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Literature Review

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Literature Review AD700 9 November, 2005 College of Advancing Studies Brendan Rapple Without a Lit. Review, an integrated and comprehensive picture of the research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Literature Review


1
Literature Review
  • AD700 9 November, 2005
  • College of Advancing Studies Brendan Rapple

2
  • Without a Lit. Review, an integrated and
    comprehensive picture of the research topic
    cannot be constructed.

3
Researchers must assess and present their own
ideas in the context of existing knowledge and
established thinking.
4
Researcher must be a skilled information
processor and evaluator
5
RESEARCHER must be proficient in
  • locating
  • accessing
  • evaluating
  • organizing
  • analyzing
  • synthesizing
  • writing

6
Purpose of a Lit. Review to
  • get familiar with background/history of problem
    you are researching
  • synthesize results into a summary of what is and
    is not known
  • identify possible ways to study the problem
  • assess strengths and weaknesses of previous
    studies
  • identify areas that are controversial
  • formulate questions requiring further research
  • clarify relationship between your study and
    previous work on topic
  • help you to define your topic
  • suggest new ideas to you

7
Timeliness/Currency of Material Cited
  • Timeliness is more significant for some subjects
    than others.
  • Scientists generally need timely material. Just
    think of AIDS research or research in nuclear
    physics.
  • Scholars in many of the arts and humanities,
    however, often need not worry about timeliness.
  • An historian researching some aspect of Thomas
    Jefferson's political philosophy might, for
    example, find research written in 1920, or even
    1820, more relevant than recent literature.

8
Literature Review Process
  • Five Phases

9
Phase 1Specifying the Research Question
  • What is the precise research question being
    studied?
  • What's the essential PURPOSE of the research
    study?

10
To know what is DIRECTLY RELEVANT to the
research question, one must know precisely what
research question is.
11
Topic Should have Precise Focus
  • "The Teaching of English as Revealed in the
    Courses of Study of the English-Speaking Nations
    of the World. Too broad
  • English Language Teaching in Massachusetts High
    Schools. Better but still broad
  • Video in the English Language Curriculum of a
    Brighton secondary school. Good focus

12
Unlimited Topic (MUCH TOO BROAD)
  • "Life and Times of Sigmund Freud"

13
Slightly Limited Topic (STILL TOO BROAD)
  • "Psychological Theories of Sigmund Freud"
  • "An Examination of Different Emphases in the
    Psychological Views of Sigmund Freud and Carl
    Jung"

14
Appropriate/Manageable Topics
  • "Freud's Theory of Personality Applied to Mental
    Health"
  • "Freud's Theory of Infantile Sexuality"
  • "An Analysis of the Relationship of Freud and
    Jung in the International Psychoanalytic
    Association, 1910-1914"

15
Too Narrow a Topic
  • "Freud's Pets

16
Another Example of an Excessively Broad Topic
  • "Who Gossips and Why?"

17
Slightly Limited Topic (Still Too Broad)
  • "When Do People Gossip?"

18
Adequately Limited Topic
  • Content Analysis of Selected Gossip Columns in
    Five Women's Magazines During the Decade
    1980-1989

19
Topic
  • Suppose you wish to evaluate a certain number of
    social studies textbooks used in a certain School
    District for evidence of sex role stereotyping.

20
Clearly One Must Examine the Books Themselves
  • Possible Problems that One may Face
  • They may not be in the local college/public
    library
  • They may not be accessible through Inter Library
    Loan

21
Think of Broader Context
  • Perhaps you might want to examine areas other
    than social studies.
  • Essential to examine very carefully the concept
    of "sex role stereotyping" -- not easy to
    define and measure

22
  • Look at general "philosophical" studies of this
    concept.
  • Look at sex role stereotyping in history.
  • Look at changing sex roles in home, workplace,
    wider community.

23
  • In short, it's good to broaden one's reading, to
    place your own study in context.

24
Another Error to Avoid
  • Choosing a topic that is not manageable
  • Important factors to bear in mind
  • time
  • resources
  • energy
  • travel
  • researcher's knowledge and experience (e.g. do
    you speak Chinese?)

25
Another Possible Error
  • Choosing a topic that will not keep your
    interest, enthusiasm.

26
Questions to Bear in Mind
  • Is the research politically acceptable? (to the
    funding agency or the individual/committee who
    decides)
  • Is the research socially acceptable? (to the
    funding agency or the individual/committee who
    decides)
  • (What about an advocacy of euthansia to raise the
    per capita income)
  • N.B. Remember The Audience

27
Definition of Terms
  • STATEMENT OF PROBLEM How is intellectual
    potential and performance in high school related
    to success in college? Intellectual potential
    student's scores on the verbal and quantitative
    components of the Scholastic Aptitude
    Test.Performance in high school G.P.A.
    combined with assessment of activities outside
    the classroom (e.g. editing the school paper,
    playing the cello in the school
    orchestra).Success in College G.P.A., length
    of stay in college, extracurricular activities.

