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The Literature Review


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Table of Contents

Introduction What Is A Literature Review? The Literature Review At Different Degree Levels Why Is It Important To Undertake A Literature Review As Part Of Your Research? Where Do We Find The Literature Review In A Dissertation Or Thesis? Structuring Your Literature Review Task 1.1 Choosing A Literature Review Approach Summary Overview The Multiple Purposes of a Literature Review The Multiple Purposes Historical Background Contemporary Context Theoretical Underpinnings Definitions And Discussion Of Terminology Used In The Research Signalling A Gap In Previous Research And Using This To Justify Your Own The Significance Of A Problem For Research Task 2.1 Reflecting On Your Own Research Summary Sources of Information and Conducting Searches What Is A Literature Search? What Are The Purposes Of A Literature Search? Sources Of Information Evaluating Online Sources Of Information Different Types Of Research Tools For Finding Relevant Sources The Process Of Conducting A Literature Search The Use Of Key Words And Boolean Logic Keeping Up To Date: RSS Feeds And Email Alerts Social Bookmarking Task 3.1 Tracking And Recording Your Search Summary Reading and Note-Taking Strategies Techniques For Reading Efficiently Increasing Your Reading Speed Reasons For Note Taking Techniques For Note Taking Three Main Formats for Note Taking Your Own Comments Handwritten Notes VS Computer Notes Making Connections Between Different Texts: Using Key Words Making Connections Between Different Texts: A Tabular Comparison Techniques For Writing A Summary Task 4.1 Applying The Principles To Your Field Summary Reference Management: Keeping Records and Organising Information Managing The Process A Record of Key Word Searches A Record of Bibliographic Details A Personal Library Copyright Legislation Bibliographical Software Packages Task 5.1 Record Keeping For Your Own Research Summary Structuring the Literature Review The Processes Involved In The Creation Of A Literature Review Beginning To Write The Structure Of The Literature Review Developing The Structure Of Your Review Task 6.1 Structuring Your Own Literature Review The Relationship Between The Introduction And The Literature Review Task 6.2 Reflecting On Your Own Research Field Summary In-Text Citations Why Do We Reference? What Is Plagiarism? What Type Of Information Requires A Reference? Referencing Systems Integral And Non-Integral References Disciplinary Differences in Refernce Type Types Of Citation Disciplinary Difference in Citation Type Choice Of Reporting Verb Disciplinary Difference in Reporting Verbs Tense Of Reporting Verb Choice Of Tense In The Clause Or Sentence Where The Information Is Reported Effective And Unacceptable Citations Text Matching Software: Turnitin Task 7.1 Analysing Reference Techniques In Your Own Research Field Summary Being Critical The Difference Between Critical Reading And Critical Writing Being Critical In Writing How Different Researchers Adopt A Critical Approach In Their Writing Task 8.1 Critical Writing In Your Own Research Field Summary Foregrounding Writer Voice in Your Writing What Is Writer Voice? The Organisation Of The Text Unattributed Assertions Followed by Support from Citations Summary and Evaluation of Source Material Overall Summary at End of Section or Chapter The Use Of Personal Pronouns The Choice Of Citation Pattern The Evaluative Potential Of Different Reporting Verbs Evaluative Adjectives, Adverbs And Phrases A Mixture Of Evaluative Strategies Task 9.1 Reflecting On The Writer's Voice In Your Own Research Summary The Continuing Process The Literature Review Process Referring To The Literature In Your Discussion Chapter Task 10.1 Reflecting On Making The Connections In Your Own Research Summary Findings Support an Existing Theory Comparing a New Model and an Existing Theory Explaining a Finding Using the Literature Contribution of Current Research to Exisiting Theory Interpreting the Data Using the Literature Application of Theory to the Findings Summary A Systematic Literature Review What Is A Systematic Literature Review? The Process Of Conducting A Systematic Literature Review What Is A Meta-Analysis? Narrative Synthesis An Example Of A Systematic Review Appraisal Of A Systematic Review Task 11.1 Searching For And Critiquing A Systematic Literature Review In Your Field Summary Further Reading Conclusion Electronic Guides References Index

About the Author

Diana Ridley is a Senior Lecturer at the TESOL Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK where she supervises research students in the fields of English language teaching and academic literacies.


'The Literature Review is a clearly written and easily accessible self-guided introduction packed with detailed examples. It's especially useful for budding researchers unfamiliar with crafting literature reviews that support strong theory development and empirical testing. I recommend it to every first-year doctoral student' -
Michael R. Hyman
Distinguished Achievement Professor, New Mexico State University

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