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1 ADP Dissertation Workshop Session Two Reviewing the Literature.

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1 1 ADP Dissertation Workshop Session Two Reviewing the Literature

2 2 What is the literature review for?

3 3 It allows you to analyse and evaluate what others have done, drawing together different aspects and strands which relate to your work.It allows you to analyse and evaluate what others have done, drawing together different aspects and strands which relate to your work.

4 4 Thinking & Reading

5 5 What specific questions do I want to explore?What specific questions do I want to explore? Who are the key writers in this area?Who are the key writers in this area? What are the main issues amongst writers on the topic?What are the main issues amongst writers on the topic? What is my position in relation to these issues?What is my position in relation to these issues? How does the literature relate to my topic?How does the literature relate to my topic? Do I have any references from before 1990? If so, what is the reason for this?Do I have any references from before 1990? If so, what is the reason for this? In what ways is my research different to what has already been studied?In what ways is my research different to what has already been studied?

6 6 Learning from past dissertations Read the abstract then the contents page of the dissertation entitled, EAP Instruction, Critical Analysis and Four Asian Postgraduate Students: The Case Against Deterministic Thinking, to ensure you understand the purpose of the dissertation. Where would you expect literature to be reviewed?

7 7 Key features of a literature review Group One: read chapter 2Group One: read chapter 2 Group Two: read chapter 4Group Two: read chapter 4 1) Find examples of where he refers to other authors work. 2) How is his literature review organised?

8 8 Themes Note that the review of the literature is arranged according to themes: Cultural influences on writing practicesCultural influences on writing practices Critical AnalysisCritical Analysis EthnographyEthnography Critical Discourse AnalysisCritical Discourse Analysis

9 9 The importance of organising the LR thematically This provides you with a structure to shape the dissertation and ensures that you will foreground the ideas that are shared or developed by different writers rather than simply list what he or she saidThis provides you with a structure to shape the dissertation and ensures that you will foreground the ideas that are shared or developed by different writers rather than simply list what he or she said

10 10 Literature Review move structure What is a move ?What is a move ? What is move structure for?What is move structure for?

11 11 Move 1: Establishing one part of the territory of ones own research Strategy 1A: surveying the existing state of knowledge and non-research practicesStrategy 1A: surveying the existing state of knowledge and non-research practices Strategy 1B: claiming the centrality of the theme reviewedStrategy 1B: claiming the centrality of the theme reviewed Strategy 1C: surveying the research activities, including findings and claimsStrategy 1C: surveying the research activities, including findings and claims See examples from HO Literature Review Move Structure

12 12 Move 2: Creating research niche (in response to Move 1) Strategy 2A: counter-claimingStrategy 2A: counter-claiming Strategy 2B: gap-indicatingStrategy 2B: gap-indicating Strategy 2C: making confirmative claimsStrategy 2C: making confirmative claims Strategy 2D: asserting the relevancy of the surveyed claims to your own researchStrategy 2D: asserting the relevancy of the surveyed claims to your own research Strategy 2E: abstracting or synthesizing the theoretical framework / positionStrategy 2E: abstracting or synthesizing the theoretical framework / position

13 13 Move 3: Occupying the research niche (optional) Strategy 3A: announcing research aims, focuses, research questions or hypothesesStrategy 3A: announcing research aims, focuses, research questions or hypotheses Strategy 3B: announcing theoretical positions / theoretical frameworksStrategy 3B: announcing theoretical positions / theoretical frameworks Strategy 3C: announcing research design / processesStrategy 3C: announcing research design / processes Strategy 3D: announcing interpretations of terminology used in the thesisStrategy 3D: announcing interpretations of terminology used in the thesis

14 14 How do moves work together? Read 2.2 in EAP Instruction, Critical Analysis and Four Asian Postgraduate Students: The Case Against Deterministic ThinkingRead 2.2 in EAP Instruction, Critical Analysis and Four Asian Postgraduate Students: The Case Against Deterministic Thinking Mark three moves (some move(s) may appear more than once in one theme)Mark three moves (some move(s) may appear more than once in one theme)

