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This content is taken from the University of Wollongong's online course, Research Writing: How to Do a Literature Review. Join the course to learn more.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds So here we are, week four. Now you’ve got a good understanding of what a literature review is, and you’ve got the process started. You’re doing a lot of reading. You’re thinking about it. You’ve started talking to other students about what you’re doing. We’re going to focus in this week much more closely on your writing and how to make it effective. When you’re writing a literature review, part of the point of it is understanding what others have done and figuring out what you think. But also, it’s about communicating with others so they can understand your research topic and how it relates to other people’s research.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds So we’re really going to zoom in and pay attention this week to language, to how you’re representing the field of knowledge that you’re working in, to how you are representing the voices of others and your opinions about them, and also how you’re constructing a text for someone else to read so there’s a nice flow of information that’s easy to read and makes sense. Your final assignment’s due this week too. And that’s basically a design for your discussion of the literature in your area. So you probably wont have finished a complete text. But what we want to see is really interesting design for a discussion.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds We’ll show you what that looks like and give you opportunity to comment on other people’s designs too. So by the end of this week, you should have a good understanding of what a literature review is. You’ll be well on the way to developing one that you’re happy with. You’ll be getting feedback from others and giving feedback. And you’ll have established a sense of community with this group of scholars that you’re working with through the course. Let’s get started.

Preview of Week 4

“The next time I undertake a task like this, I’ll be able to do it in half the time” (Crawford, 2011)”

Now in the final week, we’ll focus on developing a strong foundation for your ongoing writing of a review. You’ll write and share an outline, then we’ll look more closely at wording.

As we listen further this week to those who are doing it, we hear how complex and challenging it can be to write a literature review, and how the process of writing continues through the life of a research project. For most researchers, the first time they write a literature review is not the last, but at least doing the first one prepares you for the next, and each time it becomes clearer what a literature review is, and easier to do it well.

Conversation starter

  • What do you find most challenging about the literature review writing process?

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This video is from the free online course:

Research Writing: How to Do a Literature Review

University of Wollongong