Literature Reviews

A literature review is usually a critique of the status of knowledge on a carefully defined topic.

3 Types of Literature Reviews

Literature Reviews Vary at Different Stages of the Study

Organization of a Literature Review

Purpose of Literature Review

Literature Review Process (Step 5 is the Literature(re)Search Assignment)

3 Types of Literature Reviews

1. Quantitative Study - provides an understanding of the existing knowledge of the problem and rationale for the research questions.

2. Qualitative Study - researchers present literature discussions and integrate criticism of the literature into the text of a study.

3. Meta-analysis - summarizes statistically the results of prior research.


Literature Reviews Vary at Different Stages of the Study:

1. Preliminary Literature Review - helps to phrase foreshadowed problem statements and to develop a theoretical frame,

2. Annotated Bibliography - a way to remind oneself of the literature surveyed

3. Extensive Literature Review - a theoretically framed in-depth review of all relevant literature to the study


a LITERATURE REVIEW is usually chapter 2 of a study.
Organization of a Literature Review:
1. Introduction - states the purpose or scope of the review
2. Critical review - subsections relate to the selection
& significance of the problem. Do not list one study after another, but rather classify, compare & contrast as they relate to your problem statement.
3. Summary - states the status of what exists on the topic and
identifies the gaps which provide the rationale for your study.

Purpose of Literature Review

Every research study requires the researcher to review pertinent literature on the topic. Some researchers conduct meta-analytical literature reviews using content (statistical) analysis.

1. To avoid unnecessary duplication of research.

2. To identify variables that may influence the problem

3. To identify promising procedures and instruments

4. To limit the problem.


Purpose of Literature Review Presented in your Study:

1. Illustrates the importance of the topic

2. Shows the lack of research on the topic


Literature Review Process. Step 5 is the Literature (re)Search Assignment.

Step 1 - Select a research topic.


Step 2 - Limit topic to a research problem statement which appears feasible to do in one study.


Step 3 - Identify constructs, variables & population (quantitative) or constructs, concepts & events (qualitative) & type of study as key words for a literature search.


Step 4 - Conduct a literature search keeping track of databases, years reviewed, key terms, & boolean configurations that you used.


Step 5 - Submit in print-based form for Literature (re)Search Assignment:

(Part 1-see example) a rated bibliography, using Zotero or your own designed database, and a "book spine" poem.

(Part 2-see example) a description of the search (i.e., databases & years searched with the number of hits found, keyterms applied, and boolean configurations/limitations used).

(Part 3-see example) an outline (like a table of contents) as a plan to organize the writing of the review.

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