Welcome to the Graduate Academic Skills course

Sample literature review:
Grouping Assignment:


Sample literature reviews:

Literature reviews in Business examples





Logical Fallacies:

The Process:
Literature review


Exercises about synthesis fir lit review

Approach for teaching



Common mistakes





Steps to writing the literature review

Step 7: Writing the review (Galvan, 2006: 81-90)

Identify the broad problem area, but avoid global statements
Early in the review, indicate why the topic being reviewed is important
Distinguish between research finding and other sources of information
Indicate why certain studies are important
If you are commenting on the timeliness of a topic, be specific in describing the time frame
If citing a classic or landmark study, identify it as such
If a landmark study was replicated, mention that and indicate the results of the replication
Discuss other literature reviews on your topic
Refer the reader to other reviews on issues that you will not be discussing in details
Justify comments such as, "no studies were found."
Avoid long lists of nonspecific references
If the results of previous studies are inconsistent or widely varying, cite them separately
Cite all relevant references in the review section of thesis, dissertation, or journal article
Step 8: Developing a coherent essay (Galvan, 2006: 91-96)

If your review is long, provide an overview near the beginning of the review
Near the beginning of a review, state explicitly what will and will not be covered
Specify your point of view early in the review: this serves as the thesis statement of the review.
Aim for a clear and cohesive essay that integrates the key details of the literature and communicates your point of view (a literature is not a series of annotated articles).
Use subheadings, especially in long reviews
Use transitions to help trace your argument
If your topic teaches across disciplines, consider reviewing studies from each discipline separately
Write a conclusion for the end of the review: Provide closure so that the path of the argument ends with a conclusion of some kind. How you end the review, however, will depend on your reason for writing it. If the review was written to stand alone, as is the case of a term paper or a review article for publication, the conclusion needs to make clear how the material in the body of the review has supported the assertion or proposition presented in the introduction. On the other hand, a review in a thesis, dissertation, or journal article presenting original research usually leads to the research questions that will be addressed.
Check the flow of your argument for coherence.

Galvan, J. (2006). Writing literature reviews: a guide for students of the behavioral sciences ( 3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.


Content of the Review


The introduction explains the focus and establishes the importance of the subject. It discusses what kind of work has been done on the topic and identifies any controversies within the field or any recent research which has raised questions about earlier assumptions. It may provide background or history. It concludes with a purpose or thesis statement. In a stand-alone literature review, this statement will sum up and evaluate the state of the art in this field of research; in a review that is an introduction or preparatory to a thesis or research report, it will suggest how the review findings will lead to the research the writer proposes to undertake.


Often divided by headings/subheadings, the body summarizes and evaluates the current state of knowledge in the field. It notes major themes or topics, the most important trends, and any findings about which researchers agree or disagree. If the review is preliminary to your own thesis or research project, its purpose is to make an argument that will justify your proposed research. Therefore, it will discuss only that research which leads directly to your own project.


The conclusion summarizes all the evidence presented and shows its significance. If the review is an introduction to your own research, it highlights gaps and indicates how previous research leads to your own research project and chosen methodology. If the review is a stand-alone assignment for a course, it should suggest any practical applications of the research as well as the implications and possibilities for future research.



Methodology section Task
Poster Template:
Due Thursday 19th November 2014 (Group presentations of 4 students)
1- Surveys results Nov 10th
2- Analysis Nov 12th
3- First draft (poster or ppt) Nov 17th
4- final submission and presentation Nov 24th
1- Form groups of 4
2- Choose a topic:
Some possible topics (optional)

a. What are the effects of family income on a student's S.A.T. scores?
b. Marketing vs. e-marketing: Which is more effective and efficient?
c. The relationship between Multitasking and Academic Performance
d. The relationship between student work — both on and off campus — and the typical effects on learning.
e. Student debt: How students feel about rising debt levels
f. How do students on your campus study for exams? Who taught them the techniques they use — high school teachers, peers, parents? Is the campus faculty doing enough to teach effective learning?

3- Data preparation, Interpretation and Analysis:
- The instrument: Instrument means the measurement device (survey, test, questionnaire, etc.).

4- Presentation

You can read these excerpts about instruments below:

Source: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/3585?e=blackstone_1.0-ch09_s03
Quantitative interviews
Quantitative interviews are similar to qualitative interviews in that they involve some researcher/respondent interaction. But the process of conducting and analyzing findings from quantitative interviews also differs in several ways from that of qualitative interviews. Each approach also comes with its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. We’ll explore those differences here.

