The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success / Edition 1

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Overview

Written in user-friendly language, this compact reference offers master's and doctoral-level students in education and the social sciences a roadmap to developing and writing an effective literature review for a research project, thesis, or dissertation. Organized around a comprehensive and detailed six-step developmental model, the book provides guided exercises, graphics, charts, and examples from the everyday experiences of researchers. Both novice and experienced graduate students will find invaluable assistance for Selecting a topic, Searching the literature, Developing arguments, Surveying the literature, Critiquing the literature, Writing the literature review. With additional tips, checklists, and summaries tucked into each chapter, this guide provides clear, focused direction for composing a first-rate literature review.
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Editorial Reviews

Leonard O. Pellicer
"Machi and Mc Evoy have crafted a guide to writing a literature review that is absolutely elegant in its simplicity. The writers take the reader from the simple to the complex in an extremely well-written, logical sequence of bite-sized steps. This is the most useful guide to writing a literature review available anywhere. "
Eugene J. Muscat
"The authors have compiled one of the most authoritative yet practical guides to the literature review process.Novices will rapidly develop needed skills by completing the many exercises and reviewing the excellent end-of-chapter summaries, and any researcher can benefitfrom the six-step model that acts as a road map for both the academic and the professional writer. "
Diane Benson
"This book presents the frame for the research thought process. The literature review model used throughout the text emphasizes how the literature review is integral to the entire research process, not just the beginning. "
Jim Cox
"Perhaps the only challenge greater than conducting an effective review of the literature is teaching the novice researcher how to do so. This text meets the need of both student and teacher! Even the experienced researcher will undoubtedly gain some insight within these pages. "
Kenneth R. Stevenson
"The literature review is such a critical component of conducting and presenting good research. Whether the reader is a student preparing to write a thesis or dissertation, or a major advisor overseeing such work, this book provides an array of insights about what an effective literature review looks like and offers specifics about what it addresses in terms of content and structural framework. "
Doctor - Cindy Wilson
"If I had known about this book when I began working on my dissertation, it would have saved me at least a full year and much, much consternation! The clarity and organization with which this book is written make it a tremendous and exceptionally user-friendly asset to anyone who is serious about presenting clear, well thought-out research. "
Doctor - Cathy Patterson
"This is the one book a graduate level student in education will be able to use from cover to cover. It provides the perfect roadmap for the successful completion of an outstanding literature review. It should be a required text for all students attempting to complete a literature review. "
Louanne Jacobs
"The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success is a must-have for both novice and experienced researchers. The authors provide a roadmap as researchers journey from inquiry to argument for advocacy. If a strong literature review is the foundation for a successful thesis or dissertation, Machi and Mc Evoy offer the building blocks for that foundation. "
Doctor - Sara McNeil
"This book provides invaluable support for graduate students in writing a literature review. The authors provide a clear, straightforward model for taking a researchable idea and transforming it into a research study. I have already recommended this text to all of my doctoral students! "
Doctor - Sherry Markel
"Every graduate student would benefit from reading this text on how to do a literature review and working through the questions to refine their own work. This is a concise, logical and very well written tool for graduate students and their advisors. "
Dr. Cindy Wilson
"If I had known about this book when I began working on my dissertation, it would have saved me at least a full year and much, much consternation! The clarity and organization with which this book is written make it a tremendous and exceptionally user-friendly asset to anyone who is serious about presenting clear, well thought-out research. "
Dr. Cathy Patterson
"This is the one book a graduate level student in education will be able to use from cover to cover. It provides the perfect roadmap for the successful completion of an outstanding literature review. It should be a required text for all students attempting to complete a literature review. "
Dr. Sara Mc Neil
"This book provides invaluable support for graduate students in writing a literature review. The authors provide a clear, straightforward model for taking a researchable idea and transforming it into a research study. I have already recommended this text to all of my doctoral students! "
Dr. Sherry Markel
"Every graduate student would benefit from reading this text on how to do a literature review and working through the questions to refine their own work. This is a concise, logical and very well written tool for graduate students and their advisors. "
Dr. Sara McNeil
"This book provides invaluable support for graduate students in writing a literature review. The authors provide a clear, straightforward model for taking a researchable idea and transforming it into a research study. I have already recommended this text to all of my doctoral students!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412961356
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/10/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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 Ed D in organizational leadership.

Brenda Mc Evoy 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


Preface     ix
Audience     ix
Special Features and Text Organization     x
Acknowledgments     xiii
About the Authors     xv
Introduction: The Literature Review Process-Getting Started     1
The Purpose of a Literature Review     2
The Literature Review Defined     4
The Literature Review Process     4
Select a Topic     4
Search the Literature     5
Develop the Argument     5
Survey the Literature     6
Critique the Literature     6
Write the Review     6
Inquiry: The Necessary Precondition     6
Pack Wisely Before You Begin     8
Tips     10
Summary     10
Checklist     11
Select a Topic     13
Choose a Research Interest     16
Exercises     18
Researcher Bias     19
Select a Research Interest From the Everyday Interest     20
Specifying a Research Interest     21
Focusing the Interest     22
Selecting a Perspective     22
Reflection: The Key to Interest Selection     23
Use the ResearchInterest to Choose the Research Topic     26
Visit the Library     30
Tips     32
Summary     32
Checklist     33
Search the Literature     35
Discover the Literature to Review     36
Conduct a Literature Search     37
Scan the Literature     39
Use the Internet     42
Manage Your Data     44
Bibliographic Documentation     44
Scan Progress     45
Skim the Literature     46
Map Your Materials     48
Mapping by Core Idea     49
Mapping by Author Contribution     50
Refine Your Topic     53
Expand Your Topic     55
Tips     56
Summary     56
Checklist     57
Develop the Argument     59
Build the Case for a Literature Review     60
Arguments     62
Evaluate the Basic Parts of an Argument     62
Claims     65
Claims     65
Evidence     70
Warrant     74
Multiple Claims Arguments     76
Tips     78
Summary      78
Checklist     79
Survey the Literature     81
Assemble the Collected Data     82
Assembling the Data     82
Recording the Data     83
Synthesize the Information     85
Synthesizing the Information and Building Evidence     85
Reasoning Patterns     88
Integrating the Information and Building Claims     92
Analyze the Patterns of the Data     94
Complex Reasoning     94
Comparative Reasoning     96
Building the Discovery Argument: An Example     97
Mapping the Argument of Discovery     99
Analyzing the Argument     99
Tips     101
Summary     102
Checklist     103
Critique the Literature     105
Implicative Reasoning     106
The Two Arguments     107
Argument Patterns     110
Backing     116
Fallacious Arguments     122
The Case Is Everything     124
Tips     124
Summary     125
Checklist     125
Write the Review     127
The Writing Process: Overview      129
Write to Understand     129
Write to Be Understood     129
Write to Understand     130
Exploratory Writing     131
Outline     133
The Preliminary Draft     143
Preliminary Draft: The Audit     145
Preliminary Draft: The Edit     146
Write to Be Understood     146
Analysis     148
Evaluation     148
Outside Review     149
The Second and Third Drafts     150
The Final Draft     151
Style Manuals     151
Tips     153
Last Words     153
Glossary     155
References     159
Index     161
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    good tool

    This book provided some helpful hints while I was working on my thesis for graduate school. I wouldn't use it as gospel, or lose your own writing style trying to follow it too much, but overall it was a good side kick during some hefty paper writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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