The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-07-10
  • Publisher: Corwin Pr
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"Machi and McEvoy have crafted a guide that is absolutely elegant in its simplicity. The writers take the reader from the simple to the complex in an extremely well-written, logical sequence of bite-sized steps. This is the most useful guide to writing a literature review available anywhere." -Leonard O. Pellicer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus University of South Carolina A clear, understandable six-step method for a straightforward literature review process! Written in user-friendly language, this compact reference offers master's and doctoral-level students in education and the social sciences a roadmap to developing and writing an effective literature review for a research project, thesis, or dissertation. Organized around a comprehensive and detailed six-step developmental model, the book provides guided exercises, graphics, charts, and examples from the everyday experiences of researchers. Both novice and experienced graduate students will find invaluable assistance for: Selecting a topic Searching the literature Developing arguments Surveying the literature Critiquing the literature Writing the literature reviewWith additional tips, checklists, and summaries tucked into each chapter, this guide provides clear, focused direction for composing a first-rate literature review.

Author Biography

Lawrence A. Machi is a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California.

Table of Contents

About the Authors
The Literature Review Process: Getting Started
The Purpose of a Literature Review
The Literature Review Definition
The Literature Review Process
Inquiry: The Necessary Precondition
Pack Wisely Before You Begin
Selecting the Topic: Everyday Interest to Research Interest
Introduction: Selecting a Research Topic
Choosing a Research Interest
Researcher Bias
Specifying a Research Interest
Focusing the Interest
Selecting a Vantage Point
Reflection: The Key to Interest Selection
From Research Interest to Research Topic
Accessing the Research Conversation: Formalizing the Research Topic
Searching the Literature: Tasks and Tools
Introduction: Searching the Literature
Discovering the Literature to Review
Conducting a Literature Search
Previewing the Data: Scanning the Literature
Using the Internet
Managing Your Data
Selecting the Data: Skimming the Literature
Mapping: An Overview
Mapping by Core Concept
Mapping by Author Contribution
Refining the Topic
Expanding the Topic
Developing the Argument: Making the Case for the Literature Review
Introduction: Arguments and the Literature Review
Building the Case for the Literature Review
Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument
Types of Claims
Acceptability of Claims
Data Versus Evidence
Data Quality
Data Relevance
Qualifying the Claim
Warranting: Building the Rationale for the Argument
Multiple Claims Arguments
Doing the Literature Survey: Building the Argument of Discovery
Introduction: The Next Steps
The Survey of the Literature
Assembling the Data
Recording the Data
Synthesizing the Information, Building Evidence
Integrating the Data, Building Claims
Reasoning Patterns
Analyzing, Building the Argument of Discovery
Complex Reasoning
Divergent Reasoning
Comparative Reasoning
Building the Discovery Argument: An Example
Mapping the Argument of Discovery
Analyzing the Argument
The Literature Critique: Interpreting the Research
The Literature Critique
Implicative Reasoning: The Literature Critique
The Two Arguments
Argument Patterns
The Case Is Everything
Writing the Review: Write, Audit, Edit
The Writing Process: An Overview
Writing to Understand: An Overview
Exploratory Writing: Creating Writing Readiness
Exploratory Writing: The Literature Review
Outlining: An Overview
Some Common Outlining Mistakes
Outlining the Literature Review
The Introduction to the Literature Review
The Body of the Literature Review
The Background of the Study
The Thesis Argument
The Summation of the Literature Review
Auditing and Editing the Outline
Tips on Writing
The Preliminary Draft: An Overview
The Preliminary Draft: The Write
Tips on Writing the Early Drafts
Style Manuals and Author's Guides
Preliminary Draft: The Audit
Preliminary Draft: The Edit
Writing to Be Understood
The First Draft
The First Draft Audit: The Outside Review
The Second and Third Drafts: Polishing the Work
The Second Draft and Beyond: Writing the Polished Work
The Polished Draft Audit: The Referred Review
The Final Tip
Summary References In
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