Thursday,February 4,2016

Writing a Literature Review: Six Steps to Get You from Start to Finish

作为一个生命,PhD is approaching two million (!!页视图,I am pulling out some of the"Greatest hits"从档案馆。The post below is the most read post of all time on this blog,with over 125,000种观点。I often share this post with my students as they embark on their first literature reviews.And,我们每年都在我的研究生写作和出版课上读福斯和沃尔特斯的书。

Writing a literature review is often the most daunting part of writing an article,book,thesis,or dissertation."The literature"看起来(而且经常是)很大。我发现尽可能系统地完成这项庞大的任务是有帮助的。This post describes one system for writing a literature review.

In their book,, 目的地论文:完成论文的旅行指南 ,Sonja Foss and William Walters describe a highly efficient way of writing a literature review.I think it provides an excellent guide for getting through the massive amounts of literature for any purpose: in a doctorate program,写硕士论文。thesis,或任何研究领域的文章。

Academic Book Stack

Step One: Decide on your areas of research

Before you begin to search for articles or books,decide beforehand what areas you are going to research.确保你只在那些地区得到文章和书籍,即使你在其他领域遇到了引人入胜的书。

Step Two: Search for the literature:

Conduct a comprehensive bibliographic search of books and articles in your area.Read the abstracts online and download and/or print those articles that pertain to your area of research.Find books in the library that are relevant and check them out.Set a specific time frame for how long you will search.It should not take more than two or three dedicated time sessions.

Step Three: Find relevant excerpts in your books and articles:


  1. Claims,conclusions,and findings about the constructs you are investigating
  2. 术语定义
  3. 要求进行与项目相关的后续研究
  4. Gaps you notice in the literature
  5. 对你正在调查的结构存在分歧

When you find any of these five things,直接在Word文档中键入相关摘录。Don't summarize,因为总结比简单地输入摘录要花更长的时间。一定要记下作者的名字和每篇摘录后面的页码。对你的文学作品中的每一篇文章和每一本书都要这样做。When you are done,print out your excerpts.

Step Four: Code the literature

拿出一把剪刀,剪下每一段。Now,sort the pieces of paper into similar topics.Figure out what the main themes.把每一个节选放在一个主题堆里。Make sure each note goes into a pile.如果有一些摘录你不知道它们属于哪里,separate those and go over them again at the end to see if you need new categories.When you finish,将每一组笔记放入标有主题名称的信封中。

Step Five: Create Your Conceptual Schema

类型,大字体,每个编码主题的名称。Print this out,把标题剪成单张纸。把这些纸条放在桌子上或大的工作空间,找出组织它们的最佳方法。有什么想法是一致的还是相互对话的?有相互矛盾的想法吗?Move around the slips of paper until you come up with a way of organizing the codes that makes sense.bepaly安卓客户端Write the conceptual schema down before you forget or someone cleans up your slips of paper!!

Step Six: Begin to bepaly安卓客户端Write Your Literature Review

选择概念架构的任何部分作为开始。You can begin anywhere,because you already know the order.Find the envelope with the excerpts in them and lay them on the table in front of you.根据这个主题,通过将那些说同样话的摘录分组,找出一个小型的概念模式。使用这个小的概念模式,根据你面前的摘录写下你的文献回顾。bepaly安卓客户端Don't forget to include the citations as you bepaly安卓客户端write,以免忘记谁说了什么。对你的文献回顾的每一部分重复这一点。

一旦你完成这六个步骤,you will have a complete draft of your literature review.这个过程的伟大之处在于,它可以分解为可管理的步骤,看起来是巨大的:写一篇文献综述。

I think that Foss and Walter's system for writing the literature review really can work for a dissertation,因为博士candidate has already read widely in his or her field through graduate seminars and comprehensive exams.

对M.A.来说,这可能更具挑战性。学生,除非你已经熟悉这些文献。It is always hard to figure out how much you need to read for deep meaning,你只需要知道别人说了什么。That balance will depend on how much you already know.

对于为文章或书籍撰写文献评论的教师,this system also could work,especially when you are writing in a field with which you are already familiar.仅仅拥有一个系统的事实就可以使文学评论看起来不那么令人生畏,so I recommend this system for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a literature review.

附言:一个地方刚刚在创意联系撤退.Apply soon if you are interested.