Tag Archives: literature review

literature know-how – beware too much naming, not enough framing

You’re in the middle of working with literature. You find that you have to bring several texts together and compare them. Why? Well, you might be trying to establish points of difference and similarity between several papers. Or maybe you … Continue reading

Posted in list, literature review, literature reviews, paragraph, too much naming, topic sentence | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

I can’t find anything written on my topic… really?

Sometimes people tell me that they can’t find any literature that is relevant to their research. They are doing something that nobody else has researched and written about and so there isn’t anything to read. What, they ask, can they … Continue reading

Posted in focusing in, literature mapping, literature review, no literatures | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

all that reading? think of it as tracing your family tree

When you start on a PhD, or indeed on any new research project, there’s always a lot of reading to be done. It’s easy to lose track of what this reading is for and to forget why engaging with all … Continue reading

Posted in family tree, George Patton, literature review, metaphor, reading | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

thesis know-how – don’t write an essay

Examiners do not want to read a thesis that contains a lot of mini-essays. To understand the problem with the thesis-as-essay, imagine the examiner reading a methods chapter. It starts off badly. While not in these words, the writer basically says … Continue reading

Posted in essay, examiner, expert, literature review, methods chapter, thesis | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

a questions approach to the literature review

There are various ways to approach literature reviewing. The most common is to start by scoping the field. (See the post on Inger and my blogging paper for an example of what scoping looks like.) Once you’ve scoped, you then … Continue reading

Posted in literature review, literature themes, questions | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

literature reviews – beware The List

One of the most common problems in thesis literature reviews is The List. This is when the doctoral researcher produces a chapter which is basically just a summary of various texts. The reader gets “So and so said this… so … Continue reading

Posted in literature reviews, summarising, The List | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

the literature review – how old are the sources?

I recently had an email from a colleague asking me what I would do if I was examining a thesis and the vast majority of the literatures were over ten years old. Would this be a problem? What would I … Continue reading

Posted in contribution, literature review, location | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments