The primary purpose for completing a thorough literature review as part of a research study is to:
become an expert in your area of interest.
provide evidence that your hypothesis is correct.
help you interpret your own findings.
point you toward the proper method to use.
Jane wants to search for information about the variety of attention disorders that are seen in childhood. Which of the following sets of keywords would best get Jane started on an effective and efficient search?
“ADHD,” “ADD,” and “children”
“disorders” and “children”
“attention disorders” and “children”
A well-structured literature review:
contains highly detailed descriptions of each work chosen for inclusion in the review.
begins with those studies most closely related to the research problem, then opens up to a broader perspective.
begins with broad/general information, then narrows the focus to those studies most closely related to the research problem.
contains general summaries of each work chosen for inclusion in the review.
The review of the literature can be curtailed when:
you are no longer encountering new ideas or information.
all of the work done by top researchers in the area has been reviewed.
all published work related to a topic has been reviewed.
two to four weeks have been devoted to the search.
A well-written literature review:
avoids evaluation or critique of the literature reviewed, so as not to bias the opinion of the reader.
emphasizes critique and synthesis of the work of others that is related to your own research problem.
avoids summarizing the work of others so that details of the original work are not lost in the reviewing process.
emphasizes detailed reporting of each piece of research included in the literature review.
Typically, the literature review should:
include few or no works more than five years old to avoid having the work become prematurely obsolete.
be limited to work coming out of the very best labs and universities in the country.
give a broad overview of the area, without getting bogged down in the details of particular studies or theoretical perspectives.
emphasize how the studies being reviewed are related to the research problem under consideration.
While reading articles published in refereed journals about her research topic, Georgia repeatedly comes across references to a series of studies by one particular researcher. She’s unable to find those references in the collections of her university library. Her best plan of action would be to:
Summarize the research, noting the references were “cited by” the articles she did read.
Include the references in her reference list but not cite them in the text.
put in a request through the library loan program.
Search the Internet for copies that may have been posted.
Shar has read only about 20 refereed articles that relate to her primary research topic, but she’s finding that they tend to focus on the same basic patterns and arguments. Her best plan of action at this point is to:
stop reading; it’s time to bring the literature review to a close.
reconsider her search terms and look more broadly for additional research articles.
search for non-refereed articles that may contain useful information.
email the authors of the articles she’s found and ask for additional sources.
The best way to organize a review of the literature is:
Chronologically, with the earliest research first.
Chronologically, with the most recent research first.
Thematically, with an emphasis on how the literature relates to your question.
Critically, identifying flaws in previous studies that make your question relevant.
While reading and taking notes on research in her area of interest, Dana wrote down quotations from each article, along with the page numbers. As she begins to synthesize the information and write her literature review, her best strategy is to:
include the quotations and their sources to ensure she’s correctly representing the previous findings.
paraphrase the quotations to demonstrate she understands the content. If it’s paraphrased, she does not need citations.
use key quotations, with full references, and then explain what they mean in the context of her research.
summarize the main points in her own words and include the relevant citations to the original work.
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