It starts with a plaintive question: “Am I the only one struggling to write a literature review?”
The answer from Zina O’Leary, senior lecturer and workplace integrated learning coordinator for the University of Sydney Business School, is instant and re-assuring. “No, you are absolutely not the only one struggling to write a lit review.” In fact, O’Leary admits, even she has the occasional struggle with this required part of the research paper journey.
Thus begins this SAGE Research Methods video – viewable for free by clicking on the image below — explaining the misconceptions and struggles students often have with writing a literature review. In the series, O’Leary also provides step-by-step guidance on writing a persuasive literature review.
One key message is that literature review is not – repeat, is not – a review of literature. While that review is necessary for your own edification and education. “Now confusion starts when we ask you to write a lit review because that’s a totally different thing. Same words, a different order. No wonder it’s confusing.” A literature review, she explains, is a formal and even argumentative piece of writing with one major purpose – “and that is to argue the need for your own research.”
O’Leary is a recognized leader in research methodologies, and has a keen interest in the application of research to evidence-based decision-making. She is a senior fellow at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, and has an extensive history as a consultant to both government and the private sector. She is the author of Researching Real World Problems, The Social Science Jargon Buster, and Workplace Research.
SAGE Video offerings are close captioned but also include a searchable transcript that’s clickable to that point in the video, so when O’Leary shows a chart of various reasons for a lit review, you can go directly there in the video by clicking on the text. They also include citation information and the ability to make your own clips from the longer video. You can share via e-mail or social media, save to a playlist, and speed up of slow down play.
To view this particular video, for free, click here.
For more about SAGE Video Research Methods Video, click here.