WHAT IS A LITERATUREREVIEW?• A place to make connections between what you are investigating and what has already been investigated in your subject area• A place to engage in a type of conversation with other researchers in your subject area• A place to identify previous research on the topic• A place to show there is a gap in the literature which your study can fill• A place from which to begin your own investigationRidley, D. (2008). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. London: SagePublications, p. 2.
SIMPLY PUT…Helps you and your readersunderstand: • What you know about your topic • What other people know about your topic • What research has been done • How research was done • Where are the gaps? • Jumping off point for your study
HOW TO BEGIN?FINDING APPROPRIATE SOURCESOF INFORMATION• Know what is appropriate: – Scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed material – Material that presents empirical data/evidence to back up claims, not just opinions – Material that presents an introduction, purpose, background literature, method, procedures, findings, discussion, implications, conclusion• Know where to begin searching: – Book catalogues – Library databases – Education Research Complete, ERIC, Academic Search Complete, Sage Journals Online
WHERE TO START? BOOKS JOURNAL ARTICLES• They gather a lot of information • Journal articles discuss one on one topic in one place. perspective.• They can provide a good • Each article makes a overview or good background information on a topic. unique contribution.• They often offer extensive • Articles can supplement bibliographies. information found first in• Look for encyclopedias or books. handbooks for info on key theories and researchers • Articles can offer more up- • E.g. to-date information. Encyclopedia of the social and cultural foundations of education •E-books
FINDING JOURNAL ARTICLES • Use library databases • Try Google ScholarFor finding infoabout researchmethodology
SEARCH TIPSRecommended databases: Education Research Complete;ERIC, Academic Search CompleteTips: • Limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals • Look for descriptors (or subject headings) for more focused results • Use research methodology in your search terms • “Get it” button looks for the full text throughout all of the Library’s databases
SEARCH TERMSTry adding “literature review” • you will see examples of lit reviews, plus get an overview of some aspect of your topicOr “narrative” or “quantitative” etc.
FOR MORE HELP…Visit the Graduate Education Research GuideSee the Help pagesContact the Library Help Desk • 905-688-5550 x. 3233 or use email formContact your liaison librarian: • Jennifer Thiessen (phone, chat, email)