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PY3106: Theoretical Foundations of Modern Psychology Guide: Literature Review Resources

Why do a literature review?

A literature review examines the scholarly literature around your particular thesis or hypothesis.  This piece of writing is not a review of the entire field, but of fields related directly to your study.  A literature review is a critical survey and assessment of the existing research on a particular topic.  The emphasis here is on the word “critical” – showcasing your critical thinking skills in this document is part of the reason for doing it, so the literature review must not be a mechanical exercise but a true piece of scholarship.

A literature review should provide a firm intellectual context for the research in the body of the thesis by systematically describing, summarising, evaluating and clarifying current thinking in the field, then synthesising what you have found to create a justification for your own project.

Use the techniques of active reading when preparing your literature review, posing questions as you go.  Your approach will also involve organised reading, creating a growing and dynamic document or series of documents that accumulate your raw materials and deepen your understanding.

Writing the Literature Review (Part 1)

Writing the Literature Review (Part 2)

Useful links

Literature review books

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