing the Review
  • Writing short, concise summaries of the findings
  • Imbedding your critique or including at the end (you definitely do not want to just summarize the findings of the studies)
  • Synthesizing your literature review (summary)
writing the review continued
Writing the Review Continued
  • Taking notes and keeping track (comparing/contrasting the findings)
  • Noting the differences between a literature review that is seminar paper or a qualifying exam compared to a literature review that you will find in a research article or that you would write for a dissertation.
  • Knowing when to Stop.
the strategies
The Strategies
  • Have a clear understanding of what your professor expects (have you been give guidelines to follow?). The guidelines are the rubric for evaluating your work.
example of professor s guidelines
Example of Professor’s Guidelines
  • Example from Professor’s Smith’s Edu 462 (taken many years ago; numbering and color emphasis mine).
  • 1.The review should include the identification of central works, 2. the overall contribution of this issue …, 3. strengths and weaknesses of the literature in the area, and 4. practical implications to be drawn. Note: The focus should be on reviewing the literature as opposed to simply a paper on the topic.
the strategiescontinued
The StrategiesContinued
  • Get to know the librarian (the education expert)
  • From the Honnold Mudd Library Homepage, under contact a librarian

the strategies continued
The Strategies Continued
  • Find out what resources are available in the library:

From Contact us, under Directory of Specialists, choose “Education” and then “Articles”. You will find a section entitled “Literature Reviews”

the strategies continued1
The Strategies Continued
  • Look for patterns in the literature reviews (note how they are written)
  • Utilize the CGU Writing Center
hands on activity
Hands-on Activity
  • Distribute sample of literature review
  • Discuss