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The Literature Review

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					The Literature Review




                        SROP 2006
                        Mitzi Ramos
                        Maya Evans
An Example…

 “Given heightened awareness of environmental and cultural
 concerns relating to tourism—and more recently to casino gaming—
 academic attention has focused on the concept of sustainable
 development, of which tourism plays an increasingly critical role
 world-wide. According to Farrell (see Martin 1998: 42), sustainable
 development is a holistic system in which three interdependent
 subsystems interact and influence one another: those of environment, culture
 and economies. […] According to Brenda Martin, the „general theme‟ of
 research findings related to Native American tourism is that „local
 communities do not typically benefit from tourism development unless it is
 done in a cooperative and inclusive manner‟… […] Van Otten and Vasquez
 (1992) concur, based on their study of local planning on the Hopi reservation
 in northeastern Arizona.”
                                              Piner, Judie M. and Thomas W. Paradis. 2004.
                                              “Beyond the Casino: Sustainable Tourism and Cultural
                                              Development on Native American Lands.” Tourism
                                              Geographies 6(1): p. 80-98.
Pay attention to these techniques…

  “Given heightened awareness of environmental and cultural concerns
  relating to tourism—and more recently to casino gaming—academic
  attention has focused on the concept of sustainable development, of which
  tourism plays an increasingly critical role world-wide. According to Farrell
  (see Martin 1998: 42), sustainable development is a holistic system in which
  three interdependent subsystems interact and influence one another: those of
  environment, culture and economies. […] According to Brenda Martin, the
  „general theme‟ of research findings related to Native American tourism is
  that „local communities do not typically benefit from tourism development unless
  it is done in a cooperative and inclusive manner‟ […] Van Otten and
  Vasquez (1992) concur, based on their study of local planning on the Hopi
  reservation in northeastern Arizona.”
                                                 Piner, Judie M. and Thomas W. Paradis. 2004.
                                                 “Beyond the Casino: Sustainable Tourism and Cultural
                                                 Development on Native American Lands.” Tourism
                                                 Geographies 6(1): p. 80-98.
Purpose of the Literature Review

    Locate holes in past research that you can fill with your
     own original research

    Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable enough about
     the topic to address it

    Support the theories and hypotheses that you present

    Ensure that you are contributing to knowledge and not
     simply replicating what has already been established
Before starting, you should be able
to:

    Identify the topic of your research

    Identify preliminary research questions

    Identify several preliminary research areas of interest
Areas of Research Interest

    There are sub-topics within your own research topic,
     called areas of research interest. Identifying and
     addressing these areas within your literature review
     demonstrates that you can think critically about your
     research.

    An effective literature review requires organization at
     all times. Identifying these areas will help keep you
     organized.
Step One: Identify preliminary areas of
interest for your research

A Real-Life Example…

 1. Topic: campaign strategies used by black candidates running against each
 other


 2. Research questions: On what grounds do Black voters shape their perceptions
 of candidates, and thus their voting behavior, when both candidates are Black?
 Accordingly, what strategies must Black candidates adopt to win these statewide
 elections? Is race still the most salient factor in determining election outcomes
 when it does not preliminarily serve to differentiate the candidates?
Step One: Identify preliminary areas of
interest for your research

A Real-Life Example…

 3. Areas of interest
      i. Black representation/racial redistricting/descriptive representation
      ii. Elections of black candidates: strategies
      iii. Candidate perception and evaluation
      iv. Racial appeals to black voters
      v. White voter evaluation/prejudice of white voters
      vi. Intragroup competition
      vii. Studies of other minority groups
      viii. Campaign advertising           newspaper coverage
Step One: Identify preliminary areas of
interest for your research

A Real-Life Example…

 3. Areas of interest
      i. Black representation/racial redistricting/descriptive representation
      ii. Elections of black candidates: strategies
      iii. Candidate perception and evaluation
      iv. Racial appeals to black voters
      v. White voter evaluation/prejudice of white voters
      vi. Intragroup competition
      vii. Studies of other minority groups
      viii. Campaign advertising           newspaper coverage
Step Two: Locate existing research on
each of these areas

   Conduct article searches based on these areas of
    interest

   Organize articles by the area of interest

   Use proper citations for your field:

         http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/Documentation.html
Step Three: Read and evaluate each
article independently

“How to Read a Research Article” (Schutt 2004)
  1. What is the basic research question or problem? Try to state in just one sentence.

             “The clearest statement of the research question—actually three questions—is that „we
              seek to determine how men and women in these [six] different situations [defined by
              marital status and living arrangement] compare in the amounts of time they spend doing
              housework, whether these differences can be attributed to differences in other social and
              economic characteristics, and which household tasks account for these differences” (p.
              328). Prior to this point, the authors focus in on this research question, distinguishing it
              from the more general issue of how housework is distributed within marriages and
              explaining why it is an important research question” (Schutt 2004: C-1).

  2. Is the purpose of the study explanatory, evaluative, exploratory, or descriptive? Did the study
      have more the than one purpose?

  3. What prior literature was reviewed? Was it relevant to the research problem? To the
      theoretical framework? Does the literature review appear to be adequate? Are you aware of
      (or can you locate) any important studies that have been omitted?
Step Three: Read and evaluate each
article independently
 4.   Was a theoretical framework presented? What was it? Did it seem appropriate for the
      research question addressed? Can you think of a different theoretical perspective that
      might have been used?

 5.   How well did the study live up to the guidelines for science? Do you need additional
      information in any areas to evaluate the study? To replicate it?

 6.   Were any hypotheses stated? Were these hypotheses justified adequately in terms of the
      theories presented? In terms of prior research?

 7.   What were the independent and dependent variables in the hypothesis (ses)? Did these
      variables reflect the theoretical concepts as intended? What direction of association was
      hypothesized? Were any other variables identified as potentially important?