28
Another Example
  • STATEMENT OF PROBLEM "An Examination of How
    Feminist Organizations in West Berlin Helped in
    the Reunification and Democratization of Germany
    during the latter part of the 1980s."Possible
    problem words Feminist DemocratizationWe
    must know how the RESEARCHER defines the term.

29
Parameters of Your Topic
  • If research question is specified too broadly or
    defined too vaguely or abstractly, researcher may
    be overwhelmed with information.
  • If research question specified too narrowly or
    defined too concisely or concretely, researcher
    may miss out on peripheral and more general info.
  • If research question is very current, scholarly
    books and articles may not be up to date.

30
Keep Your Audience in Mind
  • Keep the type of audience in mind
  • Your writing should be pitched at level of
    expected readers
  • Use the terminology appropriate to them
  • Physics terms for physicists sociology terms for
    sociologists
  • No jargon, e.g., for ordinary reader
  • Generally, "plain English" is the best strategy

31
Researchers must avoid tendency to shun info.
that contradicts preconceived notions
  • They must keep open minds
  • They must look at question from different vantage
    points.

32
Scope of the Literature Review
  • What exactly will you aim to cover in your
    review?
  • How comprehensive will it be? How detailed?
  • Some topics might demand a review of all relevant
    material others might limit the survey to
    recently published material, e.g., the last five
    years.
  • Are you focusing on methodological approaches on
    theoretical issues on qualitative or
    quantitative research?

33
Scope of the Literature Review
  • Will you need to broaden your search to seek
    literature in related fields or disciplines?
  • Clearly, deciding length will be important.
  • About how many citations will you use?
  • What type of material/documents will you use?
  • Will you confine your material to that written in
    English or will you include research in other
    languages too?

34
Limitations of Study
  • Important to state precisely what you intend to
    do.
  • Important to state precisely what you do NOT
    intend to do.

35
Limitations may be, e.g., of
  • time
  • personnel
  • gender
  • age
  • geographic location
  • nationality
  • (and an infinite number of others)

36
Advantages of Precisely Limiting
  • Makes the topic more focused.
  • Researcher covers herself from possible criticism
    for ignoring areas.

37
Schedule/Timetable
  • Set out a timetable -- should be a realistic
    estimate of time required to complete the
    project.

38
Phase 2
  • Locating and Accessing Information

39
Some Difficulties -- Leading to Anxiety
  • not understanding information
  • overwhelmed by amount of info.
  • not knowing if certain info. exists
  • not knowing where to find info.
  • knowing where to find info. but not having key to
    access.

40
Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, textbooks
etc. very useful to get beginning and broad
overview
  • a) introduce unique vocabulary and terminology
  • b) identify key authors and extent of research
    available
  • c) reveal approaches taken to previous research
  • investigations of it
  • often reveal multidisciplinary nature and
    connections of question -- scholars of
    Shakespeare might study medicine, law,
    psychology, history etc.
  • e) Often have good basic bibliographies

41
Using Existing Literature Review
  • Literature reviews may already exist on some
    aspect of your topic.
  • It is useful to search online databases for
    literature reviews.
  • ERIC Database
  • DE(Literature Reviews) and standardized tests.
  • PsycInfo Database
  • DE(Monozygotic Twins) and ptliterature review.
  • Sociological Abstracts Database
  • KWeuthanasia and KW(literature review)

42
Classic and Landmark Studies
  • Sociological Abstracts Database
  • DEsuicide and ABclassic

43
Next Logical Research Steps
  • Use Quest to find materials in BC libraries.
  • Use WorldCat to find books in other libraries.
  • Use subject specific databases to locate journal
    articles and chapters in books.
  • Use multidisciplinary databases to locate
    journal articles and chapters in books.
  • Use the Web.

44
Phase 3 Evaluating the Information
Some Useful Sites http//www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/u
lib/ref/guides/gen/eval.html http//www2.bc.edu/
rappleb/evaluatingwebsites.html

45
Phase 4 Recording the Information
  • We all have different ways of recording info.,
    making notes etc.
  • But particularly useful is the Web-based
    bibliographic citation management tool RefWorks
  • http//www.bc.edu/libraries/services/ref-instruc/s
    -productivity/refworks

46
Important to know when to stop the research
47
Phase 5
  • Organizing the Information

48
Examining Themes and Variations
  • What fundamental beliefs are expressed in each
    item? Does the author have an ideological
    stance?
  • What is being described? Is it comprehensive or
    narrow?
  • What is being predicted? Does it predict
    outcomes satisfactorily?
  • How applicable, transferable, or generalizable is
    the information?

