Decisions need to be made about where to focus your reading, and where you can refer briefly to an area but explain why you will not be going into it in more detail. As you review the references, remember to be a critical reader see Study Guide What is critical reading? You can add other questions of your own to focus the search, for example:
What time period am I interested in? An important aspect of your thesis and your viva, is that you can show how your research fits with other research. These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself. buy cheap research paper values Often hand searching of journals will reveal ideas about focus, research questions, methods, techniques, or interpretations that had not occurred to you.
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So, despite having access to electronic databases and to electronic searching techniques, it can be surprisingly useful to have a pile of journals actually on your desk, and to look through the contents pages, and the individual articles. It needs to reach the logical conclusion that your research is a good idea. Health Services Writing Centre: The table format can make the comparisons easier to understand than if they were listed within the text. To avoid printing out or photocopying a lot of material that you will not ultimately read, you can use the abstracts of articles to check their relevance before you obtain full copies.
To help you do this, you will need to establish a structure to work to. Check out whether there is an important reason why the research has not been done, which would make it sensible for you to choose a different focus. Often, the literature review will end with a statement of the research question s. It is often not until you start explaining something in writing that you find where your argument is weak, and you need to collect more evidence. What is critical writing?
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Take our essay writing tour. The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill. top law dissertation topics If there is a key article or book that is of major importance to the development of your own research ideas, it is important to give extra space to describing and critiquing that piece of literature in more depth.
If you can find a few really useful sources, it can be a good idea to check through their reference lists to see the range of sources that they referred to. Almost all academic writing will need a reference list. best writing paper airplane design That probably confirms that it was a good question to ask! For example, you could use a table to display the key differences between two or more:. Once you have a first draft of your literature review it is possible for you to assess how well you have achieved your aims.
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Check out whether there is an important reason why the research has not been done, which would make it sensible for you to choose a different focus. Once you have established your structure you need to outline it for your reader. Guidance will be available via your own department or school and via the relevant Information Librarian. This applies especially to people doing PhDs on a part-time basis, where their research might extend over six or more years. The thread running through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing.
This will be just as important when there is limited existing research in your area, as when there is an abundance. The reader needs to be able to follow up any source you have referred to. Related Study Guides are: There may be specific guidance on structure within your department, or you may need to devise your own. Almost all academic writing will need a reference list.