The purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate your familiarity with existing research and how your proposed research fits within it. It should consist of at least 4-5 peer-reviewed articles and provide an integration of ideas, concepts, theories and findings.
Constructing an Evidence Matrix will assist in the dissection of the articles being reviewed and provide a system that easily organizes common themes for later discussion.
Create a spreadsheet with the following fields:
|Why was the article written?
|Sampling strategies? Samples?
Themes are items of interest to you found within the article and are points of comparison between articles.
NOTE: It is crucial that when summarizing any content that you appropriate paraphrase the text entered into your matrix. If not, use quotation marks for any words that are not your own and provide page numbers for your quotes. This will help avoid plagiarism.
In a full-length paper or thesis the literature review tends to be 4-5 paragraphs long and explains how your original research topic fits into the existing body of scholarship on the topic.
A basic format is as follows:
Paragraph #1. Introduction of the research topic. "The purpose of the study is to...".
Paragraph #2. Describe how others have studied the subjects (Methods column). Include any sampling techniques, strategies and limitations to research processes.
Paragraph #3. Discuss a common theme from two or more articles (identified in evidence matrix).
Paragraph #4. Discuss a common theme from two or more articles (identified in evidence matrix).
Paragraph #5. Discuss the existing research identified in previous paragraphs, then your research topic and why it is important. Give strong examples why your research is relevant and necessary to build a stronger understanding of the subject.
Source: https://libguides.sonoma.edu/c.php?g=202672&p=1354272 (Downloaded 17AUG2022)