literature reviews

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  • 1. WHAT IS A LITERATUREREVIEW? A place to make connections between what you areinvestigating and what has already been investigated in yoursubject area A place to engage in a type of conversation with otherresearchers in your subject area A place to identify previous research on the topic A place to show there is a gap in the literature which your studycan fill A place from which to begin your own investigationRidley, D. (2008). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. London: SagePublications, p. 2.

2. SIMPLY PUTHelps you and your readersunderstand: What you know about your topic What other people know about your topic What research has been done How research was done Where are the gaps? Jumping off point for your study 3. HOW TO BEGIN?FINDING APPROPRIATE SOURCESOF INFORMATION Know what is appropriate: Scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed material Material that presents empirical data/evidence to back upclaims, not just opinions Material that presents an introduction, purpose,background literature, method, procedures, findings,discussion, implications, conclusion Know where to begin searching: Book catalogues Library databases Education Research Complete, ERIC,Academic Search Complete, Sage Journals Online 4. WHERE TO START?BOOKS JOURNAL ARTICLES They gather a lot of information Journal articles discuss oneon one topic in one place.perspective. They can provide a good Each article makes aoverview or good backgroundinformation on a topic. unique contribution. They often offer extensive Articles can supplementbibliographies. information found first in Look for encyclopedias or books.handbooks for info on keytheories and researchers Articles can offer more up- E.g. to-date information.Encyclopedia of the social and cultural foundations ofeducationE-books 5. FINDINGJOURNALARTICLES Use library databases Try Google ScholarFor finding infoabout researchmethodology 6. SEARCH TIPSRecommended databases: Education Research Complete;ERIC, Academic Search CompleteTips: Limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals Look for descriptors (or subject headings) for morefocused results Use research methodology in your search terms Get it button looks for the full text throughout all ofthe Librarys databases 7. SEARCH TERMSTry adding literature review you will see examples of lit reviews, plus get an overview ofsome aspect of your topicOr narrative or quantitative etc. 8. FOR MORE HELPVisit the Graduate Education Research GuideSee the Help pagesContact the Library Help Desk 905-688-5550 x. 3233 or use email formContact your liaison librarian: Jennifer Thiessen (phone, chat, email)