- Review of related literature: This makes for the foundation - the stepping stones - for new research. It is like standing on the shoulder of the giants so that we can see farther than the giants (previous scholars) have visualized.
- One should have birds-eye-view of the work done in the area of research which is to be explored. After understanding the work done, the research scholar should think of taking a step further in new direction in the research under consideration. The road-map of this new direction should be chalked out in research proposal. (While doing an online open course (MOOC) on Coursera - offered by University of London, i came across these articles on Literature Review. All three of them are worth reading:
1. A focused reading with a specific purpose2. WHAT IS A LITERATURE REVIEW? • Many students are instructed, as part of their research program, to perform a literature reviewliterature review, without understanding what it is. Read more: http://www.experiment-resources.com/what-is-a-literature-review.html#ixzz1QGfAxinx3. Sources essential for LT • Sources are generally described as primary, secondary, or tertiary. • Primary: Primary sources are “materials that you are directly writing about, the raw materials of your own research.” • Secondary: Secondary sources are “books and articles in which other researchers report the results of their research based on (their) primary data or sources.” • Tertiary: Tertiary sources are “books and articles based on secondary sources, on the research of others.” – Tertiary sources synthesize and explain the work of others and might be useful early in your research, but they are generally weak support for your own arguments… at times they are challenged in your argument!4. What is Literature Review? • A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. • Occasionally researchers are asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or also a chapter in M.Phil/Ph.D.thesis.5. What is the purpose ofWhat is the purpose of Literature Review? • Purpose - to convey what knowledge and ideaswhat kn owledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and whathave been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.their strengths and weaknesses are. • As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding conceptdefined by a guiding concept (e.g., our research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). • It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries6. What is ‘not’ Literature Review? – Not - chronological catalog of all of the sources, but an evaluation, integrating the previous research together, – But - it is to explain how it integrates into the proposed research program. All sides of an argument must be clearly explained, to avoid bias, and areas of agreement and disagreement should be highlighted. • Not - collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources. • But - good literature review should also have some evaluation of the quality and findings of the research.7. Why do a Literature Review? • to identify gapsidentify gaps in the research area • to avoid reinventing the wheelavoid reinventing the wheel • to carry on from where others have alreadycarry on from where others have already completedcompleted • to identify other people working in the sameidentify other people working in the same fieldsfields • to fathom the depth of knowledgefathom the depth of knowledge of your subject area8. Why do LR? • to identify opposing viewsopposing views • to put your work into wider perspectiveput your work into wider perspective • to identify methodsmethods that could be relevant to your project. • to identify seminal worksidentify seminal works in your area • to provide the intellectual context for your own work, enabling you to position your project in relationproject in relation to other work9. Two important objectives of LR:Two important objectives of LR: • Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas: 1.information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books 2.critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies10. A literature review must doA literature review must do these things:these things: • be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question we are developing • synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known • identify areas of controversy in the literature • formulate questions that need further research11. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define? • What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy? quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g., studies )?12. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? What discipline am I working in (e.g., Engineering, Psychology, Humanities, Pharmacy, Management)? • How good was my information seeking? Has my search been wide enough to ensure I've found all the relevant material? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is the number of sources I've used appropriate for the length of my paper?13. Ask yourself questions like these: • Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them? • Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? • Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? • Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful?14. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author formulated a problem/issue? • Is it clearly defined? Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established? • Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? • What is the author's research orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, combination)? • What is the author's theoretical framework (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)?15. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author evaluated the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? • In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design (e.g., population, intervention, outcome)? • How accurate and valid are the measurements? Is the analysis of the data accurate and relevant to the research question? Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis?16. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • How does the author structure the argument? Can you "deconstruct" the flow of the argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)? • In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the strengths and limitations? • How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing?17. Four Examples of Literature Review • Step by Step – drafting LR: Psychology. Systematic arrangement… • Ph.D. Thesis on ELT – Engineering Colleges in Tami . Summarizing… • Example with teacher’s remark on LR. What to do and what not to… • CALL – The best of all examples…18. Web Tools for LR:19. Web Tools helpful in LR: • Bookmarking sites: e.g. www.delicious.com/ • Google Docs – www.docs.google.com - Prepare a ‘form’ – easy to manage records in auto-generated spread sheet. - https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDBCQi1PeVduZTFTVHY3WnFyWktCY3c6MQ20. Reference: • Read more: • http://www.experiment-resources.com/what-is-a-literature-review.html#ixzz1QGfmJZeW • http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/literature-review • http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature_review.html • http://library.ucsc.edu/help/howto/write-a-literature-review • Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination (Published in association with The Open University) Dr. Christopher Hart. • Any book on Research Methodology for respective subjects deals with ‘Review of Literature’. • Cooper, H. (2010). Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-By-Step Approach. Los Angeles: Sage. (call number McHenry Stacks H62 C5859) • Machi, L.A. (2009). The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. (call number McHenry Stacks LB1047.3 M33) • Deakin University. (2009). The Literature Review. Geelong, Victoria, Australia: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/findout/research/litrev.php • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center. (2009). Writer's Handbook: Common Writing Assignments: Review of Literature. Madison, Wisconsin: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html • http://www.writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html • http://library.ucsc.edu/print/help/howto/write-a-literature-review • Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional And Systematic Techniques (Paperback)by Jill Jesson, Lydia Matheson, Fiona M. Lacey (Sage Pub)21. Works cited:Afolabi, M. (1992) 'The review of related literature in research' International journal of information and library research, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 59-66.Bourner, T. (1996) 'The research process: four steps to success', in Greenfield, T. (ed), Research methods: guidance for postgraduates, Arnold, London.Bruce, C. S. (1990) 'Information skills coursework for postgraduate students: investigation and response at the Queensland University of Technology' Australian Academic & Research Libraries, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 224-232.Bruce, C. (1993) 'When enough is enough: or how should research students delimit the scope of their literature review?', in Challenging the Conventional Wisdom in Higher Education: Selected Contributions Presented at the Ninteeth Annual National Conference and Twenty-First Birth . pp. 435-439.Bruce, C. S. (1994) 'Research student's early experiences of the dissertation literature review' Studies in Higher Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 217-229.Bruce, C. (1994) 'Supervising literature reviews', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. and Ryan, Y. (eds), Quality in postgraduate education, Kogan Page, London.Bruce, C. S. (1997) 'From Neophyte to expert: counting on reflection to facilitate complex conceptions of the literature review', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. (ed), Frameworks for postgraduate education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.Caspers, J. S (1998) 'Hands-on instruction across the miles: using a web tutorial to teach the literature review research process' Research Strategies, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 187-197.Cooper, H. M. (1988) 'The structure of knowledge synthesis' Knowledge in Society, vol. 1, pp. 104-126Cooper, H. M. (1989) Integrating research : a guide for literature reviews, 2nd ed, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, Calif. • Leedy, P. D. (1997) Practical research: planning and design, 6th ed, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, N.J.Libutti, P.& Kopala, M. (1995) 'The doctoral student, the dissertation, and the library: a review of the literature' Reference Librarian, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 5-25.Mauch, J. E.& Birch, J. W. (2003) Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation: a handbook for students and faculty, 5th ed, Marcel Dekker, New York.