chapter  9
14 Pages

Fundamentals of a literature review

ByPETER STEANE

This chapter discusses the literature review, a critical part of the thesis. The literature review is also the foundation of the research project, on which the rationale for investigating the problem and for the chosen methodology is based. The chapter begins by discussing the role of the literature review within the thesis. Skills helpful in studying theory are provided. The metaphor of a tapestry is used as an illustration of the researcher’s skill in weaving together ideas, argument and schools of thought in composing a literature review. Examples are offered from different disciplines to explain these skills, from the broadest view of a general theory, down to the more detailed analysis of an individual theory represented in a particular piece of writing. Finally, the literature review is discussed as an ongoing and evolving task that you must constantly revisit and update in the course of writing your thesis.