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CRESWELL The review of literature is important to help the researcher to focus on the topic that he/she has chosen to do. It is therefore important that a topic is first chosen before the literature review is undertaken. The topic should be a short statement. Care should be taken to ensure that the topic is doable. It is important that a working title is framed as early as possible as it is this working title that will help to keep the researcher focused. Creswell suggests that the working title be a simple statement that says in clear language what the research is about. He also suggests that the title be no longer than 12 words. Another way to develop a topic is to write it as a brief question that speaks to what the research is trying to find out. A Researchable Topic To determine if the topic is one that is researchable the researcher can answer a few questions: • • • Will this study add to the body of knowledge already available in this field? How does this research contribute to the literature? Is this a topic that has already been researched? And if so how will this study fit into a new situation? • Will I be able to complete this research within the time I have available? Purpose of the Literature Review Among other things, the literature review exposes readers to the work that others have done in relation to the topic. It serves to extend the work done in other studies. It provides a framework
Identify key words that will be useful in locating materials . The use of the literature varies considerably in qualitative studies. the researcher uses either a qualitative or a quantitative approach to the literature depending on the type of mixed method design being used. In contrast to the quantitative study. Thirdly. Steps in Conducting a Literature Review Creswell suggests a seven step process for carrying out the literature review: 1. a considerable amount of literature is used – often at the beginning – to provide direction for research questions or hypotheses.for establishing the importance of the study as well as a benchmark for comparing the results of a study with other findings. there may not be much literature available. the literature review rarely sets the stage for the research in the qualitative study. and Mixed Methods Research The literature review may be different for the quantitative and qualitative research methods. Literature Reviews in Qualitative. the literature review may be incorporated in the final section of the report where it is used to make comparisons and contrasts in term of findings. the literature review serves as a useful backdrop for the problem at hand. Since a qualitative researcher seeks to listen to participants and build an understanding based on their ideas. Quantitative. A second way is to write the literature review as a separate section as is done in the qualitative study. Creswell proposed three ways of incorporating the literature in qualitative research. In a mixed methods study. In the quantitative study. In the introduction of the research.
7. Draft summaries of the most important articles. Design a literature map 6. Assemble the literature review thematically or by concepts addressed in the study. . Introduce the section by telling the reader about the sections included in the literature review. write a review that contains sections about the literature related to major independent and dependent variables and studies that relate the independent and dependent variables. Try to locate about 50 reports of research in articles or books related to the topic. Select from the above. Include references. The literature map is a visual layout of the research that has been conducted by others on the topic and is represented in a figure. A literature map is useful for organizing the research about a topic. Search a library catalogue for holdings using key words 3.2. A Model for Writing the Literature Review For a quantitative or mixed methods review. those articles that are central to the research by looking at abstracts and content pages to determine whether they will make a useful contribution to an understanding of the literature. The following is a model suggested by Creswell that provides parameters for the sections of the literature review: 1. Aim for journal articles and books 4. 5.
which addresses the scholarly literature about the dependent variables. 5. 4. Review topic 1. Provide a summary of the review that highlights the most important studies. . 3. which includes the scholarly literature that relates the independent variables to the dependent variables. Review topic 3.2. Review topic 2. which addresses the scholarly literature about the independent variables.