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Literature Review Boot camp

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Seth Porter

on 24 January 2017

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Transcript of Literature Review Boot camp

Literature Review Boot camp
Outline & Learning Outcomes
Identify Resources to Analyze
• Briefly familiarize yourself with Georgia Institute of Technology Databases.
• Do a quick search using subject specific databases and Google Scholar.
Web of Science lets you chase forward & backward
o Identify the top databases in your field.
o Sign up for RSS feeds for your chosen Keywords.
• Refine Search as necessary.
• Save references found.
• Search Tips:
o Chase footnotes.
o Analyze citation count.
o Look for seminal or landmark study and chase forward.

Identify Literature to Review
Analyze & Summarize
Students will be able to describe the process for accessing and identifying seminal literature in their discipline.

Students will be able to list the steps for analyzing seminal literature in their discipline.

Students will design a table or concept map to organize literature.

Students will be able to compile resources into a outline and literature synthesis.

Students will be able to apply skills to their own thesis/dissertation

1. Hypothesis/Topic

2. Create Concept Map

3. Identify Resources to analyze

4. Identify Literature to Review

5. Analyze and summarize

7. Synthesize/Outline

8. Write

"A literature review is not an annotated bibliography in which you summarize briefly each article that you have reviewed. While a summary of the what you have read is contained within the literature review, it goes well beyond merely summarizing professional literature. It focuses on a specific topic of interest to you and includes a critical analysis of the relationship among different works, and relating this research to your work. It may be written as a stand-alone paper or to provide a theoretical framework and rationale for a research study (such as a thesis or dissertation)." Galvan (2006)
Organization, connection to your thesis, bridges between past research and your research, relevant information to embed your work in.
Address counter arguments and limitations in validity.
What is a Literature Review?
For today choose a topic to research. It will help your final project/thesis/dissertation if you choose something similar to your research agenda.

Take five minutes to choose your topic, write out a rough thesis, and identify key ideas within your topic.

Create Concept Map
Galvan (2006) recommends building tables as a key way to help you overview, organize, and summarize your findings, and suggests that including one or more of the tables that you create may be helpful in your literature review. If you do include tables as part of your review each must be accompanied by an analysis that summarizes, interprets and synthesizes the literature that you have charted in the table.

Open Excel or Google Sheets:

Create an outline that has the following Metrics:
Date Published
Research Methods
Definition of Key Terms and Concepts
Personal Interpretation
Significant Quote’s (Include Page Number

Open folder and access Template.
Continue searching subject specific resources for relevant articles.

As you identify relevant articles save references and list meta data in concept map
Group into topics and sub-topics on your concept map.

Take five minutes choose an article and summarize in your concept map
Begin reading articles identified.
Chase footnotes forward and backward. Record meta data and required concept map information.

Summarize and complete concept map.

Identify gaps in the research & current literature.

Identify relationships among studies.

Create evaluation framework for literature.
Tag articles that are eligible for use.
Create tags on potential seminal or important articles within the concept map and articles
that are evaluated.
1. Create an outline of your literature review. Take the time to organize the literature that is crucial to understand.

2. Analyze concept map and tag studies to be used in your final literature review.

3. Tag literature that is essential for every topic, and sub-topic analyzed in the relevant spot in the outline.

4. Create framework to synthesize relevant literature, describe seminal studies, present conclusions, identify gaps or controversy in the literature, and formulate questions for further research.

1. Identify the broad problem area, but avoid global statements

2. Early in the review, indicate why the topic being reviewed is important

3. Distinguish between research finding and other sources of information

4. Indicate why certain studies are important

5. If you are commenting on the timeliness of a topic, be specific in describing the time frame

6. If citing a classic or landmark study, identify it as such

7. If a landmark study was replicated, mention that and indicate the results of the replication

8. Discuss other literature reviews on your topic

9. Refer the reader to other reviews on issues that you will not be discussing in details

10. Justify comments such as, "no studies were found."

11. Avoid long lists of nonspecific references

12. If the results of previous studies are inconsistent or widely varying, cite them separately

13. Cite all relevant references in the review section of thesis, dissertation, or journal articles.(Galvan, 2006: 81-90)

Seth M. Porter

Co-Coordinator of Library Instruction

Social Sciences Librarian

Georgia Institute of Technology


Galvan, J. (2006). Writing literature reviews: a guide for students of the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

Combine concept map with citation management system, e.g., Zotero, or Endnote.
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