... without knowing that I was about to write a lit review, as a (foreign) grad student in musicology (Univ of Illinois) in the 70s, I tried to answer in writing:
Sheri and Charles,
In one sense, there is a “best way” but it won’t be the kind of step-by-step approach that seems to be desired.
- Consider a set of documents that discuss one or more themes on the subject of the review
- You can model the documents as a matrix — each row is a document, each column is a topic potentially discussed by that document (this is not unlike a document/term matrix).
- An annotated bibliography would “write across the rows” -- dealing with each document in turn. This is a way to write a very bad lit review
- A better lit review would be to “write down the columns” -- taking up each theme in turn and discussing it with reference to the documents.
There is no single "best" way of doing a literature review. Much depends on the aim, scope and length of the research study being reported. Also, different literature reviews have different purposes. If you want a recipe, I suggest you consult a cookbook. Then, again, there is no single best recipe for any dish or food offering, except, of course, my wife's. You write, "I wanted one that’s been tested among our group." I wonder, just who are the members of your group?
Charles R. Hildreth, Ph.D.
146 Marks Avenue
Lancaster, Ohio 43130
From: Sheri A. Massey <[log in to unmask]" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 2:59 PM
Subject: Literature Review Text
I am looking for a book or manual that walks a person through the steps of doing a literature review— very detailed, replicable steps. There are many lit review books available, but I wanted one that’s been tested among our group. Also, I am not looking for a complete guide to research, just something on literature reviews.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Sheri Anita Massey, Ph.D.
College of Information Studies
4117L Hornbake Library, South Wing
University of Maryland
O: (301) 405-4580
F: (301) 314-9145
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