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The literature review

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 2 months ago



“If I have seen further than others, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)

There's the Literature Review and then there's the literature review.  

The literature review (small l, small r) in action research is a process that should not be confined to the gathering of information that will provide an

introduction to the research project.  Rather, the literature review should inform all stages of the research process. As your reading continues

throughout the project and new perspectives on your area of research are offered, you may consider redirecting your research and the manner in

which it is conducted.


The Literature Review (capital L, capital R),  is a product of the literature review process and forms part of the final written research report. Within

this report the Literature Review provides a context for the research, giving it a foundation and validation. 


The role of reviewing the literature is to:


·highlight an issue that needs addressing or suggest an enhancement to current practice; 

·locate the issue/ enhancement  in an educational context;
·indicate what has already been done, not done, or that which is debatable; provide a focus for the research question;
·bring together the range of perspectives on the issue/ enhancement;
·combine pieces of disparate knowledge to form a solid basis for action;
·propose possible strategies that might be employed to address the issue/ enhancement;
·suggest appropriate methods of data collection; and provide a context for the reflection on,
 and discussion of, the findings.

For a couple of short and very readable articles, you might like to have a look at these published by the Scottish Council for Research Centre at the University of Glasgow. A click around their link to Current projects might also be useful.


Reviewing the literature.pdf.pdf

Literature reviews.pdf.pdf

Comments (2)

Anonymous said

at 7:52 pm on Jul 26, 2007

From this I assume that the Literature Review would include fewer resources, i.e. only those actually used to formulate the report on the action research.

Anonymous said

at 11:01 pm on Sep 4, 2007

Spot on Margaret. The literature reviewed in your Literature Review is that which you have selected to underpin your project.

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