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Accounting Honours - Reading the literature

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A session on evaluating, critically reading, and writing for literature reviews.

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Evaluating & Reading the
literature
PeplerHead
FacultyLibrarian:EconomicandManagementSciences
peplerh@sun.ac.za
In this session we’ll be looking at
Evaluating
Effective reading
Skim reading
Close reading (critically evaluating)
Writing
2
Evaluating the literature
3
Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash
Quality
Relevance
On database or website
Evaluating the literature
4
Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash
Reliability:
From a reputable source/institution- publisher, University, Research
Unit, Company​
Authority:
Creator is an expert in their field, and affiliated with a reputable
institution​
Validity :
The research was conducted in a manner that is commonly accepted in
the field, and is evident in the article​ - abstract
Accuracy:
The information can be verified
Evaluating the literature
5
Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash
Any Website ending in:
.org; .gov; .edu; .ac
6

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Accounting Honours - Reading the literature

  • 1. Evaluating & Reading the literature PeplerHead FacultyLibrarian:EconomicandManagementSciences peplerh@sun.ac.za
  • 2. In this session we’ll be looking at Evaluating Effective reading Skim reading Close reading (critically evaluating) Writing 2
  • 3. Evaluating the literature 3 Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash Quality Relevance On database or website
  • 4. Evaluating the literature 4 Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash Reliability: From a reputable source/institution- publisher, University, Research Unit, Company​ Authority: Creator is an expert in their field, and affiliated with a reputable institution​ Validity : The research was conducted in a manner that is commonly accepted in the field, and is evident in the article​ - abstract Accuracy: The information can be verified
  • 5. Evaluating the literature 5 Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash Any Website ending in: .org; .gov; .edu; .ac
  • 6. 6
  • 7. 7 Reading the literature Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash Photo by Steven Wright on Unsplash VS
  • 8. 8 Skim Reading Reading for Relevance Saves time Establish quickly whether a document is useful or not
  • 9. 9 Skim Reading First sentence of each paragraph Introduction + conclusion Table of contents Abstract Title, author, journal, date
  • 10. 10 Close Reading (critical engagement) Reading with purpose Read with questions in mind Reading to: Locate information Understand difficult ideas Gain insights or overview
  • 11. 11 Close Reading Close Reading Techniques: Adjust reading rate – focus on the important stuff Annotate – don’t just highlight, make notes Connect – start piecing together the story Paraphrase – write difficult passages in own words Monitor comprehension – make sure you understand Question – relate readings to your research question
  • 12. 12 Close Reading Why close reading?  Convince the reader of your knowledge  Familiarity with  Critical engagement of
  • 13. Literature Synthesis table AUTHOR (S) (YEAR) TITLE PURPOSOF THE STUDY METHOD SAMPLE FINDINGS THEMES SIMILARITIES UNIQUENESS DATA QUALITY Mather, C. and Greenberg, S., 2003. Market Liberalisation in Post-Apartheid South Africa: the Restructuring of Citrus Exports after 'Deregulation'. Explores the impact of market liberalisation on South Africa’s citrus export Industry, specifically from a grower’s perspective Literature review conducted Qualitative data collected from interviews Growers from 4 co- operatives within 4 specific geographic al areas Former cooperatives have faced problems in using the resources they inherited from the past, increasing differentiation between those who are able to take advantage of deregulation and those who are not. Deregulation has affected labour on farms and in packhouses but could be as a result of liberalisation of the economy having intensified structural changes in the agricultural labour market that have been present for some time. Market regulation Export regulations (Butler, Washington). Effect on farm labourers(Washin gton). Similar to Cohen for risk factors. Analysis of the ‘deregulation’ of citrus exports draws on political economy approaches to markets and suggests that the impact of liberalisation is far more complex. Data was triangulated through variables. Bias was countered through pre- testing. All results reported (no leaving out of results).
  • 14. 14 Mapping your topic PEST analysis Export of citrus Market Regulations Export Citrus South Africa PEST Analysis You can use a mind map to map out your theme, ideas and structure you research
  • 18. Writing A 'golden thread‘ ◦ an overall line of argument - running through the paper, holding it together 'Sign-posts‘ ◦ crisp titles, sub-titles and headings that identify the direction being followed 'Authority‘ ◦ good engagement with existing literature and a comprehensive bibliography - the bibliography is the window to the paper and its author
  • 19. Quick word on Formatting Avoid sloppy, inaccurate presentation & referencing, as it detracts from your content

Editor's Notes

  1. Part of searching the literature, is evaluating the literature. Once all documents have been identified , we continue to read, analyze and critically evaluate each document. Throughout the session, I will make the distinction between evaluating and critically evaluating the literature more clear.
  2. Essentially, when we talk about evaluating, it is a quick evaluation for document quality and relevance and usually happens on the website or academic database itself. Note that critical evaluation happens at a deeper level, authors must carefully evaluate and judge the content.
  3. In the first section we will be looking at skim reading versus close reading, and these essentially are done for different purposes, with the same goal in mind.
  4. Once we’ve evaluated our resources for quality, using the techniques we discussed last time – CRAAP test etc., it is necessary to read for relevance. Academic reading can be extremely time consuming and difficult, and we don’t want to waste time reading articles and documents that may not be the most relevant for our purposes. When we skim read, we are trying to establish how relevant a specific document is for my topic/research question, and whether it speaks to or answers my research question. Skim reading saves us a lot of time as it allows us to evaluate relevance of a document without having to waste time reading the entire document.
  5. Once you have established witch documents are most relevant to your research topic, it’s time for the close reading, or active reading. Make sure that you have identified your purpose for reading and what you need to achieve. Always read with your research question in mind, and bring all your information back to it – how does this relate to my topic. Read with Purpose! Close reading is the process of actively engaging in the text that you are reading, and it tied to critical thinking. It moves beyond surface reading and allows us to actively engage with the text we consume, helping us think more clearly about what we are reading, and why! Always read with your research question in mind, and bring the information back to it – how does this relate to my question/topic? Are you reading to …?
  6. It is the author’s responsibility to convince readers that they are both familiar with, and have critically engaged with previous works, helps you speak with authority. Critical evaluation makes up the bulk of the literature review, so close reading of texts it extremely important. An uncritical narration of the theory and dominant thoughts on the topic diminishes reader’s trust in the author.
  7. Something like the literature synthesis table could assist you when reading. Write down various aspects of the article/chapter, methods, findings, purpose etc. so you can start identifying connections and similarities in the discourse.
  8. Mapping your topic is also a very good way of making sense of the evidence you have read, to answer your research question.
  9. Mapping your topic is also a very good way of making sense of the evidence you have read, to answer your research question.
  10. First we write to understand, to make sense of what we have read, and get to grips with the current discourse. In the 2nd instance, we write to be understood, to convey our ideas and understanding of the current discourse to the reader, and convince them that we have read widely and understand the topic, speak with authority. This then shows you how writing is cyclical, a constant writing, editing and evaluating.
  11. Like the Greek myth of Theseus who faced the Minotaur in the labyrinth of Deadalus, and escaped using the golden thread that was given to him by Ariadne, you will also have to weave a golden thread through your writing. That golden thread is you research question, that holds the entire project together. The reader needs to navigate the labyrinth that is your topic, and your writing using this golden thread, and it should be evident through your entire literature review. This thread should therefore lead the reader from start to finish, and make it clear to the reader where you are going and what you are doing. Signposting is also an important technique in writing – and helps lead the reader through the review. Bibliography is the window to the paper, and shows that the author is speaking with authority on the topic. Make sure you include the seminal/important authors and papers within the discourse.