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What are YOU Looking at?

Reviewing and analysing literature for research

Anthony Liversidge

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of What are YOU Looking at?

Undertaking a literature review and analysis
What are YOU looking at?
Connect: Settling Activity, Starter Activity and Session Learning Outcomes
Sources of Literature
Dealing with Sources
Keeping Records
Activate: What is a Literature Review?
Consolidate: Plenary, Homework and Before You Go...
Entry song: Didi - What you lookin' at?
Exit song: Ron Moody - Reviewing the situation (from Oliver)
From which source do you think the following has come?
A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge and or methodological approaches on a particular topic. Literature reviews are secondary sources, and as such, do not report any new or original experimental work.
Most often associated with academic-oriented literature, such as theses, a literature review usually precedes a research proposal and results section. Its ultimate goal is to bring the reader up to date with current literature on a topic and forms the basis for another goal, such as future research that may be needed in the area.
A well-structured literature review is characterized by a logical flow of ideas; current and relevant references with consistent, appropriate referencing style; proper use of terminology; and an unbiased and comprehensive view of the previous research on the topic.
Further reading
Cooper, H. (1998). Synthesizing Research: A Guide for Literature Reviews.
Hart, C. (2001) Doing a Literature Search. A Comprehensive Guide for the Social Sciences. London: Sage. ISBN 0761968091
Settling activity
The source is….WIKIPEDIA!
However, what is the caveat when using this source (and others such as Google) to search for research literature?
Settling activity
Write down 3 things to be aware of when reading and considering the merits and quality of a research article, chapter from a book, report, internet document etc.
Pass to a partner, who, if asked, will read one of the aspects out to the class
Starter activity: Reader Beware!
Perhaps you identified the following:
Lack of reference to published literature
Bias (in argument presented or references used)
Unsubstantiated comments (no literature ‘back up’)
Broad generalisations
Personal opinions expressed as well known ‘fact’
Small sample
Reliability and/or validity of research methods and conclusions
Unusual cases
Starter activity: Reader Beware!
You will know what a literature review is and the purpose it serves
You will have a good idea of the strategies used to search for and retrieve relevant literature
You will be aware of the strengths and limitations of different sources of information
You will have looked at some approaches to assessing educational research and have considered ways to deal with your attitudes to it
Learning outcomes of the session
‘The selection of all available documents (both published and unpublished) on the topic, which contain information, ideas, data and evidence written from a particular standpoint to fulfil certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research being proposed’
This quote can be found in David, M. and Sutton, C.D. (2011) Social Research - An Introduction, 2nd Edition, London, Sage, on p54/55, but is taken from p13 of Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, London, Sage.
What is a literature review?
‘It is unlikely that you will choose to study a topic that has never been written about before and so it is important for you to engage with the field’ (Sharp, 2009 p27)
According to Sharp the functions of a literature review are:
To let the reader know how your chosen topic fits in with what has been done previously (including sometimes the literature about how you intend to do your study)
It demonstrates your familiarity with key aspects of the field surrounding your topic
It gives you the opportunity to identify any gaps or flaws in existing work
What is the function of a literature review?
Weaver, P . 2004 “Success in your project”
The Literature Review Process
Paragraphs four and five from p54 of the extract from Robson’s book give some excellent advice about your review. Can you spot what the key piece of advice is?
Advice from Robson about the literature review

