Chapter5 - notes


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Chapter5 - notes

  1. 1. Chapter 5 Review of the LiteratureB efore planning the details of a study, researchers usually dig into the literature to find out what has been written about the topic they are interested in investigating. Both the opinions ofexperts in the field and other research studies are of interest. Such reading is referred to as a reviewof the literature. This chapter describes, in detail, the steps researchers go through in conducting aliterature review.One important point to emphasize is that the information obtained from the Internet is only as goodas its source. Internet searches can be invaluable for providing or identifying possible sources ofinformation, but, you must always remember that, ultimately, you alone are responsible for verifyingthe accuracy of the information you use.Chapter ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter you should be able to: Describe briefly why a literature review is of value; Name the steps a researcher goes through in conducting a review of the literature; Describe briefly the kinds of information contained in a general reference, and give an example of such a source; Explain the difference between a primary and a secondary source, and give an example of each type; Explain what is meant by the phrase "search term" and how such terms are used in literature searches; Conduct both a manual and a computer search of the literature on a topic of interest to them after a small amount of "hands-on" computer time and a little help from a librarian; Write a summary of their literature review; and Explain what a meta-analysis is.Lecture OutlineI.The Value of a Literature Review A. A literature review helps researchers learn what others have written about a topic. It also lets researchers see what have been the results of other related studies. B. A detailed literature review is often required of masters and doctoral students when they design a thesis.II.Types of Sources A. Researchers need to be familiar with three basic types of sources (general references, primary sources, and secondary sources) in doing a literature review. Fraenkel 6e, Ch. 05 1 of 4
  2. 2. B. General references are sources that a researcher consults to locate other sources. C. Primary sources are publications in which researchers report the results of their investigations. Most primary source material is located in journal articles. D. Secondary sources refer to publications in which authors describe the work of others. E. RIE and CIJE are two of the most frequently used general references in educational research. F. Search terms, or descriptors, are key words that researchers use to help locate relevant primary sources.III. Steps Involved in a Literature Search A. Defining the research problem as precisely as possible B. Perusing the secondary sources C. Selecting and perusing an appropriate general reference D. Formulating search terms E. Searching the general references for relevant primary sources F. Obtaining and reading the primary sources, then noting and summarizing key points in the sources.IV.Ways to Do a Literature Search A. Manually using the traditional paper approach, and electronically by means of a computer. The most common and frequently used way is to search online via a computer. B. There are five essential points (problem, hypothesis, procedures, findings, and conclusions) that researchers should record when taking notes on a study.V.Doing a Computer Search A. Computer searches of the literature have a number of advantages—they are fast, fairly inexpensive, provide printouts, and enable researchers to search using more than one descriptor at a time. B. The steps in a manual search are similar to those in a computer search, though computer searches are usually the norm. C. The World Wide Web (WWW) is an excellent resource for conducting research. Fraenkel 6e, Ch. 05 2 of 4
  3. 3. D. Some information on the Web is classified into directories, which group Web sites together under similar categories. Yahoo! is an example of a directory. E. To obtain more specific information, search engines are used. Google is an example of a search engine.VI.Writing the Literature Review Report A. The literature review report consists of an introduction, the body of the review, a summary, the researcher’s conclusions, and a bibliography. B. When a researcher does a meta-analysis, the results of a group of selected studies are averaged to get an overall index of outcome or relationship. C. A literature review should include a search for relevant meta-analysis reports as well as individual studies.Points to Stress• What constitutes a "review of the literature" and why it is of value to researchers.• The difference between general references, primary sources, and secondary sources.• Why locating primary resources is important for a literature review.• What "descriptors" are and how they may differ according to each database.• The advantages and disadvantages of conducting research on the Internet.Resources and References⇒ Chapter-Specific Web sites: • Research Skills Tutorial • Types of Information Sources • Critically Analyzing Information Sources • Writing a Literature Review • The Successful Literature Review: Tips and Guidelines Fraenkel 6e, Ch. 05 3 of 4
  4. 4. ⇒ General Web sites to use in a literature search: • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) • U.S. Department of Education • National Library of Education • Google • Go2Net • Yahoo! • AltaVista • Excite • Lycos • Hotbot • Go Fraenkel 6e, Ch. 05 4 of 4