Explore BrainMass

How to Conduct a Literature Review

42 Pages | 7,389 Words
Jennifer Kavanagh, PhD (IP) (#111251)

This book describes how to easily and effectively conduct a literature review with the least amount of pain and suffering possible. Although literature reviews can be painful for many students, this book offers you some simple and easy tips to make the process a little easier. Get the inside scoop on what doctoral students use to find free articles online, uncover free software you can use to track and insert your references automatically, and learn how to shave some time off of the whole review and writing process.

This book is ideal for individuals who are attending college or university. While it will prove valuable for new students, the book may also be beneficial to seasoned students who wish to streamline and optimize their literature review process.

An Introduction to How to Conduct a Literature Review

A literature review is an important first step for most research projects because it allows the researcher to uncover the knowledge that already exists on a given topic. For some, the literature review is all that is required to gain new knowledge and understand the current beliefs and practices on any given topic. However, some researchers use the literature review to identify both what is known about a topic, but also what is not known. This unknown area of knowledge is considered a gap and is often what the researcher is most focused on. This gap is what the researcher then explores with their own research and experiments. When we can identify the gaps, we can expand our knowledge in any field by slowly filling in those gaps with new research. Literature reviews are often found in two forms. The first is when a literature review forms a whole paper and the author uses the paper to present the current state of the field to their readers. The second form is when literature reviews are used as an introduction to journal articles. This allows the reader to get some context on the study and the current understanding in the field, without having to be an expert in that topic. So, literature review may be used by students in a variety of academic programs, business professionals, and leading experts.

For students and new researchers, the literature review can seem like a daunting and painful task. There are millions of journal articles available for individuals to read, critique, and review and sometimes it is challenging to know even where to begin. This book will guide the new and seasoned researcher alike through an easy process to conducting a literature review. Not only will you learn how to conduct a review, but you will also learn about some tips, tricks, and free tools that are available to save you time as you complete your review.

About the Author

Jennifer Kavanagh, PhD (IP)

Active since Jan 2013

Jennifer began her professional career as a teacher and facilitator seven years ago by designing and facilitating training programs with corporate, academic and non-profit organizations across Canada. She has worked with organizations like Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG), Population Services International, Barrie Green Party, Wal-Mart Canada, Allegis Group Canada, Academica Group, Georgian College, Humber College, and Fanshawe College and several small businesses to develop and deliver innovative training programs. She has served as a consultant to senior executives in developing learning and engagement strategies, developed programs ranging from technical computer courses to workplace orientations, and addressed organizational performance issues through the development of competency-based training and leadership programs. <br/><br/>

Jennifer currently resides in Barrie, Ontario but feels most at home when she is fulfilling her lifelong goal of travelling the entire world. She enjoys spending time outdoors, whether she is reading in a hammock, hiking through the forest, or rappelling down waterfalls.

Jennifer's BrainMass Profile