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Masters in Project Management: Writing the Literature Review

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Masters in Project Management: Writing the Literature Review Lawrence Cleary, Dr. de O Sullivan, Research Officers Regional Writing Center, University of Limerick – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Masters in Project Management: Writing the Literature Review


1
Masters in Project Management Writing the
Literature Review
  • Lawrence Cleary, Dr. Íde OSullivan, Research
    Officers
  • Regional Writing Center,
  • University of Limerick

2
  • Pints of Porter and Points of Order
  • Review of the Related Literature
  • What Is It, and Whats It for?
  • Issues of Credibility
  • Organization and Logic
  • Questions Your Lit Review Should Answer
  • Content and Form
  • Peel Me an Onion

2
3
Points of Order
  • Research papers are organized around the problem,
    not the topic per se.
  • The problem, in a sense, is the topic.
  • Problems, however, exist in contexts, as do
    solutions.

3
4
Pints of Porter
  • The literature that you read informs both the
    immediate context of the problem and the larger
    context of which it is a part.

4
5
Writing Prompt
  • What question am I trying to answer / problem am
    I trying to solve / hypothesis am I trying to
    affirm / claim am I trying to defend?
  • What do I need to know in order to answer that
    question? What other questions do I need to
    answer?

5
6
Writing the Literature Review
  • What is it?
  • What is its purpose?
  • To guide and inform your process
  • To inform your audience about the credibility and
    value of your conclusions

6
7
Chris Hart Doing A Literature Review (1998,
2008 15)
  • Speaking of the function and format of a lit
    review at the Masters level
  • Analytical and summative, covering
    methodological issues, research techniques and
    topics. Possibly two literature-based chapters,
    one on methodological issues, which demonstrates
    knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages,
    and another on theoretical issues relevant to the
    topic/problem.

8
Issues of Credibility
  • Definition from Merriam-Webster an
    interpretation and synthesis of published
    research (Merriam qtd in Murray 2006 108).
  • Choices speak to your understanding of the puddle.

8
9
Writing Prompt
  • What do I know about my research topic?
  • What I am looking for in the literature is...
  • What are the schools of thought in the
    literature?
  • The great debates in my area are...

9
10
Organization
  • How will I organize my literature review?
  • Can I classify or categorize the stuff Ive read
    so far?
  • Can I say how each piece of literature has helped
    to inform my over-riding questions and/or
    sub-questions?

10
11
Break
  • Coffee...Tea
  • Mmmm.

11
12
Questions Your Lit Review Should Answer (Murray
2006 115)
  • Why is this subject important?
  • Who else thinks its important?
  • Who has worked on this subject before?
  • Who has done something similar to what I am
    doing?
  • What can be adapted to my own study?

12
13
Questions Your Lit Review Should Answer (Murray
2006 115) (Cont)
  • What are the gaps in the research?
  • Who is going to use my material?
  • What use will my project be?
  • What will my contribution be?
  • What specific question will I answer?
  • What specific questions will my research not be
    able to address?

13
14
Writing Prompt
  • If we can frame the main question in a hierarchy,
    below which are framed the sub-questions, and we
    can put these frames in a larger frame called the
    Literature Review, what frames are you ready to
    fill in?
  • If you do not organize your literature around
    your question and sub-questions, how else will
    you categorize the literature in order to
    organize your discussion?

14
15
Content and Form
  • Organizing Exercise Handout

15
16
Writing in Layers (Murray 2006 125-27)
  • Outline the structure write your chapter or
    section heading for the Literature Review.
  • Write a sentence or two on the contents of the
    chapter and each section.
  • List out sub-headings for each section.
  • Write an introductory paragraph for each section.
  • At the top of each section, write the word count
    requirement, draft number and date.

16
17
Conclusion
  • As you write, your organization may change.
  • Many things determine order Arguments have a
    logical order, as do comparisons, cause/effect
    relationships, temporal or spatial descriptions,
    etc.
  • However, dissertations are thesis driven. Your
    question, and what you need to know, strongly
    influences the organization of your final product.

18
Sources
  • Hart, Chris 1998, 2008 Doing a Literature Review
    Releasing the Social Science Imagination. Los
    Angeles Sage.
  • Leedy, P.D. and Ormrod, J.E. 2005 Practical
    Research Planning and Design, 8th ed. Upper
    Saddle River, N.J. Pearson
  • Murray, R. 2006 How to Write a Thesis, 2nd ed.
    Maidenhead, England Open University Press.

19
Sources
  • Nandhakumar, J. 2003 Interpreting Information
    Systems A reflexive account of grounded theory
    analysis ppt. online, available
    http//project.hkkk.fi/gebsi/files/nav_activities/
    material/Nandhakumar_slides.pdf accessed 15 Aug
    2008.
  • UEfAP.com 2008 Writing Rhetorical Functions,
    Comparing and Contrasting Exercise 2 online,
    available http//www.uefap.com/writing/exercise/f
    unction/compcon2.htm accessed Aug 16 2008.

19
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