Having decided which sources are appropriate for your study, she writes that obtaining these sources is a three-stage process but bear in mind these can ‘blend’ together:
Resource discovery
Resource location
Resource access
Sources of information
Rumsey advises having a research strategy. Figure 6.5 shows one way (spider diagram) of noting down key words and phrases associated with a topic
Robson (p55) also gives advice about developing a set of key words to help you organize your search
These can be used to search book and journal indexes (hard copies) or library catalogues, online databases and the www
But how do you know what you are looking for?
Don’t forget that there are libraries beyond Edge Hill! Your local public library or a local university/college library might have relevant sources, but be aware that you might not be able to borrow from them - however you can photocopy (likewise for printed materials from Edge Hill’s library)
Robson (p55) likes browsing the shelves!
Rumsey notes that a librarian can be an expert source of help
Sharp advises that a library (Edge Hill in your case) can get material for you via inter-library loan
Using libraries
Accessed online as you know!
Search through it using the key words that you have noted down
This will probably generate a range of books (some might be ebooks), journals and articles, newspaper and magazine articles for you to follow-up
Edge Hill Library Catalogue
There is plenty of information from Robson, Sharp and Rumsey on how to do this on Blackboard. You need to actively read this for ‘homework’
You will be accessing abstracts, indexes, databases and from these possibly full text articles
Online searching
See the document ‘Example search from Education Research Complete database’ on Blackboard
This shows the 3 results of searching for ‘assessment for learning and science’ in English full-text academic journals published between Jan 2005 and Jan 2012
An illustrative search…
Using a search engine such as Google, Google Scholar, Yahoo, Ask, altavista can potentially give a number of relevant ‘hits’
Wikipaedia might also be useful…
However, take care…
Using the WWW for sources
Once you have located some relevant sources e.g. books, journal articles, internet papers etc. you already have some ‘leads’ to possible further useful sources!
Just look at the references section at the back of a book or the bibliography/references at the end of articles and papers and track down ones that appear relevant
Using bibliographies and references
On p63 of the Robson extract he gives advice about reading and note-making strategies. Sharp gives his advice on p34-6 of the extract from his book (on Blackboard)
Also, Robson (p62) discusses a ‘three pile’ approach - key, useful and useless sources. This might be a strategy that you could adopt
Dealing with sources
My advice would be:
Scan/skim the paper first to decide whether it is relevant to your research field (or only has a passing mention)
Have some questions in mind when you read it – to find the answers
Search for particular information related to the themes of your research
Reading strategies
Killer Questions to ask?

What ideas, techniques & quotations can you gain from the article?
Is the author clearly identified & is she/he well recognized in her/his field?
Can the article make a meaningful contribution to you project?
How important is the article within the field?
Is it up to date?
Does the article add anything new to your research?
Is it well researched, referenced and logically presented?
Is is based on fact, logical reasoning or speculation/opinion?
Are the conclusion consistent with the facts and arguments
Is it biased or unbalanced?
Evaluation of literature
Don’t worry – it’s o.k. to disagree with published material – perhaps a lot of other people will as well – just because it has been published doesn’t make it true!
These papers are still valid elements of your literature review, particularly if they are directly related to your research field.
My advice would be to note down your criticisms and counter-arguments on your ‘Article Analysis’ sheets. These might help you to search the literature for other authors’ support for your point of view.
But I don’t agree!
In the next 15 minutes, actively read the paper from SSR 80 (292) ‘What’s not fair with investigations?’ and answer the following questions:
Demonstrate:Looking at a research article
What is the paper about?

