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LING 6010: Abdulkafi Albirini: Literature Reviews

[LING|6010]

Conducting a Lit Review

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by credible scholars and researchers. The purpose of a literature review is to summarize what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.  

A LIT REVIEW MUST DO THESE THINGS

  1. Be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
  2. Synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  3. Identify areas of controversy in the literature
  4. Formulate questions that need further research
  5. Include sources from multiple perspectives

 

Steps of a Literature Review

PICK A TOPIC

What's the focus of you research? What are you focusing on? The library can help you choose an interesting and focused topic. Once you have a topic, do a preliminary search to see what you find, then narrow your topic based on what turns up. 

SELECT SEARCH TOOLS

Next, you want to pick where you're going to search. Pick multiple options - specialized databases, Google Scholar, etc... Think about your topic and where you'll find information to fit the different sub-topics related to your research. 

START SEARCHING

Develop keywords and search strings, use subject searching and filtering to your advantage, and get help tracking down full text of sources if necessary.

CHOOSE SOURCES

Make sure you're capturing multiple perspectives on your issue or topic, not just a narrow view.  Evaluate your sources carefully for credibility and relevancy. 

READ, ANALYZE, ANNOTATE & SYNTHESIZE

Make your reading an active process by highlighting and taking notes. Consider using a matrix to organize your sources and identify scholarly conversations.

WRITE

Remember that your voice has a place in this conversation. Your analysis and organization is the glue of the lit review.