15 The importance of critical analysis in Western tertiary contexts A less controversial topic is the centrality of critical analysis in Western tertiary contexts. While not wishing to adopt an autonomous approach (Street 1984 as quoted in Coleman 1996: 1-2) and automatically assume that critical analysis is universally admired in every department in every Western university, there is considerable evidence of how much importance is attached to the concept in Western universities. For instance, Woodward-Kron (2002), using Lea and Streets (1999) identification of three levels of practice in higher education – institutional, disciplinary and individual – argues cogently that in Australia, the valuing of critical analysis in the academy is evident at all of these three levels (Woodward-Kron 2002: 123). A similar case could be made for the UK, and in particular at Lancaster University – the site of this study. For example, at the institutional level, critical analysis is frequently viewed as a desirable attribute of graduates. Thus according to Lancaster Universitys website, critical reasoning is named as a key graduate skill (http://careersmain.lancs.ac.uk/grad-skillship.htm). Meanwhile, Entwistle, who was interested in examining educational objectives in higher education by interviewing lecturers at Lancaster University, found that the unifying theme of lecturers view about the main purposes of university education can be summarised by the term critical thinking (Entwistle 1984: 4 as quited in Coleman 1996: 4). A less controversial topic is the centrality of critical analysis in Western tertiary contexts. While not wishing to adopt an autonomous approach (Street 1984 as quoted in Coleman 1996: 1-2) and automatically assume that critical analysis is universally admired in every department in every Western university, there is considerable evidence of how much importance is attached to the concept in Western universities. For instance, Woodward-Kron (2002), using Lea and Streets (1999) identification of three levels of practice in higher education – institutional, disciplinary and individual – argues cogently that in Australia, the valuing of critical analysis in the academy is evident at all of these three levels (Woodward-Kron 2002: 123). A similar case could be made for the UK, and in particular at Lancaster University – the site of this study. For example, at the institutional level, critical analysis is frequently viewed as a desirable attribute of graduates. Thus according to Lancaster Universitys website, critical reasoning is named as a key graduate skill (http://careersmain.lancs.ac.uk/grad-skillship.htm). Meanwhile, Entwistle, who was interested in examining educational objectives in higher education by interviewing lecturers at Lancaster University, found that the unifying theme of lecturers view about the main purposes of university education can be summarised by the term critical thinking (Entwistle 1984: 4 as quited in Coleman 1996: 4)

16 16 At a disciplinary level of practice, Wall investigated the writing demands placed on MSc students in the Department of Economics at Lancaster University.Through interviews with subject teachers, she found that critical ability came second in importance only to knowledge of subject matter in factors viewed as important to the marking of Economics essays (Wall 1981: 29). While I recognise that different departments have different criteria for assessment of written work, a cursory glance at the Faculty of Social Science guidelines for written work on MA schemes of study, reveals that critical discussion of relevant readings is a key aspect of students work which may be take into account during assessment. Moreover, at the individual level of practice, the need for critical analysis is also apparent in evaluative commentary in marker feedback (Spinks 1988 as quoted in Woodward-Kron 2002: 124). Thus out of the twelve essays I looked at as part of this study, three contained marker comments referring specifically to the concept of critical analysis. At a disciplinary level of practice, Wall investigated the writing demands placed on MSc students in the Department of Economics at Lancaster University.Through interviews with subject teachers, she found that critical ability came second in importance only to knowledge of subject matter in factors viewed as important to the marking of Economics essays (Wall 1981: 29). While I recognise that different departments have different criteria for assessment of written work, a cursory glance at the Faculty of Social Science guidelines for written work on MA schemes of study, reveals that critical discussion of relevant readings is a key aspect of students work which may be take into account during assessment. Moreover, at the individual level of practice, the need for critical analysis is also apparent in evaluative commentary in marker feedback (Spinks 1988 as quoted in Woodward-Kron 2002: 124). Thus out of the twelve essays I looked at as part of this study, three contained marker comments referring specifically to the concept of critical analysis

17 17 Common difficulties of Lit Review writing Too many details of individual studies without making generalisation.Too many details of individual studies without making generalisation. General statements and their supporting specific details or examples are not directly related.General statements and their supporting specific details or examples are not directly related. Lack of evaluations to the studies cited.Lack of evaluations to the studies cited.

18 18 Writing sample - problematic Research (Gimenez, 2000; Vergaro, 2002; Vergaro, 2004; van Mulken & van der Meer, 2005) has shown that discourse and rhetorical strategies in written communication between or among companies have formulaic or standardized forms to present information appropriately and to obtain compliance by a given readership in a specific business context. Vergaro (2004) analyzes the rhetorical differences of 69 sales promotion letters. Vergaro indicates that what the texts actually do is more significant than how the text is worded. This observation is similar to the notion proposed by van Mulken & van der Meer (2005) of the analysis of company replies to customer inquiries. Van Mulken & van der Meer point out that, to build the rapport with potential customers, companies intentionally use rhetorical strategies such as hedges and passive voices to invite readers to take further actions. A B C

19 19 The key features of literature reviews relevant and focussedrelevant and focussed up to dateup to date the research gap is identifiedthe research gap is identified the organisation and contents are signposted in an introductory paragraphthe organisation and contents are signposted in an introductory paragraph organised thematicallyorganised thematically the different themes are drawn together in a conclusion.the different themes are drawn together in a conclusion. criticalcritical

20 20 My own dissertation What are the themes I can use to organise my reading/review?What are the themes I can use to organise my reading/review?

21 21 Getting started Write (at least ) one paragraph based on your reading so far. Use the three moves model.Write (at least ) one paragraph based on your reading so far. Use the three moves model. Bring this paragraph to next weeks session.Bring this paragraph to next weeks session.

22 22 Useful References Central Queensland University writing.htm writing.htm writing.htm Cooley & Lewkowicz (2003) Dissertation Writing in Practice. Hong Kong: HKUP Neal R (2003) EAP Instruction, Critical Analysis and Four Asian Postgraduate Students: The Case Against Deterministic Thinking. Lancaster University MA Dissertation (unpublished)


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