- Literature Review – Overview
- Part One – Literature Survey
- Literature Survey – Part Two
- Efficient Ways Of Searching The Literature
- Where to Hunt
- Other Useful Info
- Citations And Notes
- Errors Of Judgment
- Planning Checklist
As an aid in applying the contents of this chapter to your own thesis or dissertation,
you may find it helpful to carry out the following activities.
1. In the following list, place an X on the line in front of each function
that your search of the literature is intended to perform:
_____Help me find a suitable research problem.
_____Locate my study within a field of related knowledge.
_____Demonstrate my command of that field of knowledge.
_____Identify inadequacies of knowledge in that field.
_____Show what contribution my study can make to a specified domain.
_____Identify hypotheses or theories to apply or to test in my study.
_____Suggest methods and instruments for gathering information for my study.
_____Identify strengths and weaknesses of different data-gathering methods.
_____Suggest ways of classifying my data (typologies, taxonomies).
_____Suggest statistical or graphic treatments for my data.
_____Suggest ways of interpreting the results of my study.
_____Suggest practical applications of the results of my project.
_____Illustrate the form that my final report can profitably assume.
2. For each of the functions that you checked under item 1, make a list of
key terms you plan to use to guide your search of the literature.
3. Specify the bibliographic form you will adopt for listing references at
the end of your thesis or dissertation. For each type of resource that you will
use in the literature, prepare a sample reference to guide note-taking during
the literature search. Specifically, prepare a sample for (a) a book by a single
author, (b) a book by multiple authors, (c) an edited book, (d) a journal article
by a single author, (e) a journal article by multiple authors, (f) a periodical
article with no specified author, (g) an encyclopedia entry, (h) a newspaper
article, (i) an unpublished conference paper, (j) an unpublished thesis or dis-sertation,
(k) a personal communication to you (letter, phone call, e-mail), (l) a report
on the Internet, and any other type of resource you plan to use.
4. Specify the form in which you will cite references within the body of your
thesis or dissertation. Create a sample of this form for each type of literature
resource that you intend to consult.
5. In the following list, place an X on the line in front of each method or
medium you intend to use in searching the literature: _____Books in the campus
library (titles, tables of contents, indexes)
_____Loose and bound journals in the campus library (inspect article titles,
read articles’ abstracts, inspect studies cited, read research methods, inspect
research instruments, read final conclusions)
_____Books and periodicals in public libraries
_____Personal computer (at home or in a campus office) with access to the Internet.
_____Computer terminal in the campus library, my academic department, or the
student center so as to search the Internet and World Wide Web
_____Professors’ collections of books and periodicals
_____Friends’ collections of books and periodicals
_____Newspaper and periodicals to which I or my acquaintances subscribe
6. Do you plan to use a code system for identifying the functions that material
from the literature is expected to perform”If so, describe the form that the
codes will assume, and specify the meaning of each item in your code system.
7. Do you intend to prepare a tentative outline of the likely contents of
your thesis or dissertation and the sequence in which those contents will be
presented in the final document”If so, describe the sections or chapters into
which the document will be divided, give the title of each section or chapter,
tell what it will contain (what its function will be in the overall project),
including what kind of material from the literature will be located in each
chapter (this can be shown by code numbers or letters).
8. In the following list, place an X on the line in front of each method you
intend to use for recording information that you extract from the literature:
_____Handwritten note cards
_____Handwritten notes on tablet or notebook paper
_____Entries in a computer, saved on a hard disk and/or floppy diskettes
_____Photocopied passages of publications
_____A computer attached to a scanner that is equipped with optical-character
recognition software to copy passages of printed material into a wordprocessing
program so the material can be formatted and edited