Strategies to make your Literature Review [ing] a breeze (1)

  • “The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one that makes you think.” – Happer Lee

    Literature review is often considered by researchers to be one of the toughest aspects of paper writing. Literature review begins with searching for and finding of relevant papers to cite in support of the thesis of the paper and includes reading up the identified supporting literature and citing them correctly by critically analyzing, evaluating and referencing the citations correctly. It is important to find the gap your study will fill as you engage in literature search.

    Some of the difficulties associated with literature review include – how to find the right (quantity) of supporting literature, how to read the avalanche of relevant literature and how to know when to stop and avoid going down the “rabbit hole” of literature review. The following strategies will provide some solutions to manage these common difficulties of writing up the literature of the study.

    A preliminary literature search/reading or literature survey: This would be useful prior to concept mapping if the researcher is not really familiar with the area of research. This helps with narrowing down the topic, offering some clarity and identifying the gap – which should indeed be the focus.

    Concept mapping: A concept map is a visual representation showing how the different concepts or ideas in the chosen topic relate. It starts with the broader topic being investigated and branches out into other ideas. It is interested in both the existing knowledge and the gap in knowledge – this requires brainstorming and outlining. An outline is a drawn-out breakdown of identified concepts. Thus, an outline can be incorporated in the map or be prepared independently based on the concepts in the map.  Mind mapping tools like MindMeister, MindMup or Bubbl.us come in handy at this point. Creative effort on word or the good ol’ paper and pen may be used to create a usable concept map as well.

    Mapping the literature: Mapping the literature is a useful process in identifying the best -fit publications or literature to review for the study. According to Dr. Raul -Vega Pacheco It involves citation tracking, concept saturation and mind mapping of the results (Read about these techniques in detail at Pacheco’s ...

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