University of Brighton: Planning and Writing a Literature Review (BA Broadcast Media)


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Lecture describing how students should organise data acquired through their literature review and how they should map and analyse the ideas they are working with. Includes tips on how to work with and address literature critically, how to write an introduction to their review and what tutors are looking for in a literature review. This slideshow is intended for students of the BA (Hons) Broadcast Media at the University of Brighton.

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University of Brighton: Planning and Writing a Literature Review (BA Broadcast Media)

  1. 1. Planning and Writing a Literature Review LB306 Final Project Dr Lance Dann
  2. 2. You’ve got your books • You know your topic • You’ve got your books. • You’ve found some articles • You’ve reading and reading. • What do you do with all this information.
  3. 3. The Literature Review • Analyzing • Synthesizing • Critiqueing • Mapping • Writing
  4. 4. Analyzing • Breaking ideas down into their parts • Methodically and clinically • Have to be consistent. • Shows that you understand ideas. • Allow you to build something new.
  5. 5. Sythesizing • Taking something to pieces and putting it together in a new order. • Shows that you have broad and thorough knowledge of a topic. • You can shift viewpoint. • You can combine information. • You can think laterally.
  6. 6. Dig beneath an argument… Get to its roots… Start to make connections with what appear to be separate ideas and arguments.
  7. 7. Define your terms • Make sure you are clear about what you are talking about. • Define what you mean and be consistent. • Make it clear what you do NOT mean. • Draw boundaries around your research. • Make sure you know where in the history of a term and its use you stand. • Some terms have changed their identity over the years.
  8. 8. Example: Professional? • What does this mean? • Paid to do something? • Very good at something? • Made for a broad market? • Better than standard?
  9. 9. Comparing and Contrasting • Take two sets of ideas. • Find their commonalities • Highlight their contradictions. • Don’t expect to be able to compare every aspect of an idea.
  10. 10. Organising Data. • You’ve got to organise all this information. • You need to be systematic about how you sort out ideas. • You’ve got to be clear about how you catergorise information.
  11. 11. Subject Sorting… • Imagine you were asked to sort out a bowl of eggs and ping-pong balls. • Well not much room for personal decisions there is there?
  12. 12. Subject Sorting… • Now imagine you were asked to sort the eggs into which were best to eat? • How would you decide this? • The biggest? • Best color? • Hardest shell? • What are your criteria?
  13. 13. Mapping • After the sort comes the map. • Laying out ideas according to how they fit together. • Increases your broad knowledge • Allows you to spot connections • Allows you to spot gaps.
  14. 14. Writing the Literature Review • From the map can come your structure. • Plan out what you will write • Then you are ready to begin!
  15. 15. Writing • Your writing must be clear. • Your writing must be academic. • Your writing must follow a logical structure. • It must demonstrate the knowledge and skill you have acquired as a student.
  16. 16. Your writing is NOT! • A record of the research you have done! • A list of the authors you have read. • It must say something based on that knowledge… and then develop it.
  17. 17. Being Critical Agree with, or defend a position, or confirm its usefulness through an evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses.
  18. 18. Being Critical Conceding that an approach my have some merits which could prove useful, but that others need to be rejected.
  19. 19. Being Critical Focus on ideas and theories and not on the author of those arguments.
  20. 20. Being Critical Be aware of your own critical stance; identify your reasons for selecting the work you have criticized, and, recognize possible weakness of your critique.
  21. 21. Being Critical Select elements from existing arguments and reformulate them to form a synthesis: a new PoV on some subject matter.
  22. 22. Being Critical Find fault with an argument and highlight fallacies within it
  23. 23. Being Critical • You may disagree with something someone has said but attacking them personally will not refute what they say – attack their ideas and their argument. • Don’t think it is enough to criticize the motive of an author.
  24. 24. Remember the reader Explain both sides of the argument fully. You role is to take the reader from one position – that held by the person whose ideas you may wish to refute through to another – the ideas you wish to represent.
  25. 25. Three Part Structure i) summarise existing work on the topic ii) makes a critical evaluation of previous work iii)makes conclusions about work done to date on the topic.
  26. 26. What do tutors want to see? 1. you have worked on the project. 2. you have reviewed the literature relevant to the topic with thoroughness and open mindedness 3. you have identified key ideas, concepts and methods. 4. You have taken a cross-disciplinary approach 5. You have recorded your sources accurately and consistently 6. Your analysis is systematic, comprehensive and relevant.
  27. 27. Write a Proper Introduction • So often word is spoilt by a poor introduction. • It gets the reader off on the wrong foot. • It can be very difficult to recover from.
  28. 28. The introduction should: • Announce topic with a clear and concise statement • State the purpose of the review with a careful explanation of what you hope to achieve. • Explain the relevance of the topic – an indication of its importance in the literature. • Establish your credibility – information on why you should be seen as competent to write about this topic. • Preview the main points that you will make in the body of the text – advance notice of the structure of the text possibly including your thesis statement (i.e. the question you are heading towards).