Guidelines for Writing the three major parts of the Literature

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Guidelines for Writing the three major parts of the Literature

    13. ASSIGNMENTSGuidelines for the Literature Review (Critical Analysis)

    Guidelines for Writing the three major parts of the Literature Review

    (Introduction, Literature, and Discussion) follow.


Do not begin typing until you see the level heading - An Overview and Purpose in your template.

The Guidelines are organized by LECTURES and INSTRUCTIONS.

    Lectures and related reading material are included to assist in developing each part of the Review.

    Where there is to be writing, there are specific Instructions as what is to be included under each heading.

Instructions appear in a box.

    Each instruction is numbered. Respond to ALL NUMBERED INSTRUCTIONS.

    13. ASSIGNMENTSGuidelines for the Literature Review (Critical Analysis)

    Introduction to the Literature

    Insert Your Brief Topic before the Colon: An Overview and Purpose


    Note: This section is revised with each new submission of a draft.

The introductory section should describe the topic (problem area, guiding concept, theme or

    research question or problem) that is being reviewed. Aim for an eye catching opening

    sentence”. Sometimes this is a dramatic expression of a number to catch the reader’s attention

    such as the prevalence of a disease, crime rate, school drop out rate, or sales volume. Be sure the topic is focused on the literature that will be reported. Briefly define the key concepts. Introduce these immediately. The topic should be sufficiently focused to permit an in-depth, substantial investigation, relevant to an area of advanced study/global leadership that guides a range of inquiry, results in an extensive search of scholarly literature, and generation of questions for further inquiry.

The purpose of a literature review is presented in the introduction. Bourner (1996) reports the

    following Purposes of a literature review (reasons for a review of the literature) before embarking

    on a research project. These reasons include:

    ; to identify gaps in the literature

    ; to avoid reinventing the wheel (at the very least this will save time and it can stop you from

    making the same mistakes as others)

    ; to carry on from where others have already reached (reviewing the field allows you to build on the

    platform of existing knowledge and ideas)

    ; to identify other people working in the same fields (a researcher network is a valuable resource) ; to increase your breadth of knowledge of your subject area

    ; to identify seminal works in your area

    ; to provide the intellectual context for your own work, enabling you to position your project relative

    to other work

    ; to identify opposing views

    ; to put your work into perspective

    ; to demonstrate that you can access previous work in an area

    ; to identify information and ideas that may be relevant to your project

    ; to identify methods that could be relevant to your project

    Bourner, T. (1996). The research process: Four steps to success in T. Greenfield (Ed.), Research

    methods: Guidance for postgraduates (pp. 7-11). London: Arnold. Retrieved 8-13-02 from

    Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology RMIT University

    As you attempt to define concepts (variables) and their relationships to other variables, if applicable,

    identify causal (independent) variables and effects (dependent variables). You may also identify

    other variables that can be contextual, intervening, or mediating (see Creswell, pp. 94-95 or other


    After you introduce the topic area properly (instructions follow), you will develop a succinct one-sentence

    purpose of the review. Three examples of a concluding purpose statement in the overview are:

    Example 1: The purpose of this review is to critically analyze the theoretical and empirical

    literature on web-based instruction as an instructional method in distance education, with an

    emphasis on effectiveness studies that focus on instructional effectiveness, student learning

    outcomes, retention, student perceptions of this method of course delivery, and to identify areas

    of future scholarly inquiry.

    13. ASSIGNMENTSGuidelines for the Literature Review (Critical Analysis)

    In this example, the causal variable (independent) is “instructional method of web-based

    instruction” and the effects (dependent variable) are instructional effectiveness, student

    learning outcomes, retention, and student perceptions.

    Example 2: The purpose of this critical analysis of theoretical and empirical literature is to (a) examine historical and current literature to evaluate whether gender workplace bias exists; (b) explore the impact such a bias would have on women in the workplace, specifically women moving up the corporate ladder; and, (c) identify any theoretical or empirical gaps in the literature for the purpose of suggesting future areas of scholarly inquiry.

    In this example, the causal variable (independent) is “gender bias against women in the

    workplace” and the effect (dependent variable) is mobility up the corporate ladder.

    Example 3 (Review carefully): The purpose of this critical analysis of theoretical and empirical literature is explore the influence of organizational leadership and other factors on organizational performance, in for-profit and not-for profit service organizations, and to identify areas of future scholarly inquiry.

    In this example, the causal variables (independent) are “organizational leadership” and “other

    factors”, contextual (intervening or mediating) variables are the type of organization (product

    versus service) and profit/non-profit, and the effect (dependent variable) is organizational


    Please note in developing your purpose statement, that the purpose statement begins with The

    purpose of …. and concludes with a statement related to identifying future areas of scholarly


    13. ASSIGNMENTSGuidelines for the Literature Review (Critical Analysis)

    9 Instructions: Writing An Overview and Purpose (Follow precisely)

    * Review Blackboard Forum 5. Use your information and faculty comments for strengthening, as a guide to develop your Overview and Purpose (see items #1-9 below).

    *Draft 1 is due Week 3. Review Forum 6. You will get a great start if you develop this well. 1. Using the template:

    a. Develop a preliminary title for the Review and include on the title page. The title should

    include the main concepts and themes (and/or key theories) for this review. Remember

    this is a critical analysis of the literature NOT a research study!!!! In no area of this

    paper, should you refer to this Review of Literature as a research study!!!!!!

    b. For the Introduction to the Literature, insert a brief subtitle preceding the colon for the

    level heading: ___: Overview and Purpose.

    2. Under the Overview and Purpose, introduce the paper with an “eye catchingopening

    sentence for the first paragraph.

3. After the “eye catching” opening sentence, briefly describe the topic (problem area, guiding

    concept, theme). Get to the point don’t let the reader guess what the review is about --a few


4. Next include brief definitions of each of the major concepts and cite references for these

    definitions in appropriate APA format. BE BRIEF this is not the literature but an

    introduction to it! Anything you present in the introduction is developed in depth in the

    Review of the Literature.

5. Next, very briefly, attempt to identify how the literature explains these variables and their

    relationships to other variables. Include as many as possible variables because this will help in

    constructing a literature map. The map will show relationships between the variables as you

    describe here. Begin with the following:

    The causal variables (independent are) …

    The effects (dependent/outcome variables are…

    Contextual (intervening or mediating) variables that further impact the dependent or

    outcome variables are ….

    6. Discuss how the topic area was identified and your reasons (point of view) for selecting the topic

    area to conduct your critical analysis of the literature. Review the Guidelines: How to Start -

    Select a Topic and Overview and Purpose, including purposes identified by Bourner (1996).

    Begin with the following:

    The topic area of ____ was selected because___.

    7. Explain what you want to know about the topic. Review Hart, 1999, p. 14 (Questions the Review

    Can Answer). Begin with the following:

    Some questions to be answered through this critical analysis of the literature are:……

    8. Answer the following: Is the topic about the problems in a discipline or field of study, the

    processes in a discipline or field of study, or the practices in a discipline or field of study?

    Processes can refer to various epistemologic processes to develop knowledge (also See Hart,

    1999, p. 14). Introduce this clearly so the reader knows what you are speaking about. Begin with

    the following:

    The problem area of … is about……

    9. Conclude the Overview and Purpose with a clearly formulated statement of purpose of the

    literature review. Use the examples in the guidelines, as a guide to develop this. Make this clear

    (see examples in the previous lecture note). Begin with the following and include the ending

    The purpose of this ……………………….., and to identify areas of future scholarly inquiry.