Helpful literature review video tutorial from NC State University http:
Often people become overwhelmed trying to organize information from many different sources. The mistake that many dissertation writers make when they try to write a review of literature is they describe and summarize individual sources rather than analyzing and synthesizing them.
Critical analysis and synthesis involves consideration of the conceptual and methodological strengths and weaknesses of the studies you discuss, relating the sources to each other and to your proposed research, and identifying areas of convergence and divergence as well as unanswered questions that your study addresses.
There are a number of tools that can help you analyze and synthesize your key sources.
In this post, you will learn about using a synthesis matrix to organize the sources in your literature review and integrate them into a unique interpretation that not only serves as the foundation of your study but also contributes to the dialogue in your field and establishes your credibility as a scholar.
Below are related FAQs and Answers: My professor says I have to write a literature review, what do I do? A literature review requires a synthesis of different subtopics to come to a greater understanding of the state of knowledge on a larger issue.
It works very much like a jigsaw puzzle. The individual pieces arguments must be put together in order to reveal the whole state of knowledge. So basically I just read the articles and summarize each one separately? No, a literature review is not a summary. Rather than merely presenting a summary of each source, a literature review should be organized according to each subtopic discussed about the larger topic.
Researcher B also argues that X is true, but points out that the effects of X may be different from those suggested by Researcher A.
There is both agreement and disagreement, but what links the two arguments is the fact that they both concern X. This sounds like a lot of information, how can I keep it organized? Because a literature review is NOT a summary of these different sources, it can be very difficult to keep your research organized.
It is especially difficult to organize the information in a way that makes the writing process simpler. One way that seems particularly helpful in organizing literature reviews is the synthesis matrix. The synthesis matrix is a chart that allows a researcher to sort and categorize the different arguments presented on an issue.
Across the top of the chart are the spaces to record sources, and along the side of the chart are the spaces to record the main points of argument on the topic at hand.
As you examine your first source, you will work vertically in the column belonging to that source, recording as much information as possible about each significant idea presented in the work.
Follow a similar pattern for your following sources. As you find information that relates to your already identified main points, put it in the pertaining row.
In your new sources, you will also probably find new main ideas that you need to add to your list at the left. You now have a completed matrix! As you combine the information presented in each row, you will begin to see each section of your paper taking shape.Literature reviews are more common in graduate studies (e.g., masters level or PhD studies) than in undergraduate work, but in many courses in bachelor's degree programs, you might be asked by an instructor to provide a report that serves as a literature review.
Writing A Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix by NC State University Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service Tutors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Unported License. A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.
Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources Writing a Literature Review & Using a . Review the guidelines in the Literature Review Matrix, included in the Learning Resources. Formulate a research question around your issue as indicated in Part I. Then complete Part II of the Matrix, identifying the resources you will use, search terms and criteria, and Boolean search strings.
Literature Review Handout and Using a Synthesis Matrix Escribiendo Una revisión de Literatura y Usando Una Matriz de Síntesis Use this blank Word document to organize your work.
A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or.