Generally, the purpose of a literature review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, other literature reviews, and theoretical articles.
“ Review of Literature.” The Writer’s Handbook. The Writing Center, UW at Madison. 2004, 15 Feburary 2006 <http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/
ReviewofLiterature.html>. Path: Home; Writers Handbook; Common Writing Assignments; Review of Literature.
Assignment # 1: Write a research paper on some aspect of contemporary theatre.
How did American theatre and theatre artists respond to the events of 9-11? Were any plays written that dealt with the events? If so, what were the themes of those plays?
Assignment #2: Complete a character analysis of Emma Goldman.
Research and write a complete, detailed biographical study of Emma Goldman relative to developing her as a character for the play Emma by Howard Zinn.
Assignment #3: Design scenery, lights and costumes for The Game of Love and Chance.
Complete an analysis of 18 th century French style in order to design costumes, lights, and scenery for The Game of Love and Chance .
II. Determine a Search Strategy How will you search to find the information you are looking for?
1 st Choice: Periodicals will be best for primary sources as most will still be available in electronic indexes. It will be best source for theatre periodicals (scholarly), and it will also have human interest stories (popular) in papers like the New York Times.
Carlson, M. “9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq: The Response of the New York Theatre”. Theatre Survey , May 2004.
Cameron, B. “When 9/11 is History”. Theatre Survey, September, 2002.
Salmon, J. “A Response to 9/11, So Unheroically Human”. New York Times , December 15, 2002.
Begin with a general search of journal databases looking for scholarly and popular articles with a subject of theatre and 9/11. Then move to see if there are any books or plays that have been written about the topic specifically, or that hold essays on the subject.
Begin with general, comprehensive secondary sources that describe elements of 18 th century style. Then look for specialized secondary sources covering specific aspects of the same period. Look for visual images that define the period.
Encyclopedias contain brief overview articles on a wide range of subjects. Encyclopedias are frequently sets of multiple volumes and may cover a broad range of subjects or focus on a single subject area.
General: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Online
Dictionaries & Thesauri provide definitions of words and phrases. Some include the origins and histories of terms. Some include general terms in a particular language, whereas others may define jargon in a particular field of study.
Language dictionaries provide definitions for words in multiple languages.
Biographical dictionaries give information about people's lives and accomplishments.
Thesauri identify other words or terms with the same or similar meaning.
Almanacs are compilations of facts and statistics and in the case of Theatre research can be useful to look up statistics related to the arts. Most almanacs are updated annually or according to another regular schedule.
Statistical Sources just include compilations and summaries of numeric data.
Yearbooks provide annual updates of current events, facts, statistics, new discoveries, research or other timely information. Some reference book publishers issue yearbooks to update and supplement their publications until a new editions are available.
Generally, scholarly books (as opposed to fiction) are either written on a single topic or are a collection of many articles, written by one or more authors on a single subject.
A collection of essays on a subject might be as helpful as a single topic book, as it will often give different perspectives on the same topic in one place
Books are shelved by subject. That means that books with a similar subject should be next to each other on the shelves.
However, this may not always be the case, so if you do not find more than one book on the same subject, do not assume that there are no more, as they just may be shelved in another place—under another subject.
Journals and magazines are periodicals. This means that they are published at regular intervals. Both are numbered in volumes which correspond to a specific year and most journals have issue numbers.
A Journal is a scholarly publication in which researchers report findings of studies relative to a specific field. Most journal articles are evaluated by a panel (jury) of experts for accuracy and relevance before being published.
Magazines are written by a staff of writers for a more “popular” audience and the articles are not evaluated by a jury. There are Magazines and Journals covering most disciplines.
Riberio’s thesis for her new book is “ clothes played the most vital role in defining man and his part in society, to an extent which we cannot contemplate today”. The book is a development of this theme by investigation dress, social factors for dress, and the heavy influence of French Court society on clothing.
Provide full text copy of the article with citation.
Use the databases link from the Library web page to access a full-text or citation database to locate articles in Periodicals.
When you find the title of an article that you want , there may be a “ locate journal article ” link in the citation will let you see if the library has a copy of the article available for you.
The library does not have access to all the periodicals included in every database.
When you find one article that you like , you can also click on a “subject” link for related articles. Even though each database calls the subject links something else, they all provide that option to search for related articles that way.
Use the databases link from the library web page to find information in a Database , go to that database and use the search tools provided.
Almost all subscription databases default to a keyword search that searches the title, text , and subjects of the entry.
You may also be able to click on a “subject” link for related articles.
Not all databases use the same search techniques. If you are having trouble finding information in a specific database, then look for a help box that will explain how to search the specific database using an advanced search.
OR see a Reference Librarian.
Identifying, Locating & Evaluating information materials
Determining which information sources are acceptable for your research.
Generally an academic library chooses authoritative sources offering contrasting opinions
YOU SHOULD NEVER ASSUME AUTHORITY
Identifying, Locating & Evaluating information materials
Evaluation of source materials
Generic Criteria for Evaluation
Stated Criteria for inclusion of information
Authority of author(s)
Comparability with related sources
Stability of information
Edited from: Tilliman, Hope N. “Generic Criteria for Evaluation.” Evaluating Quailty on the Net . March 28, 2004.<http://www.hopetillman.com/findqual.html>.