The Literature Review; A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-31
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

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This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review outlines practical strategies for reading and note taking, and guides the reader on how to conduct a systematic search of the available literature, and uses cases and examples throughout to demonstrate best practice in writing and presenting the review. New to this edition are examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines, a new chapter on conducting a systematic review, increased coverage of issues of evaluating quality and conducting reviews using online sources and online literature and enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

Author Biography

Diana Ridley is a Senior Lecturer at the TESOL Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK where she supervises research students in the fields of English language teaching and academic literacies

Table of Contents

List of tables and figuresp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. x
About the authorp. xi
Introductionp. 1
What is a literature review?p. 2
The literature review at different degree levelsp. 4
Why is it important to undertake a literature review as part of your research?p. 6
Where do we find the literature review in a dissertation or thesis?p. 6
Structuring your literature reviewp. 20
Task 1.1 Choosing a literature review approachp. 20
Summaryp. 21
Overviewp. 21
The multiple purposes of a literature reviewp. 23
The multiple purposesp. 23
Historical backgroundp. 25
Contemporary contextp. 28
Theoretical underpinningsp. 30
Definitions and discussion of terminology used in the researchp. 33
Signalling a gap in previous research and using this to justify your ownp. 35
The significance of a problem for researchp. 36
Task 2.1 Reflecting on your own researchp. 39
Summaryp. 40
Sources of information and conducting searchesp. 41
What is a literature search?p. 41
What are the purposes of a literature search?p. 42
Sources of informationp. 43
Evaluating online sources of informationp. 47
Different types of researchp. 48
Tools for finding relevant sourcesp. 49
The process of conducting a literature searchp. 53
The use of key words and Boolean logicp. 57
Keeping up to date: ESS feeds and email alertsp. 58
Social bookmarkingp. 59
Task 3.1 Tracking and recording your searchp. 60
Summaryp. 61
Reading and note-taking strategiesp. 62
Techniques for reading efficientlyp. 63
Critical readingp. 65
Increasing your reading speedp. 66
Reasons for note takingp. 67
Techniques for note takingp. 67
Three main formats for note takingp. 69
Your own commentsp. 69
Handwritten notes vs computer notesp. 70
Making connections between different texts: using key wordsp. 70
Making connections between different texts: a tabular comparisonp. 72
Techniques for writing a summaryp. 73
Task 4.1 Applying the principles to your fieldp. 78
Summaryp. 78
Reference management: keeping records and organising informationp. 79
Managing the processp. 79
A record of key word searchesp. 80
A record of bibliographic detailsp. 81
A personal libraryp. 84
Copyright legislationp. 84
Bibliographical software packagesp. 86
Task 5.1 Record keeping for your own researchp. 96
Summaryp. 96
Structuring the literature reviewp. 98
The processes involved in the creation of a literature reviewp. 98
Beginning to writep. 99
The structure of the literature reviewp. 100
Developing the structure of your reviewp. 104
Task 6.1 Structuring your own literature reviewp. 106
The relationship between the introduction and the literature reviewp. 107
Task 6.2 Reflecting on your own research fieldp. 116
Summaryp. 117
In-text citationsp. 118
Why do we reference?p. 119
What is plagiarism?p. 119
What type of information requires a reference?p. 122
Referencing systemsp. 123
Integral and non-integral referencesp. 124
Disciplinary difference in reference typep. 127
Types of citationp. 128
Disciplinary difference in citation typep. 131
Choice of reporting verbp. 132
Disciplinary difference in reporting verbsp. 132
Tense of reporting verbp. 133
Choice of tense in the clause or sentence where the information is reportedp. 135
Effective and unacceptable citationsp. 136
Text matching software: Turnitinp. 139
Task 7.1 Analysing reference techniques in your own research fieldp. 140
Summaryp. 140
Being criticalp. 141
The difference between critical reading and critical writingp. 141
Being critical in writingp. 142
How different researchers adopt a critical approach in their writingp. 144
Task 8.1 Critical writing in your own research fieldp. 156
Summaryp. 156
Foregrounding writer voicep. 157
What is writer voice?p. 157
The organisation of the textp. 159
Unattributed assertions followed by support from citationsp. 159
Making explicit connections between citationsp. 160
Summary and evaluation of source materialp. 160
Overall summary at end of section or chapterp. 162
The use of personal pronounsp. 162
The choice of citation patternp. 167
The evaluative potential of different reporting verbsp. 169
Evaluative adjectives, adverbs and phrasesp. 171
A mixture of evaluative strategiesp. 172
Task 9.1 Reflecting on the writer's voice in your own researchp. 174
Summaryp. 174
The continuing processp. 175
The literature review processp. 175
Referring to the literature in your discussion chapterp. 177
Task 10.1 Reflecting on making the connections in your own researchp. 187
Findings support an existing theoryp. 178
Comparing a new model and an existing theoryp. 179
Explaining a finding using the literaturep. 180
Contribution of current research to existing theoryp. 181
Interpreting the data using the literaturep. 183
Application of theory to the findingsp. 184
Summaryp. 187
A systematic literature reviewp. 188
What is a systematic literature review?p. 188
The process of conducting a systematic literature reviewp. 190
What is a meta-analysis?p. 192
Narrative synthesisp. 195
An example of a systematic reviewp. 198
Appraisal of a systematic literature reviewp. 200
Task 11.1 Searching for and critiquing a systematic literature review in your fieldp. 201
Summaryp. 201
Further readingp. 202
Conclusionp. 203
Electronic guidesp. 204
Referencesp. 207
Indexp. 211
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