The imbalance in the types of investigation done in school
Looking at a research article
All authors writing about research methods advise keeping accurate records of your searches
My advice is to keep a written note of the key word searches that you have done so that you don’t do the same search twice
Also, and VERY IMPORTANTLY, keep a full bibliographic reference of anything you have located or accessed and used (use the Literature Record proforma from Blackboard)
If you are confident with bibliographic software such as RefWorks or EndNote you can use these for this purpose
Keeping accurate records and referencing
Peter Mark and Lee L. Williams A theoretical Framework for Participatory
Evaluation Research
Sociological Practice: A Journal of Clinical And Applied Research Vol 1, No.2,
Participatory evaluation research
Community involvement
Action Research
Showed that participatory evaluation research is very much at the heart of the
community and the involvement of the researcher is a participatory in the
program or project carried out.
Recording your Literature
Proper referencing is an important convention of academic research work
Proper referencing of literature
Barmby, P. Kind, P, Jones, K. (2008) ‘Examining changing attitudes in secondary school science’ International Journal of Science. Vol 30, No 8. 1075-1093.
Bell, D. (2008) ‘Engaging teachers, engaging pupils, engaging science: are we learning our lessons?’ School Science Review. 90 (330).
Bell, J. (1997) Doing your Research Project. 2nd Edition, Berkshire, OU Press.
Denscombe, M. (2003) The Good Research Guide. 2nd Edition, Berkshire, OU Press.
Dewitt, J. Osborne, J. (2008) ‘Engaging Students with science: in their own words’ School Science Review. 90(331).
Hogarth, S. Bennett, J. (2008) Annual survey of year 9 students’ attitudes to science. York:Centre for Innovation and Research in Science Education.
Jenkins, E. Nelson, N. (2005) ‘Important but not for me: students’ attitudes towards secondary school science in England’ Research in Science and Technology Education. Vol 23, 1, p41-57.
Liversidge, T. Cochrane, M. Kerfoot, B. Thomas, J. (2009) Teaching Science. Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher. London: Sage Publications
Murray, I. Reiss, M. (2005) ‘The student review of the science curriculum’ School Science Review. 87(318).
Osborne, J. Collins, S. (2001) Pupils’ views of the role and value of the science curriculum: a focus study. International Journal of Science Education. Vol 23, 5, 441-467.
Osborne, J. Driver, R. Simon, S. (1998) ‘Attitudes to science: Issues and concerns’ School Science Review. 79(288).
POST (2005) Public Attitudes to Science. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/pn069.pdf [accessed 01/07/10].
Sharp, J. (2009) Success with your Education Research Project. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.

An example of a bibliography…
Draw a pyramid with three levels. At each level write one thing that you have learned from the session, but as you go up the levels to the apex of the pyramid, make what you write increasingly important in your opinion.
Be prepared to share your statements with the rest of the class
Plenary - Plenary Pyramid
Go to Blackboard and use the proforma entitled ‘Literature Record’ to record the details of THREE research papers related to your research topic.
Then use the proforma entitled ‘Article Analysis’ to analyse ONE of these articles
Homework Portfolio Tasks
Does pushing a lift button more than once make it arrive faster?
Why are half the pupils in every class below average for that class?
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn’t he just buy dinner?
If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?
All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand…
Is it o.k. to use an AM radio in the afternoon?
How do you know when you have run out of invisible ink?
Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Why is bra singular and knickers plural?
If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?
Before you go…some potential research questions?
Yes, it is the reliability of the source – it’s easy for a ‘nutter’ to put their stuff out there!
Yes – less is sometimes more! There is often greater value in homing in on a smaller number of key references than trying to ‘stuff’ your report with hundreds and thus your literature review just becomes a ‘list’
Rumsey (2008) p24 lists the following: book chapters, journal articles, newspapers and magazines, websites, government publications, theses, conference proceedings, AV materials
What sources might you use?
My tip is to access the ‘Education Research Complete’ database via Edge Hill’s library catalogue as a portal to give access to hundreds of different journals
Also, look at the handout for David and Sutton’s advice on using ‘Boolean’ searching
What is the paper about? What research methods were used? What do the authors do to engage the reader? What are the key findings of the research? Which finding most interests you? Do you agree with their conclusion – do these questions need to be addressed?
What research methods were used?

Focus groups and questionnaire
What do the authors do to engage the reader?

A ‘catchy’ opening and they use actual examples/data from schools
What are the key findings of the research?
There is an over-emphasis on fair testing
Which finding most interests you?
16% of fair testing experiments at KS3 are solubility ones
Do you agree with their conclusion – do these questions need to be addressed?
Yes – personal experience; reliable data; largish sample
No – not sure about categories of investigations; dated
Write down THREE things that you notice about how it is structured
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