Conducting Quantitative Interviews

Much of what we learned in the previous chapter on survey research applies to quantitative interviews as well. In fact, quantitative interviews are sometimes referred to as survey interviews because they resemble survey-style question-and-answer formats. They might also be called Interviews during which the same questions are asked of every participant in the same way, and survey-style question-and-answer formats are utilized.. The difference between surveys and standardized interviews is that questions and answer options are read to respondents rather than having respondents complete a questionnaire on their own. As with questionnaires, the questions posed in a standardized interview tend to be closed ended. [1] There are instances in which a quantitative interviewer might pose a few open-ended questions as well. In these cases, the coding process works somewhat differently than coding in-depth interview data. We’ll describe this process in the following subsection.
In quantitative interviews, an A document containing the list of questions and answer options that quantitative interviewers read to respondents. is used to guide the researcher as he or she poses questions and answer options to respondents. An interview schedule is usually more rigid than an interview guide. It contains the list of questions and answer options that the researcher will read to respondents. Whereas qualitative researchers emphasize respondents’ roles in helping to determine how an interview progresses, in a quantitative interview, consistency in the way that questions and answer options are presented is very important. The aim is to pose every question-and-answer option in the very same way to every respondent. This is done to minimize Occurs when an interviewee is influenced by how or when questions and answer options are presented by an interviewer., or possible changes in the way an interviewee responds based on how or when questions and answer options are presented by the interviewer.
Quantitative interviews may be recorded, but because questions tend to be closed ended, taking notes during the interview is less disruptive than it can be during a qualitative interview. If a quantitative interview contains open-ended questions, however, recording the interview is advised. It may also be helpful to record quantitative interviews if a researcher wishes to assess possible interview effect. Noticeable differences in responses might be more attributable to interviewer effect than to any real respondent differences. Having a recording of the interview can help a researcher make such determinations.
Quantitative interviewers are usually more concerned with gathering data from a large, representative sample. As you might imagine, collecting data from many people via interviews can be quite laborious. Technological advances in telephone interviewing procedures can assist quantitative interviewers in this process. One concern about telephone interviewing is that fewer and fewer people list their telephone numbers these days, but random digit dialing (RDD) takes care of this problem. RDD programs dial randomly generated phone numbers for researchers conducting phone interviews. This means that unlisted numbers are as likely to be included in a sample as listed numbers (though, having used this software for quantitative interviewing myself, I will add that folks with unlisted numbers are not always very pleased to receive calls from unknown researchers). Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) programs have also been developed to assist quantitative survey researchers. These programs allow an interviewer to enter responses directly into a computer as they are provided, thus saving hours of time that would otherwise have to be spent entering data into an analysis program by hand.
Conducting quantitative interviews over the phone does not come without some drawbacks. Aside from the obvious problem that not everyone has a phone, research shows that phone interviews generate more fence-sitters than in-person interviews (Holbrook, Green, & Krosnick, 2003). [2] Responses to sensitive questions or those that respondents view as invasive are also generally less accurate when data are collected over the phone as compared to when they are collected in person. I can vouch for this latter point from personal experience. While conducting quantitative telephone interviews when I worked at a research firm, it was not terribly uncommon for respondents to tell me that they were green or purple when I asked them to report their racial identity.

Analysis of Quantitative Interview Data

As with the analysis of survey data, analysis of quantitative interview data usually involves coding response options numerically, entering numeric responses into a data analysis computer program, and then running various statistical commands to identify patterns across responses. of describes the coding process for quantitative data. But what happens when quantitative interviews ask open-ended questions? In this case, responses are typically numerically coded, just as closed-ended questions are, but the process is a little more complex than simply giving a “no” a label of 0 and a “yes” a label of 1.
In some cases, quantitatively coding open-ended interview questions may work inductively, as described in . If this is the case, rather than ending with codes, descriptions of codes, and interview excerpts, the researcher will assign a numerical value to codes and may not utilize verbatim excerpts from interviews in later reports of results. Keep in mind, as described in , that with quantitative methods the aim is to be able to represent and condense data into numbers. The quantitative coding of open-ended interview questions is often a deductive process. The researcher may begin with an idea about likely responses to his or her open-ended questions and assign a numerical value to each likely response. Then the researcher will review participants’ open-ended responses and assign the numerical value that most closely matches the value of his or her expected response.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative Interviews

Quantitative interviews offer several benefits. The strengths and weakness of quantitative interviews tend to be couched in comparison to those of administering hard copy questionnaires. For example, response rates tend to be higher with interviews than with mailed questionnaires (Babbie, 2010). [3] That makes sense—don’t you find it easier to say no to a piece of paper than to a person? Quantitative interviews can also help reduce respondent confusion. If a respondent is unsure about the meaning of a question or answer option on a questionnaire, he or she probably won’t have the opportunity to get clarification from the researcher. An interview, on the other hand, gives the researcher an opportunity to clarify or explain any items that may be confusing.
As with every method of data collection we’ve discussed, there are also drawbacks to conducting quantitative interviews. Perhaps the largest, and of most concern to quantitative researchers, is interviewer effect. While questions on hard copy questionnaires may create an impression based on the way they are presented, having a person administer questions introduces a slew of additional variables that might influence a respondent. As I’ve said, consistency is key with quantitative data collection—and human beings are not necessarily known for their consistency. Interviewing respondents is also much more time consuming and expensive than mailing questionnaires. Thus quantitative researchers may opt for written questionnaires over interviews on the grounds that they will be able to reach a large sample at a much lower cost than were they to interact personally with each and every respondent.


Tips for effective surveys:

Argumentative essay

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http://www.gwu.edu/~litrev/ not really

Sample futrec Pp. 107-109 & 126-128