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The Literature Review
Six Steps to Success

Second Edition


200 pages | Corwin
This new edition of the best-selling book offers graduate students in education and the social sciences a road map to developing and writing an effective literature review for a research project, thesis, or dissertation. Organized around a proven six-step model and incorporating technology into all of the steps, the book provides examples, strategies, and exercises that take students step by step through the entire process:

Selecting a topic

Searching the literature

Developing arguments

Surveying the literature

Critiquing the literature

Writing the literature review

The second edition includes key vocabulary words, technology advice, and additional tips on when and how to write during the early stages—including the use of journals and memoranda—to make the literature review process a success.

 
Preface
New to This Edition

 
Audience

 
Special Features and Text Organization

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
Key Vocabulary

 
The Purpose of a Literature Review

 
The Literature Review Defined

 
The Literature Review Process

 
Step 1. Select a Topic

 
Step 2. Search the Literature

 
Step 3. Develop the Argument

 
Step 4. Survey the Literature

 
Step 5. Critique the Literature

 
Step 6. Write the Review

 
Inquiry: The Necessary Precondition

 
Ethics

 
Pack Wisely Before You Begin

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 1: Step 1. Select a Topic
Key Vocabulary

 
Task 1. Choose a Research Interest

 
Exercises

 
Researcher Bias

 
Task 2. Refine a Research Interest From a Personal Interest

 
Activity 1. Specifying a Research Interest

 
Activity 2. Focusing the Interest

 
Activity 3. Selecting a Perspective

 
Activity 4. Reflection: The Key to Interest Selection

 
Task 3. Using the Research Interest to Identify a Preliminary Research Topic

 
Rules for Library Use

 
Task 4. Write the Preliminary Research Topic Statement

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 2: Step 2. Search the Literature
Key Vocabulary

 
Task 1. Select the Literature to Review

 
Task 2. Conducting a Literature Search

 
Activity 1. Managing Your Data

 
Activity 2. Scanning the Literature

 
Activity 3. Skimming the Literature

 
Activity 4. Mapping Your Materials

 
Activity 5. Creating Subject Memoranda

 
Task 3. Refine Your Topic

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 3: Step 3. Develop the Argument
Key Vocabulary

 
Concept 1. Building the Case for a Literature Review

 
Concept 2. Arguments–the Basics

 
Concept 3. Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument

 
Concept 4. Understanding Claims

 
Claims

 
Claim Acceptability

 
Concept 5. Building Evidence

 
Data Versus Evidence

 
Data Quality

 
Data Relevance

 
Qualifying the Claim

 
Concept 6. Warrants–Logically Connecting the Evidence to the Claim

 
Concept 7. Multiple Claims Arguments

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 4: Step 4. Survey the Literature
Key Vocabulary

 
Task 1. Assemble the Collected Data

 
Activity 1. Cataloging the Data

 
Task 2. Organize the Information

 
Activity 1. Arranging Information to Build Evidence

 
Activity 2. Organizing the Information and Building Claims

 
Task 3. Analyze the Patterns of the Data

 
Complex Reasoning

 
Comparative Reasoning

 
Building the Discovery Argument: An Example

 
Activity 1. Mapping the Argument of Discovery

 
Activity 2. Analyzing the Argument

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 5: Step 5. Critique the Literature
Key Vocabulary

 
Concept 1. Implicative Reasoning

 
Concept 2. The Two Arguments

 
Concept 3. Argument Patterns

 
Concept 4. Backing

 
Concept 5. Fallacies

 
Concept 6. The Case Is Everything

 
Tips

 
Summary

 
Checklist

 
 
Chapter 6: Step 6. Write the Review
Key Vocabulary

 
The Writing Process: Overview

 
Task 1. Write to Understand

 
Activity 1. Reviewing Notes and Memoranda

 
Activity 2. Exploratory Writing

 
Activity 3. Outlining

 
Activity 4. Preliminary Drafting

 
Task 2. Write to Be Understood

 
Activity 1. Writing the First Draft

 
Activity 2. Working With the Second and Third Drafts

 
Activity 3. Completing the Final Draft

 
Style Manuals

 
Tips on Writing

 
Last Words

 
 
Glossary
 
References and Further Reading
 
Index

"If I had known about this book when I began working on my dissertation, it would have saved me at least a full year and much, much consternation! The clarity and organization with which this book is written make it a tremendous and exceptionally user-friendly asset to anyone who is serious about presenting clear, well thought-out research."

Dr. Cindy Wilson, Associate Professor and Department Chair
University of Illinois at Springfield

"This is the one book a graduate level student in education will be able to use from cover to cover. It provides the perfect roadmap for the successful completion of an outstanding literature review. It should be a required text for all students attempting to complete a literature review."

Dr. Cathy Patterson, Elementary Educator 5th Grade
Walnut Valley Unified School District

"The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success is a must-have for both novice and experienced researchers. The authors provide a roadmap as researchers journey from inquiry to argument for advocacy. If a strong literature review is the foundation for a successful thesis or dissertation, Machi and McEvoy offer the building blocks for that foundation."

Louanne Jacobs, Associate Professor of Education, Department Chairperson
Birmingham Southern College

"This book provides invaluable support for graduate students in writing a literature review. The authors provide a clear, straightforward model for taking a researchable idea and transforming it into a research study. I have already recommended this text to all of my doctoral students!"

Dr. Sara McNeil, Associate Professor, College of Education
University of Houston

"Every graduate student would benefit from reading this text on how to do a literature review and working through the questions to refine their own work. This is a concise, logical and very well written tool for graduate students and their advisors."

Dr. Sherry Markel, Associate Professor, College of Education
Northern Arizona University

Excellent book. My students find it easy to read and follow, and they wind up producing excellent reviews.

Professor James Robert Bitter
Human Dev Learning Dept, East Tennessee State Univ
September 12, 2014

good organization
Paperback
Cheap for students to buy

Dr Teruko Bredemann
Psychology Dept, Univ Of Alabama At Birmingham
July 29, 2014

Recommended for beginner researchers based on level of experience, university decided not to adopt at this time (conserving costs for students)

Dr Margaret Carter
Business Administration , National Graduate Univ
June 25, 2014

This textbook was the most

recent edition. I had used the

older copy previously

Dr Mark Brown
Education Dept, Daemen College
May 22, 2014

The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success was a great supplementary

paperback that assisted my graduate students in understanding the process

for developing and writing their literature review that pertained to a self-selected

topic in the area of special education. The six steps that are given in this paperback

provide the framework for a graduate student to begin organizing the information

(i.e., research articles) that is needed to write a quality literature review.

Dr Mark Brown
Education Dept, Daemen College
May 22, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: Step 1. Select a Topic


Preview this book

Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi

Lawrence A. Machi is a Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. He holds an MA in curriculum development and an Ed.D. in organizational leadership. He has taught research methods and design, and has chaired doctoral dissertation research in addition to teaching classes in organizational development. He has extensive experience in higher education, and prior to his tenure at La Verne, he taught in schools of education at the University of San Francisco, St. Mary’s College of California, and Sonoma State University. Dr. Machi currently serves as a Fulbright Specialist, having... More About Author

Brenda Tyler McEvoy

Brenda T. McEvoy taught high school English, history, and science for thirty-six years. Research skills were always part of her curriculum. For eight years, she worked for the California State Department of Education leading groups of educators in improving their ability to edit and assess student writing. Also for the state, she was a mentor for beginning English and history teachers. Participation in the California Writing Project extended her knowledge of writing and the difficulties students face when producing a major assignment. She has worked as an editor for several books, focusing on helping writers create work that is clear and... More About Author

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