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How to undertake a literature review I have been asked a few times for a blog post on how to conduct a proper literature review. This is hard to do sometimes because a lot of people have different methods to do their reviews of the literature see examples hereherehere and here.
I tweeted a few of the steps I undertake, but I figured the easiest way to do this was to actually write a full blog post with the protocol I follow. I usually teach my students graduate and undergraduate and my research assistants how to do each one of the steps, so I will be walking you through my own process, rather than any generally accepted version of a method for reviewing the literature.
You can apply much of the research process citation tracing, concept saturation, finding anchor authors and creating subheadings that are based on questions to be answered to the process of creating an annotated bibliography.
Right now I am doing a review of the literature on online activism for environmental protection purposes. Among these I can count Dr. Merry University of LouisvilleDr.
Deen Freelon American University and Dr. Meredith Clark University of North Texas. Deen, Dave and Meredith have researched online activism, so their publications should be part of the contextual components. An element of undertaking a literature review that almost nobody tells you about is the serendipitous nature of finding a specific author.
So much of what I come across is actually rather serendipitous. Identify the main topic and the anchor authors.
The first stage of undertaking a literature review is identifying the main topic for the review, and a few key authors, what I called in the previous paragraph, the anchor authors.
Once I found more relevant articles, I started reading and summarizing them, and creating my Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump. Annotated bibliographies, banks of synthetic notes and literature reviews are actual research products. Repeat the process until reaching conceptual saturation. Depending on how in-depth I want to go, I write rhetorical precis or synthetic summaries of each article, and then dump them into my Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump for that specific topic.
I may also want to create an annotated bibliography. But sometimes I am so busy that I simply go from the Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump to writing the literature review.
Most people I know write first an annotated bibliography and THEN, based on the results of their annotations, start writing their literature review. Since I am usually reviewing a body of works for a specific paper I am writing, I rarely have the time to write an annotated bibliography.
However, something I may do is ask my research assistants to write an annotated bibliography on a broader topic and, based on that one, choose specific citations I may want to use for the literature review section of the paper I am writing. Write the literature review as though you were answering questions about each subheading.
I usually break down the literature review, if it is a research product in and of itself like the one we generated for the UC MEXUS CONACYT project in headings and summarize how each one of the papers, book chapters and books I reviewed relates to each other within the literature, within each heading.
So for example, if I were doing this literature review as a product itself, I probably would use a list of topics and headings like this: The role of activism in policy change. How do environmental activists use online strategies to influence policy change.
Gaps in the literature. Some authors, like Dr. Eduardo Araral, publish their literature reviews as scholarly pieces in international journals.
This coauthored piece on Water Governance 2.How to Write a Critical Essay. A critical essay is an analysis of a text such as a book, film, article, or painting.
The goal of this type of paper is to offer a text or an interpretation of some aspect of a text or to situate the text in. EMR Fundamentals of EMR You must include at least 10 original reports of research studies (primary sources) in your literature review/proposal.
How to Write an Article Review. In this Article: Article Summary Preparing to Write Your Review Writing the Article Review Sample Article Reviews Community Q&A An article review is both a summary and an evaluation of another writer's article.
Teachers often assign article reviews to introduce students to the work of experts in the field. A literature review is a critical analysis of published sources, or literature, on a particular topic. It is an assessment of the literature and provides a summary, classification, comparison and evaluation.
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