 8.   What were the major concepts in the research? How, and how clearly, were they defined?
      Were some concepts treated as unidimensional that you think might best be thought of as
      multidimensional?
Step Three: Read and evaluate each
article independently
 9.    Did the instruments used, the measures of the variables, seem valid and reliable? How did
       the authors attempt to establish this? Could any more have been done in the study to
       establish measurement validity?

 10.   Was a sample or the entire population used in the study? What type of sample was
       selected? Did the authors think the sample was generally representative of the population
       from which it was drawn? Do you?

 11.   Was the response rate or participation rate reported? Does it appear likely that those who
       did not respond or participate were markedly different from those who did participate?
       Why or why not? Did the author(s) adequately discuss this issue?

 12.   What were the units of analysis? Were they appropriate for the research question?

 13.   Was an experimental, survey, participant observation, or some other research design used?
       How well was this design suited to the research question posed and the specific hypotheses
       tested, if any? Why do you suppose the author(s) chose this particular design?
Step Three: Read and evaluate each
article independently

 14.   Summarize the findings. How clearly were statistical and/or qualitative data
       presented and discussed? Were the results substantively important?

 15.   Did the author(s) adequately represent the findings in the discussion and/or
       conclusion sections? Were conclusions well grounded in the findings? Are
       any other interpretations possible?

 16.   Compare the study to others addressing the same research question. Did the
       study yield additional insights? In what ways was the study design more or
       less adequate than the design of previous research?

 17.   What additional research questions and hypotheses are suggested by the
       study‟s results? What light did the study shed on the theoretical framework
       used? On social policy questions?
Step Three: Read and evaluate each
article independently

    Answer questions on paper, not mentally.

    Reference within your answers: write quotes, put page
     numbers, star (*) important information

    Write personal notes: Is something confusing? Does it
     support your hypotheses? Does it remind you of an
     article you just read? Does it contradict what you are
     saying? If so, then write, “This contradicts me
     because…”
Final Tips…

 1.   Make sure you have more than enough literature to work with (I originally
      read 50 articles and books)
 2.   Stay organized.
 3.   Take notes—remember to write down everything that you are thinking.
 4.   Read the articles!
 5.   Don‟t feel the need to include an article just because you printed it out or
      read it (I only include 32 of the 50 original works in my final paper).
 6.   Each article is not supposed to address every aspect of your research
 7.   Reading will bring more areas of research interest to light, so be prepared
      to search for articles several times.
 8.   Literature reviews describe relationships between articles. They do not
      explain articles paragraph by paragraph. Look for these relationships as
      you are reading.
Racial Appeals to Black Voters                  Vetta L. Sanders Thompson (2001)
Reeves, Keith. 1997. Voting Hopes or Fears?     suggests that racial group identity is not an
White Voters, Black Candidates, and Racial
                                                all-or-none endeavor and defining
Politics in America. New York: Oxford
University Press.                               “authentic blackness” is both complex
Conover, Pamela Johnston. 1984. “The            and subjective. “[O]rganizing around
Influence of Group Identifications on
Political Perception and Evaluation.” The
                                                commonalities [of racial identification] is
Journal of Politics 46(3): 760-785.             difficult… and leads to divided loyalty and
Thompson, Vetta L. Sanders. 2001. “The          contributes to a fragmented sense of
Complexity of African American Racial
Identification.” Journal of Black Studies
                                                peoplehood. […] African
32(2): 155-165.                                 Americans/Blacks will find no easy issues
Allen, Richard L., Michael C. Dawson, and       to unify around, and the consequences of
Ronald E. Brown. 1989. “A Schema-Based
Approach to Modeling and African-American       the competing models of what it is or
Racial Belief System.” The American Political   means to be African American or Black
Science Review 83(2): 421-441.

Bledsoe, Timothy, Susan Welch, Lee
Sigelman, and Michael Combs. 1995.
                                                will increase the political and economic
                                                crisis within the African American
                                                                                                Side by side
“Residential Context and Racial Solidarity      community” (p. 163-64). Additional
among African Americans.” American
Journal of Political Science 39(2): 434-458.    obstacles to racial group identity include
Gandy Jr., Oscar H. “Racial Identity, Media     status in society and religious beliefs
Use, and the Social Construction of Risk
                                                (Allen, Dawson, and Brown 1989); racial
among African Americans.” Journal of Black
Studies 31(5): 600-618.                         residential patterns (Bledsoe et al. 1995);
Shelby, Tommie. “Foundations of Black           class and gender differences and
Solidarity: Collective Identity or Common
Oppression.” Ethics (112): 231-266.
                                                disagreements over “authentic” black
                                                identity (Shelby 2002). Nevertheless, the
McIlwain, Charlton D. and Stephen Maynard
Caliendo. “Who’s Really Black? A Theory of      implications of group solidarity affect
African American Authentic Appeals.” Paper
Presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the     levels of political participation and voting
Midwest Political Science Association in        behavior, even in contests between two
Chicago, IL.
                                                black candidates (Bledsoe et al. 1995).
McIlwain, Charlton D. and Stephen Maynard
Caliendo. “Frames of Authenticity: News
Coverage of Black Candidates and Their
Campaigns.” Paper presented at the 2004
Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political
Science Association in Chicago, IL.
Writing an effective Literature Review

  By the end of your Literature Review, the reader should be able to answer
  the following questions:
  1.    What specific previously compiled or published studies, articles, or
        other documents provide the best available information on the
        selected topic?
  2.    What do these studies conclude about the topic?
  3.    What are the apparent methodological strengths and weaknesses of
        these studies?
  4.    What remains to be discovered about the topic?
  5.    What appear to be, according to these studies, the most effective
        methods for developing new information on the topic?

				
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