What is a Literature Review?
A research question is the question around which you center your research. It should be:. The question you ask should be developed for the discipline you are studying. A question appropriate for Biology, for instance, is different from an appropriate one in Political Science or Sociology. If you are developing your question for a course other than first-year composition, you may want to discuss your ideas for a research question with your professor. Why is a research question essential to the research process?
- Ask yourself questions like these:.
- computer science dissertation.
- writing thesis introduction.
- apa style thesis table of contents.
- Literature reviews - Example 1 - Student Services - The University of Queensland, Australia;
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It | Writing Advice?
- What is a Literature Review?.
Research questions help writers focus their research by providing a path through the research and writing process. Unclear: How should social networking sites address the harm they cause? The clearer version specifies sites MySpace and Facebook , the type of potential harm privacy issues , and who may be experiencing that harm users.
A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation. Unfocused: What is the effect on the environment from global warming? Focused: What is the most significant effect of glacial melting on the lives of penguins in Antarctica? The focused version narrows down to a specific effect of global warming glacial melting , a specific place Antarctica , and a specific animal that is affected penguins.
It also requires the writer to take a stance on which effect has the greatest impact on the affected animal. When in doubt, make a research question as narrow and focused as possible. Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U. The simple version of this question can be looked up online and answered in a few factual sentences; it leaves no room for analysis. The more complex version is written in two parts; it is thought provoking and requires both significant investigation and evaluation from the writer.
Hours and Locations. The simplest of questions makes several assumptions, some mundane and some critical. If any of the assumptions that underlie a question are implausible, the validity of the question is in doubt. Being unaware of assumptions can sometimes mean that researchers are trying to answer questions that have no meaningful answers.
What is a literature review?
Since we have to accept assumptions on faith, they are always open to doubt, and so is everything that is based on them. But you can reduce the chances that others will dismiss your question before your research is able to make an impact. The way to do this is to identify the assumptions in your question and, with the aid of the literature, argue that these assumptions are currently accepted by the intended audience, or at the very least defensible. Not all assumptions need to be argued — only those that are open to argument according to the audience you are writing for.
Most research questions make several inter-related assumptions that need to be argued. These arguments need to be made in a logical sequence so that by the time the last argument is reached, the audience is convinced of the validity of the question. A good literature review will result in a series of logically connected arguments that support the research question.
The need to make arguments in relation to the literature, not just review existing literature, results in a different approach to writing.
Systematic Literature Reviews for Education
You start by looking for connections between ideas and making ideas and authors talk to each other. The talking points are arranged sequentially until they lead to the point where the question is accepted as defensible or non-problematic by the audience.
Given that assumptions are open to doubt, the author will not merely produce a list-like literature review, but will draw in other authors as needed to argue with each other until each assumption is settled. The result is more coherent and more critical writing. In the rest of this series I will present a technique for writing better literature reviews based on this understanding. It involves firstly generating the content of the literature review Part 2 , connecting and structuring this content Part 3 , and then deriving a writing plan Part 4 that should lead to a coherent and critical literature review.
A word of caution from my own experience: while this technique may appear easy, it requires a lot of judgement, the kind of judgement that is only possible if one is already familiar with the literature. Using the technique before having read the literature can lead to confused writing and dubious arguments. February 23, at pm. Reblogged this on Phambichha's Blog and commented: This useful advice to start and to do a literature review.
February 24, at am. Hi, Arnold, and many thanks for this. The critique of reviewed literature is an area that is far too neglected. For that reason alone, outlining fundamental approaches to completing one effectively, as your series proposes to do, is beneficial. But I have a question for you, which you may well address in future installments and the question is this:.dehotajuvu.ga
How to Write a Research Question | Guides
He proposes that you identify what others have done, and what has yet to be done, and then as a researcher, you can colonise and occupy that hitherto uninhabited research space. But equally, at other times, we encourage our interrogation of literature to bubble up confessions, we distill insights from it.
February 24, at pm. Hello Jens, yes that is another use of literature that is neglected — of using it to generate a research question. I have done quite a lot of work on that in fact it was my PhD so once I have some time to shorten it, I should be able to post something.
February 25, at am. That makes at least two of us who did that. That way, the scene and the arguments were set as well as the emergent research questions and finally, a little bit of reflexivity was inserted alongside of a brief outline of what was to come. That was a rare approach to use at that time and in many respects, it would still not be the norm.
- Using mind maps.
- Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses;
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- This article is a part of the guide:.
- What is a review of the literature?.
To a certain extent, I think that the ways in which these matters evolve are partially a function of the topic being investigated, the temperament and academic disposition courage or foolhardiness of the candidate, and the conventions espoused by supervisors. I also observe, perhaps incorrectly, that a masterate is more likely to have a conventionally named chapter two which is called Literature Review or something approximating that. Inexpereinced said:. One of the best ways to see good examples is to read a few recent theses in your area — many university libraries have electronic copies publicly available.
Inexperienced said:. February 29, at am.