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Literature Reviews

Tips on writing a literature review

Organizing the Review

There are numerous ways to organize the material in a literature review. For example, one might organize the selected readings by

  • different theoretical approaches
  • specific concepts or issues
  • different methodologies employed
  • level of support or otherwise that they lend to one’s own hypothesis/theory.

These methods are generally better than organizing chronologically or by author.

When categorizing the writings in the review, you (the researcher) might consider

  • the methodology employed;
  • the quality of the findings or conclusions;
  • the document’s major strengths and weaknesses;
  • any other pivotal information.

Consider such questions as:

  • what beliefs are expressed?
  • Is there an ideological stance?
  • What is being described? Is it comprehensive or narrow?
  • Are the results generalize?

Remember that you are relating other studies to your study. How do the studies in your lit. review relate to your thesis? How are the other studies related to each other?

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