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Steps for Writing

Literature Reviews

By: Group-2

Literature review
The process of reading, analyzing, evaluating, and

summarizing scholarly materials about a specific topic.

The results of a literature review may be compiled in a
report or they may serve as part of a research article,
thesis, or grant proposal.

Purpose of a Literature Review

The literature review is a critical look at the existing research

that is significant to the work that you are carrying out.
To provide background information
To establish importance
To demonstrate familiarity
To carve out a space for further research


Indicate scope of the literature review.

Provide some background to the topic.
Demonstrate the importance or need for research.
Make a claim.
Offer an overview/map of the ensuing discussion.

Writing a Literature Review:

In Summary
As you read, try to see the big pictureyour literature

review should provide an overview of the state of research.

Include only those source materials that help you shape

your argument. Resist the temptation to include everything

youve read!
Balance summary and analysis as you write.
Keep in mind your purpose for writing:

How will this review benefit readers?

How does this review contribute to your studies?

Steps for writing a Literature Review

Decide a topic
Identify the literature that you will review
Analyze the literature
Summarize the literature
Synthesize the literature prior to writing your review
Writing the review
Developing a coherent essay

Step 1:Reading
Read through the literature so that you become familiar

with the common core elements of how to write: in

particular (e.g. font, margins, spacing), title page, abstract,
body, text citations, quotations.

Step 2: Decide a topic

It will help you considerably if your topic for your

literature review is the one on which you intend to do your

final M.Ed. project, or is in some way related to the topic
of your final project. However, you may pick any scholarly

Step 3: Identify the literature that you will

Familiarize yourself with online databases, identifying relevant

databases in your field of study.

Using relevant databases, search for literature sources using Google
Scholar and also searching using Furl (search all sources, including the
Furl accounts of other Furl members).
Redefine your topic if needed: as you search you will quickly find
out if the topic that you are reviewing is too broad. Try to narrow
it to a specific area of interest within the broad area that you have
chosen (remember: this is merely an introductory literature review
Import your references into your RefWorks account. You can also
enter references manually into RefWorks if you need to.

Step 4: Analyze the literature

Overview the articles
Group the articles into categories
Take notes
Select useful quotes that you may want to include in your

Note emphases, strengths and weaknesses
Identify major trends or patterns
Identify gaps in the literature
Identify relationships among studies
Keep your review focused on your topic
Evaluate your references

Four Analysis Tasks of the

Literature Review





Step 5: Summarize the literature:

Organize, and summarize your findings.
Your review each must be accompanied by an analysis that

summarizes, interprets and synthesizes the literature.

Step 6: Synthesize the literature prior to writing

your review:

Consider your purpose and voice before beginning to write

Consider how you reassemble your notes
Create a topic outline that traces your argument

Summary and Synthesis

In your own words, summarize and/or synthesize the key
findings relevant to your study.
What do we know about the immediate area?
What are the key arguments, key characteristics, key

concepts or key figures?

What are the existing debates/theories?
What common methodologies are used?

Step 7: Writing the review:

Identify the broad problem area, but avoid global

Early in the review, indicate why the topic being reviewed
is important
Distinguish between research finding and other sources
of information
Indicate why certain studies are important
If you are commenting on the timeliness of a topic, be
specific in describing the time frame.
If a landmark study was replicated, mention that and
indicate the results of the replication

Discuss other literature reviews on your topic

Refer the reader to other reviews on issues that you will

not be discussing in details

Justify comments such as, "no studies were found."
Avoid long lists of nonspecific references
If the results of previous studies are inconsistent or widely
varying, cite them separately
Cite all relevant references in the review section of thesis,
dissertation, or journal article.

Summarize the main findings of your review.
Provide closure.
Explain so what?
Implications for future research.

Connections to the current study.

Citing Sources: Things to Avoid

Irrelevant quotations.
Un-introduced quotations.

Some Tips on Revising

Title: Is my title consistent with the content of my paper?
Introduction: Do I appropriately introduce my review?
Thesis: Does my review have a clear claim?
Body: Is the organization clear? Have I provided headings?
Topic sentences: Have I clearly indicated the major idea(s)

of each paragraph?
Transitions: Does my writing flow?
Conclusion: Do I provide sufficient closure?
Spelling and Grammar: Are there any major spelling or
grammatical mistakes?

The End.