Doing Your Literature Review

Doing Your Literature Review-52
However, be aware that some professionals may find constant requests for information intrudes on their time.

However, be aware that some professionals may find constant requests for information intrudes on their time.Always be courteous and sensitive to the level of demand you may be making on someone’s time.You will probably find that your first few searches don’t turn up much that’s useful.

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A literature review demonstrates that you have read around your topic and have a broad understanding of previous research, including its limitations.

In the literature review, you summarise the main viewpoints and important facts that you encountered in your reading .

For these reasons, a general rule of thumb is that you should only rely on internet resources from the websites of organisations whose information you already know to be reputable, like Skills You Need.

Do not underestimate how much physical libraries and librarians may be able to help you.

Librarians are usually hugely experienced in using all the search tools and databases, and can often show you much quicker ways of doing things, as well as tips and tricks to help you refine your search.

Furthermore, libraries may have copies of books and academic journals that are not available online.Check a few references, and see which texts are cited most often, or ask the librarians how to use the databases to check how often each article is cited.A good way to identify when you have read enough is if your reading keeps turning up the same points and you’re not learning anything new.A key aspect of a literature review is what sources you select to include, and which you exclude.Thanks to the internet, literature searches are now relatively easy, and can be done from the comfort of your own laptop without needing to go anywhere near a library. The ease with which anybody can access and publish to the internet means that many items published online have not been scrutinised by anybody other than the author.Your search terms are one of the most important elements of finding the right sources for your research project and developing them is an ongoing process.It’s a good idea to start with a phrase that you think others will have used about the topic, perhaps that you have identified from your lectures and/or earlier study.You might for example ask your tutor or supervisor, or an expert or practitioner working on your chosen topic.Often, they will be able to give you some very helpful ideas about where to begin your reading.Critical reading is a skill that, like any other skill, is acquired with practice.In essence, reading critically means that you do not take the claims at face value: you question the basis for claims, why the author may have done and said things in the particular way he or she did, what the wider context is, and whose interests are being served by the claims you encounter.


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