Writing a literature review

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a brief guide to writing a literature review for levels 3 - 5

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Writing a literature review

  1. 1. Writing a LiteratureReview
  2. 2. What?A Literature Review provides an overview of the information published to date on a specific topic, summarizing and synthesizing the ideas presented.
  3. 3.  The Literature Review is not an annotated bibliography: it is a narrative document that synthesizes the sources consulted to develop a conclusion. An annotated bibliography simply deals with each resource in turn, describing and evaluating the source in a single paragraph.
  4. 4.  Decide on your topic and identify any related issues. Begin with an Overview of the Topic, including the reason for the review (research)
  5. 5. How? Search relevant databases and library catalogues to find information – journal articles, books, “proper” websites Write Annotations for each source, placing it in the context of their contribution to the research on the topic.
  6. 6. Organise Organize the Sources into categories - e.g. those that support one position, those against the position, those that offer an alternative thesis. You may also choose to organize sources in chronological order within your categories
  7. 7. Connect Connect Sources - explain how each source relates to other sources, this is connective writing that turns the whole piece into a constructed bit of writing rather than a disjointed set of paragraphs
  8. 8. Conclude Conclusion - discuss which sources are most effective/useful in supporting your project and which sources contribute the most to the understanding and development of the research on the topic.
  9. 9. Why? The idea is to show that you have looked at information already published on the area you are researching and used it to help you decide how/what to research Adapted from: http://www.ithacalibrary.com/sp/subjects/LitRev by Edward Moore 12/3/2012

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