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Literature Review


									     Literature Review: Why?

Set’s the scene for your research
Provide the reader with information on:
• Main theories and ideas within the area
• Previous research findings within the area
• Criticisms, limitations, missing information
• Justification for your research
       Literature Review : Good / Bad
G ood L itera ture review                           P oor L itera ture review

It is a s ynthes is of a va ila ble res ea rc h     It is a n a nnota ted bibliog ra phy

It is a c ritic a l eva lua tion                    It is s imply des c riptive

It is up to da te                                   It is not up to da te

It ha s c la rity a nd c onc is enes s              It is c onfus ing a nd long winded

It us es a c lea r a nd c ons is tent s truc ture   It is c ons truc ted in a n a rbitra ry wa y

It loc a tes your own res ea rc h                   It does not loc a te your own res ea rc h
    Literature Review: When?

• At the beginning of your research project
  (very important for the deductive
• When you have your first results (very
  important for the inductive approach)
           Three Stages
•   Literature search – mechanics of
    finding, sorting, managing the material

•   Literature review (reading and writing
    aspects) – understanding, critical
    evaluation, conceptualisation and
    presentation of the material

•   Integration into your report: (i) single
    section, (ii) distributed.
    Literature Review: How to!
• Searching
• Reading
• Note taking, highlighting and summarising
• Critical evaluation and creating links
• Draught structure
• Write it !
         How to find Sources
• Search peer-reviewed journals, academic
  books, refereed conference papers (2ndary)
• Login to SOLE and use
  – Library catalogue for books
  – Library e-Resources for online journals and
    databases, e.g.,
     • ACM Digital Library
     • Academic Search Premier
     • Cambridge Journals
• Highlight chunks of text and label
• Write key points / words
• Maintain a global list of key points / words
  (to synthesize)
           Critical Evaluation
• What is new in this piece of work? How does it
  contribute to the body of knowledge?
• What is good / bad about this piece of work?
• Does it link in with other pieces of work I have
• Does it cite significant other works I have read
• Does it cite other works which are often cited?
              Making Links

Feature map   Table which groups your thoughts
              into categories
Concepts map Links between concepts or ideas

Trees         Shows how topic branches into sub-
              topic and related questions.
              Can show stages in a topic’s
       Help from ILS

• If you are interested in attending a
  workshop on using e-resources and
  electronic data base searching and/or
  using referencing software, please
• Stephanie Allen,

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