Writing a Literature Review

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					Writing a Literature Review
Kati Tvaruzka
Assistant Professor/Education Reference Librarian
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, McIntyre Library
tvaruzke@uwec.edu
      What is a literature review?

• A description or account of the literature that
  has been published relevant to a particular
  field or topic.

• an overview of significant literature published
  on a topic.

• Not necessarily an analysis (review) of the
  sources, but specifies which literature makes
  significant contributions to the understanding
  of the topic.
    Literature Review vs.
    Research Paper

Literature Review       Research Paper
• a synthesis and      • Uses sources to
  summary of other       support your
  people’s arguments     argument or idea
  and ideas

• Emphasis on the      • Emphasis is on the
  sources, not the       argument, not the
  argument               sources
    A Four Step Process…


1. Pick a topic and determine its component
   issues

2. Literature Search

3. Data Evaluation

4. Analysis and Interpretation
     Strategies…


• Find a focus

• Construct a thesis statement

• Plan your organization
  • Introduction

  • Body – organization within the body!

  • Conclusion
      Composition…


• Guidelines & Tips
  • Use evidence

  • Be selective

  • Use quotes in moderation

  • Summarize & Synthesize

  • Maintain your own voice

  • Use care when paraphrasing
     Tips


• Don’t start each paragraph the same
  way (stating the author’s name, for
  example).

• Don’t just list each source one after the
  other with a description or summary.

• The narrower your topic, the easier it
  will be to get a good survey of the
  sources available.
           Sources:

University of California – Santa Cruz. How to Write a Literature Review. Accessed
   online at http://library.ucsc.edu/ref/howto/literaturereview.html

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Literature Reviews. Accessed online at
   http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature_review.html

University of Toronto. Writing at the University of Toronto: The Literature Review.
   Accessed online at http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/litrev.html

				
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posted:11/30/2011
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