Tuesday, September 29, How to Write a Literature Review in Psychology This post presents a set of principles on what makes a good literature review. The principles aim to assist students who are writing a literature review. Researchers preparing an academic publication may also find them a useful refresher.
Planning and expressing the structure There are really four stages here: The first is the result of the issues and activities discussed above e. Deciding what your argument is Thus you will probably at this point have a collection of points and facts you think of some value: Some students will now realise they have too much material to fit within the size limit.
They must decide what is important to include, and what to leave out. The way to do that selection is to do what everyone must do anyway: When you know what the main point or points are, then you can decide what is most important for supporting those conclusions.
If this is proving difficult for you, one technique I find useful in my own writing is to put away my notes, and try to speak a 60 second version.
You automatically make it brief to keep their attention, and mention only the most important things without the details. When you hear yourself give the summary, that tells you what for you is the most important point; and hence how to organise your essay. There are really two classes of problem here: Deciding on how to group and order your points Now you have decided what your main message is, and so know how to decide what is important to include, you must decide on the order and structure of the points you make.
Writing is inherently a single unbranching sequence, but the logic of any argument is about grouping e. Thus in deciding the detailed structure of your essay you are making many decisions, some of them for strong reasons, some for weak reasons.
Again, you could decide to have a main section for each of several papers you critique, repeating some standard critical issues in each section; or else you might have one section per critical issue, repeatedly discussing each paper with respect to one issue at a time.
Both are logical, but you can only adopt one of these schemes. Your essay plan whether written or mental describes both the grouping and the sequence of your points. However the more you get the structure clear in your head the better organised the essay will be, and the more you convey that structure to the reader, the more likely it is that they will understand how the parts hang together, be able to remember your argument afterwards, and give you credit for clarity of thought.
They are also quite helpful in writing, as they represent the plan you should be making of the structure of the paper. You may sometimes consider not only using sections, but several different levels of headings, which you might or might not actually number, e.
The argument against using sections is if you are writing a smoothly flowing story where each little point a paragraph leads to the next with no need to tell the reader where they are going, or to resummarise at the end, or to make any links other than to the paragraph before and after the current one.
In all other cases, sections help, by allowing a way to represent a hierarchy or grouping, rather than just a sequence with everything at the same level, and unrelated except to its two neighbours. The more general principle is to make sure the reader knows what every aspect of your plan is and furthermore the reason for it i.
Section titles, if clear, may well in effect express what the essay plan is e.Focus on an important, relevant, and operationally defined topic in the psychology of men and masculinity, and make a strong case for why a literature review of this topic is important.
Include a critical and inclusive review of .
Early on make a determined effort to find the nearest published review of the topic you are working on (e.g.
search for papers with "review" in their title, or of course in journals that have "review" in their title such as Psychological Review). You should always discuss this in your critical review, and decide and state how your review is. Emotional Eating 1 Sample Literature Review This is a literature review I wrote for Psychology / Research Methods I.
It received an A. The assignment was to read a variety of assigned articles related to the. Focus on an important, relevant, and operationally defined topic in the psychology of men and masculinity, and make a strong case for why a literature review of this topic is important.
Include a critical and inclusive review of previous theory related to the relevant topic. A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in .
Sample APA Papers: Literature Review This section offers a sample literature review, written by an undergraduate psychology student at Purdue University.
Since it's a real paper written by a real student, we haven't corrected the student's errors, but have instead included comments that point them out.
If you have a.