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Independent Research Project: Literature Review

This course outlines the purpose of a literature review and its five phases within an independent research project.

  • Duration

    1 week
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Produce a high quality literature review for your independent research project

A quality literature review is central to a good project. This course explores the role of a literature review within your project and how it links to the research question and design. The course explores approaches to doing a literature review and outlines the different phases involved.

What topics will you cover?

During this course you will cover the following topics:

  • Linking the literature review to the research question and design
  • Analysis of the main purposes a literature review might serve
  • Some approaches to doing a literature review
  • Discussion of strategies for identifying which sources to include in a literature review
  • The University’s guidance on plagiarism and ways to avoid committing it

This is supported through the following activities:

  • Reading your degree-specific guidance on the requirements for your literature review
  • Compiling a list of tips for producing a good literature review
  • Devising a strategy for searching using Locate
  • Making an initial plan of your literature
  • Reading the university guides on academic misconduct, Harvard referencing and searching using Locate
  • Practicing quoting, paraphrasing, and summarising research, and citing it correctly

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

Postgraduate students undertaking their final project.

Please note that the individuals detailed in the ‘Who will you learn with?’ section below, are current staff members and may be subject to change.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Hilary Mc Laughlin-Stonham
Associate Lecture for Masters Level Courses. Hilary has taught at Universities both in the UK and abroad and is currently research active. PhD, Ma, Ma, AFHEA.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

  • Established

  • Location


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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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