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A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review

Presented By: Amita Shrestha Helen Tamang

Literature review
Literature review is the classification and evaluation of what other scholars and researcher s have written on a topic. It helps to provide understanding and insight of previous research work. Most literature reviews are poorly conceptualized and written.

Purposes of Literature Review

Demonstrating researcher knowledge in the area of his interest Identifying the main methodologies and research techniques that have been used Distinguishing what has been done from what needs to be done Provides a framework for relating new findings to previous findings

Discovering important variables relevant to the topic Synthesizing and gaining a new perspective Identifying relationships between ideas and practices Establishing the context of the topic or problem Relating ideas and theory to applications

Taxonomy of Literature Reviews

Focus Goal Perspective Coverage Organization Audience

Steps to conduct Literature Review

1. Problem formulation 2. Data collection 3. Data evaluation 4. Analysis and interpretation 5. Public presentation

How to Conduct a Literature Review

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Problem formulation Data collection Data evaluation Analysis and interpretation Public presentation

How to conduct a literature review


1. Problem formulation Determination of the questions that will guide the literature review. (From the previous literature, what is the effect of intervention X on outcomes Y and Z?) Determination of the criteria for inclusion and exclusion. 2. Data collection Electronic search of academic databases and the Internet. Search of the references of the articles that were retrieved.

How to conduct a literature review


3. Data Evaluation Extraction and evaluation of the information that met the inclusion criteria Documentation of the types of data extracted and the process used. 4. Data analysis and interpretation Making sense of the extracted data Performing quantitative, qualitative, or mixedmethod synthesis depending on the type of data extracted.

How to conduct a literature review


5. Public presentation Determination of which information will be presented and which information can be left out. The primary audience for the literature review is the dissertation supervisor and other dissertation reviewers.

Quantitative Literature Reviews

Narrative reviews emphasize on better-designed studies, and organize their results to form a composite picture of the state of the knowledge on the problem. Narrative reviews tend to be affected by the reviewers subjectivity. In a meta-analytic review, the reviewer
a) b) c) d) Collects a representative or comprehensive samples of articles Codes those articles according to a number of aspects Finds a common metric that allows the study outcomes to be synthesized Examines how the characteristics of a study co vary with study outcomes.

Qualitative Literature Reviews

Ogawa and Malens method Step 1: Create an audit trail Step 2: Define the focus of the review Step 3: Search for relevant literature Step 4: Classify the documents Step 5: Create summary databases Step 6: Identify constructs and hypothesized casual linkages Step 7: Search for contrary findings and rival interpretations Step 8: Use colleagues or informants to corroborate findings

Qualitative Literature Reviews


Phenomenal method Step 1: Bracketing Step 2: Collecting data Step 3: Identifying meaningful statements Step 4: Giving meaning Step 5: Thick, rich description

Mistakes Commonly Made in Reviewing Research Literature

Does not clearly relate the findings of the literature review to the researchers own study; Does not take sufficient time to define the best descriptors and identify the best sources to use in review literature related to ones topic; Relies on secondary sources rather than on primary sources in reviewing the literature; Does not report the search procedures that were used in the literature review; and Does not consider contrary findings and alternate interpretation in synthesizing quantitative literature.

Evaluating a Literature Review

Five-category rubric for evaluating a literature review; I. Coverage II. Synthesis III. Methodology IV.Significance V. Rhetoric

Thank you.