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Writing a Literature Review Assignment

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Writing a Literature Review Assignment. Louise Livesey. Academic Skills Adviser. This workshop will Provide information on how to handle content and structure of a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing a Literature Review Assignment


1
Writing a Literature Review Assignment
  • This workshop will 
  • Provide information on how to handle content and
    structure of a literature review assignment.
  • Offer tips on how to assemble findings from the
    literature into an essay-style format.
  • Introduce you to basic elements of good practice
    when drafting the finished paper.

Louise Livesey Academic Skills Adviser
2
The Plan
  1. What is a literature review assignment?
  2. What is in a literature review assignment
  3. Structuring literature reviews
  4. Moving from analytical notes to written work
  5. Maintaining academic style

3
1.What is a literature review assignment?
  • It is not a furniture sale catalogue
  • (Haywood Wragg, 1982 2).

4
1.What is a literature review assignment?
What is it, then?
5
Activity 1 What does a review achieve?
1.What is a literature review assignment?
  • Aims of the research
  • To establish a taxonomy of the student peer
    mentor by seeking, from the research, a list of
    mentor characteristics most often associated with
    positive outcomes from the mentoring relationship
    for both mentor and mentee. Briefly described in
    abstract and then more fully in penultimate
    paragraph.

6
1.What is a literature review assignment?
  • Main aim should demonstrate a sound
    understanding of work done previously in the
    topic area.
  • Identify research possibilities and tailor a
    possible research project
  • Locate or develop a research methodology
    appropriate to a future project
  • Justify a choice of area for further
    investigation.

7
1.What is a literature review assignment?
  • Its not just about collection, its about
    showing you can select, organize and classify
    findings into a coherent account (Bell, 2005
    110).
  • The written up review is deliberately succinct
    and gives the key research/knowledge/issues in
    the field.
  • It is not descriptive sources need to be
    engaged with critically before they make the
    final cut. Finding the literature may be about
    fact-finding but the written up version rarely
    is.
  • It aims for academic critical objectivity it is
    not a good idea to leave out a key study/finding
    because it disagrees with a position or
    hypothesis you are arguing...

8
2.What is in a literature
review
assignment
Degree/level Overall content is determined by what youve found when reviewing literature.
BA, BSc, BEng Topic focused to answer a question or justify further research so - Key (current) sources - Seminal (definitive) sources
MA, MSc Summarise fields knowledge so far Analyse both the topic and the body of work found within it inc. theoretical underpinning of the topic/key issues May analyse the methodology literature. Seminal work is included but new research that is highly relevant is foregrounded.
(adapted from Hart, 1998 15)
9
A written up literature review might include
2.What is in a literature
review
assignment
    Historical background   Justification of the relevance of a future research project by showing the body of knowledge it would contribute to  
    An overview of current research context   Identification analysis of key evidence, concepts and theories which underpin a given topic within a discipline.  
  Current gaps in the field where new research could extend or complete missing aspects of what has been researched before.     Debate about key assumptions or findings that a discipline relies upon  
10
3.Structuring literature reviews
  • The expectations around basic structure apply
  • Introduction
  • (Headings/sections)
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • (Appendices)

Thematic Pros and cons Chronologically
Theoretical Fors and againsts Historical to present
Methodological Strengths and weaknesses Era by era
(Hart, 1998 Ridley, 2012)
11
3.Structuring literature reviews
  • 3 potential structures at text level
  • Distant to close
  • Comparative/
  • contrasting
  • Chronological

12
3.Structuring literature reviews
Managing a point at sentence level
13
4.Moving from analyticalnotes to written work
Analysing sources
Writing draft
Thinking, planning, mapping
14
4.Moving from analyticalnotes to written work
  • Keep the aims/questions/hypotheses of the
    assignment firmly in mind when beginning to
    assemble the material.
  • Remember it is a circular not a linear process.
  • Bear in mind the potential overlaps between the
    sub-topics within the topic you are reviewing.
  • Create a line of reasoning that leads a reader to
    your conclusion/position.

15
4.Moving from analyticalnotes to written work
TALKING POINT
  • Using the notes function of Endnote
  • Using MS Office OneNote to create a notebook
  • Using sticky notes
  • Creating a database of findings in access or
    excel
  • Code up handwritten or typed notes using a
    personalised colour code or alpha-numeric code
  • Use the back of a roll of wallpaper to brainstorm
    and link findings in your notes
  • Use mind-mapping or concept mapping, either by
    hand or using university software

16
5.Maintaining academic style
  • Avoid over personalisation unless a lecturer
    suggests they want a personal take 3rd person
    sentences and pronouns.
  • Scrutiny of recent data reveals vs I looked at
    some recent information
  • You are criticising theories/evidence/studies
    not people.
  • Potential deficiencies of Smiths study are vs
    Smith is clearly not a reliable researcher
  • Your review is not journalism, make sure all of
    your observations have evidence to back them up
    and dont be chatty.
  • This reviews findings would suggest vs what I
    found was
  • Use cautious phrasing more than definitive
    statements
  • Potential issues within Prasans study are vs
    This study is poor
  • Avoid overly-complex sentences 7-15 words per
    sentence are enough.

17
5.Maintaining academic style
  • Consider using a phrasebank during the editing
    and re-drafting phase of writing to help you to
    improve on your style.
  • Morleys Phrasebank http//www.phrasebank.manches
    ter.ac.uk/

18
5.Maintaining academic style
19
References
  • Bell, J. (2005) Doing your research project. 4th
    ed. Maidenhead, Open University Press.
  •  
  • Hart, C. (1998) Doing a literature review
    releasing the social science research
    imagination. London, SAGE Publications Ltd.
  •  
  • Haywood, P. Wragg, E.D. (1982) Evaluating the
    literature. Rediguide 2, Nottingham, University
    of Nottingham School of Education.
  •  
  • Oliver, P. (2012) Succeeding with your literature
    review. Maidenhead, Open University Press.
  •  
  • Ridley, D. (2012) The literature review. 2nd
    edition. London, Sage Publications Ltd.
  •  
  • Terrion, J.L. Leonard, D. (2007) A taxonomy of
    the characteristics of student peer mentors in
    higher education findings from a literature
    review. Mentoring Tutoring, 15 (2), 149-164.
  •  
  • Weissberg, R. Buker, S. (1990) Writing up
    research experimental research report writing
    for students of English. Englewood Cliffs,
    Prentice Hall.

20
Academic Skills Advice Service
  • Where are we? Chesham Building B0.23. Give us a
    call or come speak to us Monday-Thursday
    10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
  • Who am I? Louise, the dedicated workshop adviser.
  • Who can help me with study and writing skills?
    Lucy and Russell run Instant Study Skills Advice
    sessions Monday-Thursday and Writing Skills
    Clinics twice a week. You can also access
    self-help resources on our webpage.
  • Who can give me maths advice? Helen and Michael
    specialise in Maths support for students though
    clinics and pre-booked appointments.
  • How do I get in touch? Email academic-skills_at_brad
    .ac.uk Telephone 01274 236849

21
Any questions?
22
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