Grad workshop lit review spr11

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Researching & Writing a Literature Review NCSU Libraries Expectations of graduate students  Grad students have different backgrounds ◦ Not every grad student has done research ◦ Not everyone has experience reading the literature  No problem  You are learning to ask questions  Do so! No one expects you to know everything Your job is to learn to seek out answers  Knowing that information is out there can be empowering! Talking about the literature… ◦ “What does the literature show us?” ◦ “Connect your ideas to the literature.” ◦ “Survey the literature on the topic.” Talking about the literature…  What it IS: ◦ Scholarly communication ◦ A published record of research ◦ Challenging to read and digest ◦ Indexed, searchable with research databases Talking about the literature…  What it IS NOT: ◦ Common knowledge  i.e., handily summarized in Wikipedia ◦ Easy to find  If you just Googled it, you overlooked something ◦ Available freely online (mostly)  This distinction can be transparent on campus: the “free” internet vs library subscriptions X X Talking about the literature… ◦ Let’s focus on “What are lit reviews?” and “Why?” and the conceptual approach first… ◦ Follow-up workshops will tackle the “How?”  But we’ll look at a examples as we go What is a Literature Review?     A literature review Sur veys scholarly sources relevant to a par ticular issue, area of research, or theor y Provides a description, summar y, and critical evaluation of each work Offers an over view of significant literature published on a topic Gives future research context by telling the stor y of work done so far (adapted from http://library.ucsc.edu/ref/howto/ literaturereview.html ) Functions of Literature Reviews  Establish  Show research context why the question is significant  Illustrate and describe previous research, including gaps and flaws  Ensure that research has not been done before Hey, did you notice that the bullets here are checkboxes? Functions of Literature Reviews  Understand the structure of the problem  Demonstrate your knowledge of the field  Synthesize previous perspectives and develop your own perspective  Point the way to future research Overview of the Process Topic Writing and revision Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Overview of the Process Topic Initial topic won’t be your final topic! Choose, explore, focus Refine as you go based on: Availability of research – too much? too little? Discovering new ideas Writing progress Overview of the Process Topic Research and Collect Information Search databases Find, evaluate, and select articles Overview of the Process Topic Save your work in a citation mgr Read, analyze, synthesize Develop your conceptual framework Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Overview of the Process Topic Refine topic? Use your citation manager to stay organized Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Overview of the Process Topic Writing and revision Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Proceeding…(use worksheet handout) Develop draft topic  Discuss with advisor, colleagues Find a literature review (or book/chapter)   Identify key terms and concepts Use bibliography to find sources Search the major disciplinary database  Check with colleagues, a librarian    Each will have different ideas of where to search! Determine scope and facets of topic Collect useful, current sources Proceeding… Search other key databases (another discipline?)  Round out understanding of scope, facets, terms, concepts Search a Citation database  Best ones: Web of Science, Google Scholar   Web of Science has better tools Scholar can complete picture   Identify key/seminal papers/research Identify key researchers, research centers, journals  Trace citations back and forward Questions that come up… ◦ How I know I have the “right stuff”? ◦ How I know when I’m done? ◦ How know what’s important? ◦ No set answers…for each individual to decide Housekeeping Tips  Use a citation management system ◦ Such as RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley, etc ◦ One word for these: invaluable You are absolutely doing more work in NOT learning about these  Always get the complete citation information ◦ Article title, journal title, author, year/volume, pages, abstract Keep track of searches, notes, ideas, etc (back to the worksheets)  Fully citing sources = avoiding plagiarism  Read Synthetically: Pull it All Together    Look at all articles to identify relationships Classify or group papers, or paper sections, by topic, method, theme Compare and contrast papers addressing similar questions ◦ Discover relationships between sources ◦ Discover critical gaps and disagreements  Fit within the generated outline, or adapt outline The Synthesis Matrix  Tool to aid in writing a document showing synthesis  Based on a grid James, et al Concept Concept xxxxx xxxxx Chung Levy Concept xxxxx xxxx Concept xxxxx xxxxx Models of Paper Structures “Stringing” Model: Organization of a Simple Summar y Paper  • Introduction Paragraph 1: Summary or description of art icle • Paragraph 2: Summary or description of art icle • Paragraph 3: Summary or description of art icle   …and on… Summary and conclusions “Synthesis” Model: Paper showing Synthesis of Sources and Sequencing by Theme  • • •  Introduction Introduce context, topic, importance, research questions, overview Theme A: Introduce concept or theme, discuss/compare the relevant parts of papers 1, 3, and Theme B: Introduce concept or theme, discuss/compare the relevant parts of papers 2,4, and Theme C: Introduce concept or theme, discuss/compare the relevant parts of papers and Final paragraphs Summarize and highlight conclusions, unresolved issues, identify possible next steps in research and/or practice Some Tips for Writing       Write as you go: don’t wait until you’ve finished searching the literature Set some times to write regularly, and it! Start with the easier sections (probably not the introduction) Jot down notes and ideas and keep them handy Get feedback, and don’t take it too personally Aim for a style that is clear, simple, and straightforward Moving forward  Other library workshops on:  Doing Literature Searching ◦ How to identify good databases ◦ Maximizing your use of them  Citation management ◦ How to save all of this work [...].. .Review article examples: http://go.ncsu.edu/litrev 1 http://go.ncsu.edu/litrev 2 Digging Into the Literature = Major works B A C Digging Into the Literature = Major works = Studies that rely on major works B A C Digging Into the Literature = Major works = Something new! = Studies that rely on major works B C A New! Digging Into the Literature – How? Aspect Major works How? •Literature databases... •Tables of Contents Put it all together, you have a literature review! Overview of the Process Topic Writing and revision Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Overview of the Process Topic Initial topic won’t be your final topic! Choose, explore, focus Refine as you go based on: Availability of research – too much? too little? Discovering new ideas Writing progress... wait until you’ve finished searching the literature Set some times to write regularly, and do it! Start with the easier sections (probably not the introduction) Jot down notes and ideas and keep them handy Get feedback, and don’t take it too personally Aim for a style that is clear, simple, and straightforward Moving forward  Other library workshops on:  Doing Literature Searching ◦ How to identify... Topic Writing and revision Research and Collect Information RefWorks Work with Articles and Brain Proceeding…(use worksheet handout) Develop draft topic  Discuss with advisor, colleagues Find a literature review (or book/chapter)   Identify key terms and concepts Use bibliography to find sources Search the major disciplinary database  Check with colleagues, a librarian    Each will have different
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