Blog

Reviewing little bits of literature

A student contacted me by email today with this question:

I was looking for some guidance or templates on writing an academic review for sections of a text and/or an article.  Can you point me to any resources on the website that may be of assistance?

I thought that raised an interesting question, one that other doctoral candidates and emerging academic writers might have.

Here is what I responded:

There is no difference in how you would review a small section or a whole book.

In reviewing any kind of literature, you would identify themes, key points, write down useful quotes and paraphrases, and then summarise the work (say using the Cornell method).
In reviewing any kind of research, you would report on the strength of the argument. You would synthesise your findings, introducing your sentences via phrases like these, and making it cohesive through linking words.
The text we most often recommend at Academic Skills is The Literature Review by Machi and McEvoy. I would also recommend Pat Thompson’s blog Patter in the Literature Review category.
I hope some of this helps you to write your review with confidence, facing all kinds and lengths of literature!
SHARE
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook

Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.

Contact

Related Posts

Proactive communication: newsletters and other stories

If you feel overwhelmed by your inbox and meeting demands, you are likely to be dealing with the challenge of reactive communication. That is, every day, you open your inbox and find tens or even hundreds of requests for information and tasks. Like many people, you may start the day with a sense of dread.

Read More

The “Writing Oxygen” and other tales from inside a writing house

Writing has technical aspects, sure. You need skills, and training. And you need to be organised and disciplined about keeping up with deadlines and juggling projects. And writing has physical challenges, you have to sit and use your back and wrists and neck and eyes. But, you also bring your weird, inner, non-rational self to the desk when you write. The inner self that has views about what music you can listen to, or that you need to enact your writing rituals before typing a word. There are good reasons why you might like what you like, but a lot of it just is personal preference, and that is totally a great reason to take it seriously.

Read More

Get the latest blog posts