Brief Review of the Literature

A literature review is an extensive, critical review of all relevant professional and scientific literature related to a dissertation topic. It presents what is and is not known about a particular topic, identifies gaps or areas of controversy, and the strengths and weaknesses of the currently published work. It must analyze and synthesize literature and defend one or more points. The primary purpose of the literature review is to show that a research problem has merit.

Books and Resources for this Week:
Reference    Instruction
Boote, D. N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation.
Read Article
Torraco., R.J. (2005). Writing integrative literature reviews: Guidelines and examples.
Read Article
Reference    Instruction
Review of Literature. University of Wisconsin Madison.
Review Website

Week 6 Assignment: Create a Brief Literature Review

Activity Description
Using all the sources from the annotated bibliography you completed in a previous Week and your analysis of issues in your topic area, write a brief literature review.

Your Concept Paper literature review is a synthesis and integration of fundamental and recent research and theory on your dissertation topic. Its main purpose is to show that you are familiar with key literature relevant to your research topic and to demonstrate that there is a gap in existing literature and research findings that your study will address. Use your work from Activity 4 to discuss and place your research problem in the context of issues in your topic area.

Your review should be a coherent, organized, and logical narrative that uses sources to argue that there is a meaningful gap in the current theory and research in your topic area that your study will address. Your review should be in the form of a conceptual arrow that points to the need for new research exactly the research that you propose!

Avoid simply describing one study per paragraph: Your goal is an integrated synthesis of concepts, ideas, and findings. The last few paragraphs of the review should summarize the trends in the literature that you have observed and build a bridge to the need for additional research within the area.

Review the ‘What is a Brief Literature Review’ slide in the PPT Concept Paper presentation (located in the Dissertation Center).

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