Preparing Literature Reviews

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Repeat this for each section of your literature review.

Once you complete these six steps, you will have a complete draft of your literature review.

Read the abstracts online and download and/or print those articles that pertain to your area of research.

Find books in the library that are relevant and check them out.

Their system provides an excellent guide for getting through the massive amounts of literature for any purpose: in a dissertation, an M. thesis, or an article or book in any field of study.

Below is a summary of the steps they outline as well as a step-by-step method for writing a literature review.The mere fact of having a system can make the literature review seem much less daunting, so I recommend this system for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a literature review.*Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California // Tanya Golash-Boza is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced, and author of the blog, Get a Life, Ph D. Are there ideas that go together or that are in dialogue with each other? Move around the slips of paper until you come up with a way of organizing the codes that makes sense.Write the conceptual schema down before you forget or someone cleans up your slips of paper.That balance will depend on how much you already know.For people writing literature reviews for articles or books, this system also could work, especially when you are writing in a field with which you are already familiar.Don’t summarize, as summarizing takes longer than simply typing the excerpt. When you finish, place each stack of notes into an envelope labeled with the name of the theme.Make sure to note the name of the author and the page number following each excerpt. Step Five: Create Your Conceptual Schema: Type, in large font, the name of each of your coded themes.Step Three: Find relevant excerpts in your books and articles: Skim the contents of each book and article and look specifically for these five things: 1.Claims, conclusions, and findings about the constructs you are investigating 2. Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project 4. Disagreement about the constructs you are investigating When you find any of these five things, type the relevant excerpt directly into a Word document. If there are excerpts that you can’t figure out where they belong, separate those and go over them again at the end to see if you need new categories.

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