Published on March 11, 2014
Academic Writing Approaching the writing of your literature review
C.L.TUPLING Outline Writing a Literature Review A Writing Strategy Review Entries Organising your review Using your sources Developing your argument Criticality Writing your Review
C.L.TUPLING Writing a Literature Review Demonstrates skills & capabilities Identiﬁes & analyses major texts Demonstrates systematic reasoning
C.L.TUPLING A Writing Strategy Your ﬁrst draft should not be your ﬁnal product Be prepared to ditch words Use feedback
C.L.TUPLING "The irony of seeing writing as the grand conclusion to weeks of research is that is serves as a deterrent to writing in the ﬁrst place" (Cuba and Cocking, 1997: 2)
C.L.TUPLING Draft 1 Language not precise - what does 1st sentence mean? Assumes background knowledge Too much included in one paragraph
C.L.TUPLING Draft 2 Theme and purpose of 1st paragraph unclear A deeper, more explicit level of analysis is needed Contains a lot of information but lacks a point
C.L.TUPLING Draft 3 Contains description of 1st paragraph with more analysis Signiﬁcance of ﬁndings is stated, and references added Examples from 1st paragraph are now grouped with further illustration
C.L.TUPLING Review Entries Complete bibliographic reference Identify the major questions Deﬁne the methods of investigation Identify the major variables Describe the study population State the outcomes of the research Note the author(s)’ own evaluation Your personal reﬂection
C.L.TUPLING Organising your Review Chronologically Historical context of a topic Topically Organised according to concepts or issues
C.L.TUPLING Using your sources Avoid listing summaries Adopt a selective approach Highlight the ‘key’ text Grundy’s (1991) exploration of cider drinking cultures in rural Borsetshire revealed that rituals surrounding apple collecting were examples of social class performances.
C.L.TUPLING USE OTHER STUDIES TO INDICATE THAT THEY BROADLY SUPPORT THE KEY TEXT Studies by Archer (1996) Aldridge (2006) and Hebdon-Lloyd (2013) have come to similar conclusions following studies of the night-time economy in nearby Felpersham
C.L.TUPLING Developing your argument Your review needs to be a structured argument Needs to contain: Knowledge elements Argumentational elements
C.L.TUPLING Knowledge elements Description of previous work The development of the issue The importance of the issue as identiﬁed by other researchers
C.L.TUPLING Argumentational elements A discussion of the limitations of previous literature on this topic A proposal for action (could be research) A discussion of the beneﬁts from the proposal A defence to potential objections
C.L.TUPLING Criticality (From Hart, 1998) Agreeing with or defending a position, or claiming its usefulness through evaluation Conceding the usefulness of an existing approach Focusing on ideas, theories & arguments Acknowledgement of own stance Selecting elements from existing arguments & reformulating them Finding fault in an argument by identifying fallacies, lack of evidence, plausibility and inadequacies Identifying errors in criticism that others have made
C.L.TUPLING Writing your Review Structure your review Deﬁne your purpose Select the structure appropriate to your argument Use structure to support your reasoning Write your ﬁrst draft
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