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Education: Postgraduate studies: Literature review

A guide to combine all the processes involved in doing your master's and doctoral degree at the Faculty of Education

What is a literature review?

SAGE Research Methods

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Literature Review in a Thesis

Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas

  1. information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books
  2. critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.

A literature review must do these things

  1. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
  2. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  3. identify areas of controversy in the literature
  4. formulate questions that need further research

Written by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre, University of Toronto