49
Contextual and Perceptual Implications
  • Who posed the research question?
  • Who funded the research study?
  • What were the political, economic, and social
    conditions of the time and place of the research
    study?

50
  • Researcher/reviewer must
  • categorize
  • compare
  • make connections among various forms and sources
    of information

51
Perhaps she groups findings according to whether
they provide
  • strong support . . .
  • medium support . . .
  • low support
  • to her own hypothesis/theory

52
  • Perhaps she groups them by themes
  • Perhaps she groups them chronologically

53
Often Good to Organize Ones Lit. Review
Thematically
  • A lit. review on aspects of standardized testing
    might be organized according to the following
    themes or issues
  • Background
  • History of Standardized Tests
  • Different Types of Standardized Tests
  • Rationale of Standardized Tests
  • Role of High Stakes Tests
  • Standardized Tests and the Law
  • Standardized Tests in Practice
  • Testing at Elementary School
  • Testing at Secondary School
  • Statistics

54
  • Critics and Proponents of Standardized Tests
  • Testing of Students with Disabilities
  • Testing of Minority Students
  • Testing of Students from Different Social
    Backgrounds
  • Gender Differences in Testing
  • Case for Bias
  • Case against Bias
  • Teachers Perspectives
  • School Administrators Perspectives
  • Students Perspectives
  • Alternative Assessment Methodologies

55
One Might Include Comments on
  • methods of analysis employed
  • quality of the findings or conclusions
  • major strengths and weaknesses
  • any other pivotal information

56
Many Similar Studies?
  • Describe most important one and simply say that
    the results were confirmed in the other studies
    listed.Still, to include only germane studies,
    you must examine many.

57
Essential
  • to aim at an INTEGRATED treatment that explains
    why the studies and theories cited are important
    to your work.
  • to avoid a series of abstracts, one per
    paragraph.
  • to keep reader constantly aware that the
    literature reviewed is related to the research
    problem.

58
  • Lit. Review can be time consuming
  • Usually too much rather than too little to survey
    (especially in science and in technology)
  • Not a list of everything ever written on subject

59
At End of Review, Reader Should Be Able To
Conclude
  • "Yes, of course, this is the exact study that
    needs to be done at this time to move knowledge
    in this field a little further along."

60
Lit. Review -- Tips
  • Begin with most recent studies and work
    backwards.
  • If the report/article has an abstract, read it
    first.
  • Before taking notes, skim the document to get to
    the most relevant part.
  • Most important part of a scholarly book is the
    index.
  • Write out complete bibliographic citation for
    each work. Add library call no.

61
  • 6. Indicate carefully any direct quotations and
    your paraphrases.
  • 7. Generally, paraphrase is better than lengthy
    quotation.
  • 8. Avoid "grandfather" citations. Return to
    original source.
  • 9. Don't cite references that you haven't read.
  • 10. Use headings and subheadings for clarity.

62
  • 11. Evaluate carefully everything you read. Just
    because PLATO or EMILE DURKHEIM or
    JOHN DEWEY or ROUSSEAU or EINSTEIN
    or Your GREAT AUNTargued something, that
    doesn't mean that you have to accept it.
  • 12. Lit. Review can be time consuming -- usually
    too much rather than too little to survey
    (especially in science and in technology)
  • 13. Not a list of everything ever written on
    subject.
  • 14. Important to know when to stop the research

63
Title/Cover Page
  • Title
  • Author's name, address, phone no.,
  • e-mail, fax no.
  • Name of the institution
  • Date

64

Bibliography
  • Normal scholarly process.
  • Should include all resources used in the
    proposal.
  • Should adopt a particular style, e.g. MLA, APA,
    Chicago etc. -- style must be consistent.
  • Helps the reader to form an opinion of quality
    of the sources available (and your ability to
    find them).

65
Appendices
  • Charts, graphs and other information which may
    interfere with the flow of the proposal or
    lengthen it may be placed in the appendices.

66

Writing
  • Always worthwhile to lavish care on a research
    paper.
  • Writing is perhaps the most important skill in
    todays workplace.

67
Paragraphs
  • Keep paragraphs short

68

Subheadings
  • Use subheadings to clarify the structure
  • they break up the material into more readable
    units.
  • they give the reader a place to "dive in" if she
    doesn't want to read all of the material.

69

Writing Drafts
  • Write the first draft straight through
  • Do it quickly -- this preserves continuity --
    gives coherence
  • So easy to revise using word-processors

70
Common Errors
  • Unattainable goals
  • Failure to focus -- going on tangents
  • Failure to cite essential pertinent studies
  • Failure to maintain a coherent, logical thesis
  • Poor organization of paper
  • Poor language, grammar etc.
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