Writing the Literature Review (Part Two): Step-by-Step Tutorial for Graduate Students

now let's talk about the ways that you can be organizing all those many sources that you're going to be taking snapshots of and expressing the relationships among those snapshots how to best organize your literature review well the answer is the best way that presents itself after you've done all your reviews but there are some common organizational patterns that will probably be of use to you and the first of those is the quanta logical you can divide things in two decades or half decades you can say well in the 1950s they thought autism was caused by cold mothering and bad parenting and in the 1960s they thought oh autism is a psychological illness of unknown origin and then in the 1990s and today in the 2000s we say oh autism is caused by a genetic susceptibility triggered by an environmental toxin and so we have put in chronology the major studies and major authors and researchers along the way chronology another way is through advancements you can say well here we have the beginning of nanotechnology here are the researchers here the scientists that gave the first breakthroughs in nanotechnology and then came this next set of studies this neck next set of researchers who gave us the next breakthrough and nanotechnology and then this one and now here we are today and that's where your paper begins breakthroughs advancements you've also got geographical let's say you were doing the modern-day slave trade in a research paper you could say well in the near East here are research studies and reports about the modern-day slave trade in the Near East here are the research studies and the reports and that and this is what the past people have said about the modern-day slave trade in Europe and then Asia and then euro Asia in other words you're taking a geographical approach to everything that's been studied and said about that narrow topic of modern-day slave slave trade up there individual ones like questions for for example this is something that is often presented to yourself what are the major questions in relationship to this topic that have been addressed by researchers through the years you figure out what those major questions are by doing your reviews and then you simply put them in order for example here's here's an example of a student who did this now here is her paper here is her introduction to the literature review and what's the first thing that you see right there you see her statement of the four questions that have been addressed over the years by past researcher researchers in relationship to this issue this topic and then sure enough down at the bottom of the page she's going she begins addressing the first question you flip a couple of pages all later and up at the top of the page you see the second question flip another couple of pages the third question flip another couple pages the fourth question and in between those questions she has put in order her summaries of the sources that addressed each of those questions and that's a literature review now the last thing we want to talk about when it comes to the literature review is how you're actually going to write the darn thing the writing process that you will use well you have probably figured out it's going to be pretty close to the same process that you use for writing any research project first thing you're going to do is to collect your sources but now because this is an academic research review these sources that you collect are going to be academic peer-reviewed sources for the most part so that means you're going to be going to the databases in places like the UMUC library you're going to be going to the private web where the subscription journals are as opposed to the open web where a lot of consumer news II type information is so that's the first thing you're going to do is go to the places collect your sources if your requirement is to review 20 sources you're going to have to collect 30 or 40 because you're going to be narrowing them out in this next step and the next step is to analyze them notice I did not say read them because you don't begin by simply reading every source you first start out at this twenty four thousand foot view of your collection that you've gotten and you gradually narrow in on them by Skinit skimming and scanning reading the titles the chapter titles the subhead the other sources the abstract of them and by doing that you are calling out you're saying no these are not going to be any of use to me of any use to me yes these I am going to keep they are they do fit they are going to be of use and then as you get closer then you will extend your reading to word-for-word analytical reading and then once you have really found stuff that is truly relevant to your topic that's when you start taking notes that's when you start writing out citations that's when you have found the material that you're actually going to be using in your research study but notice that you zoomed in skimming and scanning and then only gradually do you get down to word for word reading but keep that in mind about your research analysis of your sources the next thing you're going to do is of course arrange them and we talked about some ways that you could arrange them and the reason I'm repeating this step is that now that you've analyzed them now that you've taken snapshots of each one that is relevant I bet you you're going to start seeing patterns whether it's the question pattern the chronology pattern the breakthrough pattern whatever pattern you've got to find one and you make an outline and underneath each major point of that outline you the sources that go in each major point whether it's decade or breakthrough or a geographical region you list the major sources that go there and then you've got your last step and in your last step you simply work your way through your outline summarizing your sources and providing transitional connections between each source as you move through your outline so there you go there's the big picture of how to write your literature review once you get it done once you have established this firm basis on which you can stand you've got a clearer understanding of the past so that you can move forward with your ideas into the present and the future that's the literature review good luck with it and don't hesitate to get in contact with them if we can help you with anything anything related to dissolution okay good luck you

33 thoughts on “Writing the Literature Review (Part Two): Step-by-Step Tutorial for Graduate Students

  1. We have a special course for academic writing but this video was able to teach me more in about 5 minutes

  2. You've made Literature Review really easy for me Sir___ I was struggling to get my head around it and it sucks to not understand anything at all during my lectures because I am not an English native speaker _ Thanks a lot for this informative video

  3. Thanks for this guidelines. It helps me a lot to improve my skill. Actually I am a writer at ur-l.ru/AfE If anyone need any help regarding writing then visit us here.

  4. This is my second Graduate Degree I am going for. I have never had to write a literature review until now. You have done a super job of breaking it down. Thank you.

  5. Sir , it's tooo good , i mean I'm about to write my first paper and i was so lot confused with dozons of questions in my head like where to start ? what to do ? How to write ? But after watching this i think i got an origin to start . This has sorted out my thoughts in a line. I think now i can begin with it 😊 thankewww so much , coz uh have a explained it very well and yes seriously there are many like me who will be help by this 😊

  6. Thank you very much for the literature review series David, fantastic help, as a first-time thesis student.

  7. Hi, how do you find the current status of a topic in a literature review? I am so confused. My teacher has it in this order: Overview, Historical context, current status, summary of research that has been conducted, and rationale or significance for choosing the topic of study. Please help. Thanks

  8. Hi, your video is very helpful. Can you please tell how i can measure the quality of literature review???

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