The Literature Review. Lecture 7. Organization of this lecture. The Literature Review : Purposes of the Literature Review The Literature Review Process Search Aids, Key Words, Reading, & Notes Writing the Literature Review Referencing.
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The Literature Review:
Before we can create new knowledge, we must first know the current state of knowledge about our research subject.
(refer to Literature Review section in Appendices A,B, & C)
Prior research that addressed a similar problem or had similar objectives is relevant – you should know how others approached their problem and objectives.
Specific purposes, functions and benefits of a literature review include:
Helps develop insights on design of your own study by showing what has (and has not) been previously successful
May reveal conceptual insights into the problem and/or suggest possible hypotheses for your own study
A formal (written) literature review may not be necessary for all studies (eg. Problem-solving research for industry – see Appendix A)
But research should never be undertaken without a literature review. To do so risks, unneeded duplication, repeating mistakes and inefficient research
“Popular” publications should not be included eg. Newspapers, news magazines, or industry or popular publications.
(However, these sources may be useful to the researcher as background information during problem formulation)
Defining key words may be difficult – there are no specific guidelines
Use subheadings to organize the literature review and direct the reader’s attention.
Be sure to include the economic foundations literature related to your research. An overview of conceptual thinking, analytical procedures, and the progression of research can put your work in perspective.
(Another person’s summary and interpretation may differ from your own)
Giving credit for thoughts, ideas, efforts and contributions of others is an important ethical issue.
The style used in referencing may vary with the type of publication, as well as your personal preference.
Another possible style is to use a number in parentheses eg. (4), with a numbered References list at the end of the paper.
eg. Ethridge, Don. 2004. Research methodology in applied economics. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publ.