Updated with technology tips and new graphics, this bestseller takes readers through the entire literature review process in six steps, from selecting a topic to writing the review.
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The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success

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Updated with technology tips and new graphics, this bestseller takes readers through the entire literature review process in six steps, from selecting a topic to writing the review.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452258430
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 173,591
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Lawrence A. Machi is a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne. He teaches research methods and design and chairs doctoral dissertation research in addition to teaching classes in organizational development. Machi has extensive experience in higher education, having taught in schools of education at the University of San Francisco, St. Mary's College of California, and Sonoma State University prior to his tenure at the University of La Verne. Machi has also been a K-12 educator, having worked as a secondary teacher and served as a school administrator in both secondary and elementary school districts in Northern California. He has held the roles of vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.

Machi has consulted with many California school districts and nonprofit organizations over the years. His specialties have been in the areas of finance, negotiations, and organizational development. He holds an MA in curriculum development and an EdD in organizational leadership.

Brenda McEvoy began her fascination with research and writing at age 15 when she became the “interested amateur” reader for her father’s books on topics including Pueblo ethnology and natural history. Those five years of early experience taught her the importance of careful research that produces logical arguments and that is expressed in clear, understandable language. She has taught high school English and history, including research skills, for the past 30 years. For eight years, she worked for the California State Department of Education leading groups of educators in improving their ability to edit and assess student writing. Also for the state, she was a mentor for beginning English and history teachers. Participation in the California Writing Project extended her knowledge of writing and the difficulties that students at all levels face when producing a major assignment. She has worked as an editor and a proofreader for the books of several associates. Currently, she is doing research on health insurance coverage for two teachers’ associations. Her depth of experience as a practitioner teaching writing and researching at many levels has shown her the many pitfalls that can bedevil student researchers. Her major interest has always been to help writers create work that is clear and logical, guiding student researchers toward producing well-argued and well-written literature reviews.

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Table of Contents

New to This Edition
Special Features and Text Organization
About the Authors
Key Vocabulary
The Purpose of a Literature Review
The Literature Review Defined
The Literature Review Process
Step 1. Select a Topic
Step 2. Search the Literature
Step 3. Develop the Argument
Step 4. Survey the Literature
Step 5. Critique the Literature
Step 6. Write the Review
Inquiry: The Necessary Precondition
Pack Wisely Before You Begin
Chapter 1: Step 1. Select a Topic
Key Vocabulary
Task 1. Choose a Research Interest
Researcher Bias
Task 2. Refine a Research Interest From a Personal Interest
Activity 1. Specifying a Research Interest
Activity 2. Focusing the Interest
Activity 3. Selecting a Perspective
Activity 4. Reflection: The Key to Interest Selection
Task 3. Using the Research Interest to Identify a Preliminary Research Topic
Rules for Library Use
Task 4. Write the Preliminary Research Topic Statement
Chapter 2: Step 2. Search the Literature
Key Vocabulary
Task 1. Select the Literature to Review
Task 2. Conducting a Literature Search
Activity 1. Managing Your Data
Activity 2. Scanning the Literature
Activity 3. Skimming the Literature
Activity 4. Mapping Your Materials
Activity 5. Creating Subject Memoranda
Task 3. Refine Your Topic
Chapter 3: Step 3. Develop the Argument
Key Vocabulary
Concept 1. Building the Case for a Literature Review
Concept 2. Arguments–the Basics
Concept 3. Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument
Concept 4. Understanding Claims
Claim Acceptability
Concept 5. Building Evidence
Data Versus Evidence
Data Quality
Data Relevance
Qualifying the Claim
Concept 6. Warrants–Logically Connecting the Evidence to the Claim
Concept 7. Multiple Claims Arguments
Chapter 4: Step 4. Survey the Literature
Key Vocabulary
Task 1. Assemble the Collected Data
Activity 1. Cataloging the Data
Task 2. Organize the Information
Activity 1. Arranging Information to Build Evidence
Activity 2. Organizing the Information and Building Claims
Task 3. Analyze the Patterns of the Data
Complex Reasoning
Comparative Reasoning
Building the Discovery Argument: An Example
Activity 1. Mapping the Argument of Discovery
Activity 2. Analyzing the Argument
Chapter 5: Step 5. Critique the Literature
Key Vocabulary
Concept 1. Implicative Reasoning
Concept 2. The Two Arguments
Concept 3. Argument Patterns
Concept 4. Backing
Concept 5. Fallacies
Concept 6. The Case Is Everything
Chapter 6: Step 6. Write the Review
Key Vocabulary
The Writing Process: Overview
Task 1. Write to Understand
Activity 1. Reviewing Notes and Memoranda
Activity 2. Exploratory Writing
Activity 3. Outlining
Activity 4. Preliminary Drafting
Task 2. Write to Be Understood
Activity 1. Writing the First Draft
Activity 2. Working With the Second and Third Drafts
Activity 3. Completing the Final Draft
Style Manuals
Tips on Writing
Last Words
References and Further Reading
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