It can also be a check for yourself that you have identified enough relevant differences. An omission will be more obvious within a table, where it would appear as a blank cell, than it would be within text. Almost all academic writing will need a reference list.
This is a comprehensive list of the full references of sources that you have referred to in your writing. The reader needs to be able to follow up any source you have referred to. A bibliography is not usually necessary or relevant, unless you have been asked to produce one. This experience is common in PhD study, but it can happen at any level, and can feel as if you have wasted a lot of effort. Looking at this positively, however, you have probably read more widely than you might otherwise have done.
That probably confirms that it was a good question to ask! Although this can feel very disappointing at first, it can often be transformed into a benefit. It is important that your research fits logically within the existing research in your area, and you may have found an ideal study to link with and to extend in some way. Remember that:. Firstly, this is unlikely. Perhaps if you modify your search strategy you will find something. Check out whether there is an important reason why the research has not been done, which would make it sensible for you to choose a different focus. If you do decide to go ahead, then take extra care designing your research, in the absence of guidance from previous studies.
Ploughing a little-known furrow as a novice researcher is going to be very difficult, and you may find it difficult to get much support or help. An important aspect of your thesis and your viva, is that you can show how your research fits with other research.
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This will be just as important when there is limited existing research in your area, as when there is an abundance. Once you have a first draft of your literature review it is possible for you to assess how well you have achieved your aims. One way of doing this is to examine each paragraph in turn, and to write in the margin a very brief summary of the content, and the type of content e. These summaries then provide the outline of the story you are telling, and the way that you are telling it.
Both of these are important and need to be critically reviewed. Beware of becoming too attached to your writing. You need to be ready to cross out whole paragraphs or even whole sections if they do not pass the above tests. It may be mainly a case of cutting and pasting material into a different order, with some additional explanation and linking.
If this produces a more relevant and streamlined argument it is well worth the effort. Blaxter L. Buckingham: Open University. Merriam S. Taylor D. Wellington J. Email: studyhelp if you are a University of Leicester student please use your University email address Keep in touch via:. Personal tools Web Editor Log in.
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The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals. Increased ease of access to a wider range of published material has also increased the need for careful and clear critique of sources. You need to demonstrate to your reader that you are examining your sources with a critical approach, and not just believing them automatically. You need to be actively involved in interpreting the literature that you are reviewing, and in explaining that interpretation to the reader, rather than just listing what others have written.
Your interpretation of each piece of evidence is just that: an interpretation. Date updated: February 12, Barring the obvious answer to get a degree , in answering this question we need first to ask, what distinguishes an essay from any other form of writing?
The difference lies in the stance a writer takes in composing an essay and the kind of thing that an essayist tries to do. Essays try to provide an understanding of things that are essentially matters of interpretation, where the prospect of the final word on a subject is remote. In contrast, scientific reports try to describe something that happened an experiment , and they are supposed to be minimally interpretive and nearly indisputable. Newspaper articles are similar in this way, presenting the facts and just the facts at least in theory.
But something else must distinguish the essay form, since fictional narratives such as short stories also in some ways present a tentative study of things,. These two forms usually differ in content and aim. Narratives tell stories about how events unfold for characters and usually try to make us feel a certain way. Essays are closer to scientific reports in that their purpose is to tell us, most often explicitly, about the way we ought to understand something. In sum, whereas a scientific report aspires to be indisputable, an essay strives to give a convincing interpretation of something and interpretation is by definition disputable.
Whereas a short story aims to make us feel, an essay intends to make us think. Though every piece of writing differs from the other in some aspects, there are many similarities too among them. The writer needs to have a proper knowledge of various formats of writing so that both the differences and similarities are well-addressed. But one thing that is of utmost importance in any kind of writing is the need to fully understand the objectives behind writing.
Unless the objectives or the purpose is not clear in mind, the writing can never be effective. The grades of a student depend largely on these writing works assigned to him during the course. The most common mistake students make here is to consider all these three to be the same.
How to write a dissertation literature review: an in-depth guide
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How to write a dissertation literature review: an in-depth guide | Oxbridge Essays
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