Primary (empirical) sources Primary (empirical) sources




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TitlePrimary (empirical) sources Primary (empirical) sources
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Primary (empirical) sources*****

  • Primary (empirical) sources*****

    • original; empirical; first published account
    • details on methodology, findings, and discussion
    • systematic observation (carefully planned)
  • Secondary sources

    • found in books, magazines, newspapers
    • global descriptions of findings


Sampling

  • Sampling

    • unrepresentativeness
    • sampling bias
  • Measurement

    • flawed instrumentation (surveys, interviews, observation, experimentation)
    • multiple measures -- consistent results?
  • Problem identification

    • researchers studying same problem might examine different specific (narrow) areas of the problem


Theoretical articles

  • Theoretical articles

    • theory built on existing empirical work
    • pieces of theory can be tested empirically
    • follow up on leads in bibliography
  • Literature review articles

    • new and fresh insights that advance knowledge
      • resolve conflicts in articles that contradict each other
      • identify new ways to interpret results
      • lay out a path for future research/generate propositions
  • Antecdotal Reports (do NOT use these)



Planning

  • Planning

    • defining a topic and selecting literature
  • Organizing

    • analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating review articles
  • Drafting

    • writing a first draft of the review
  • Editing

    • checking draft for completeness, cohesion, correctness
  • Redrafting



Are there obvious sampling problems?

  • Are there obvious sampling problems?

  • Are there obvious measurement problems?

  • Is the problem narrow enough? Too narrow?

  • Are there any other flaws in the paper?

  • Does the research make an important contribution to advancing knowledge?



Have the reviewers clearly identified the topic of review?

  • Have the reviewers clearly identified the topic of review?

  • Have the reviewers indicated its delimitations (time period, aspects of the problem, etc)?

  • Have the reviewers written a cohesive essay that guides you through the lit from topic to topic?

  • Have the reviewers interpreted the literature (as opposed to summarizing)?

  • Did the reviewers make an important contribution?



Term paper for class

  • Term paper for class

    • Plan carefully -- use a timeline. Don’t wait til the last minute to start. Pace yourself.
      • Stage 1: Prelim library search and selection of topic
      • Stage 2: Reading list and prelim paper outline
      • Stage 3: First draft of paper
      • Stage 4: Revised final draft of paper
    • Ask questions of your instructor -- understand expectatns
    • Keep your topic narrow; choose a well-defined topic
    • Use textbook subheadings or articles to help you choose
    • Get feedback on drafts (if possible)


Journal Article

  • Journal Article

    • introduction to topic, statement of purpose of empirical research, and lit review
    • establishes scientific context for study
    • very straightforward, short, focused.
    • Provide rationale and background for specific and often very narrow research projects
    • should reflect current state of research; articles included should be the most recent


Search an appropriate database

  • Search an appropriate database

    • can start with general topic
    • better to start with more specific topic, but can narrow down a general topic after seeing list of articles
  • Shorten list to a manageable size

    • which articles pertain to your major field of study?
    • reclassify articles in the list
    • is the journal respected in your field?


Write the first draft of your topic sentence

  • Write the first draft of your topic sentence

    • name the area you will investigate, in general
    • after examining more focused list of articles
  • Pick on-line databases that are appropriate for your topic

  • As you search databases for articles and narrow your search, redefine your topic more narrowly.

  • Start with the most current and work backwards



Use most recent applicable article(s) as sources for more articles.

  • Use most recent applicable article(s) as sources for more articles.

    • Compare bibliographies to your previous list and make strategic decisions about which to include. Keep in mind:
      • list should represent the extent of knowledge on the topic
      • list should provide a proper context for your investigation
  • Search for theoretical articles in databases and bibliographies of articles

  • Search for review articles, proposals, meta-analyses

  • Identify landmark or classic studies



Analyze chosen articles before you start writing

  • Analyze chosen articles before you start writing

  • 1. Scan articles to get an overview of each

    • first few paragraphs, paragraph before Method, major and minor subheadings, hypotheses, purposes, scan text (but don’t get caught in details), first para of Discussion
    • keep an eye on big picture by pre-reading
    • take notes on first page about overall purpose/findings
  • 2. Based on #1, group articles by category

    • by topic and subtopic, then chronologically


3. Organize yourself before reading

  • 3. Organize yourself before reading

    • computer, pack of note cards for comments, self-adhesive flags to mark important places
  • 4. Use a consistent format in notes

    • begin reading and making notes of important points on cards
    • start a system of note-taking and use system consistently
    • what is notable about the article?
      • Landmark/flaws/experimental/qualitative?
    • Use several cards per article


5. Note explicit definitions of key terms

  • 5. Note explicit definitions of key terms

    • note differences between/among researchers
  • 6. Note methodological strengths and weaknesses

    • e.g., triangulation of methods, sample sizes, generalizability.
    • does one article improve upon another bc of method?
    • does innovative methodology seem appropriate?
    • Is there enough evidence to support conclusions?
    • critique groups of studies together, esp if similar flaws
    • note patterns of weaknesses across studies


7. Distinguish between assertion and evidence

  • 7. Distinguish between assertion and evidence

    • understand empirical findings from data collected
    • v. author’s opinion
  • 8. Identify major trends or patterns in studies

    • if conflicting results, try to explain them
    • can make a generalization based on majority of articles or those with strong methodology.
    • Describe these generalizations carefully.
  • 9. Identify gaps in literature and discuss why



10. Identify relationships among studies

  • 10. Identify relationships among studies

    • when write, discuss them together
  • 11. Note how each article relates to your topic

    • keep your specific topic in mind all the time and make sure your articles address it. If not, do not include
  • 12. Evaluate your list for currency and coverage

    • start with most recent 5 years and include others if necessary.


1. Qualitative or quantitative? (makes notes)

  • 1. Qualitative or quantitative? (makes notes)

    • Quantitative: results presented as stats and numbers
      • explicitly stated hypotheses
      • large (100-1500), random sample from particular population
      • objectively scored instruments
      • inferential statistics -- make inferences about pop from sample
    • Qualitative: results presented as narrative
      • general, nonspecific problem, with no rigid, specific purposes
      • small, purposive (not random) sample
      • measure with unstructured instruments (interviews)
      • results in words with emphasis on understanding sample


2. Experimental or nonexperimental?

  • 2. Experimental or nonexperimental?

    • Experimental:
      • treatments administered to participants for purposes of study
      • effects of treatments assessed
      • almost all are quantitative
    • Nonexperimental:
      • participants’ traits measured without attempting to change them
      • quantitative or qualitative
      • do not use the term ‘experiment’ to describe, use ‘study,’ ‘investigation,’ etc.


3. Participants randomly assigned to conditions?

  • 3. Participants randomly assigned to conditions?

    • Guarantees no bias in assignment.
    • More weight given to true experiments (with RA).
  • 4. Cause/effect relationships asserted in nonexperiments?

  • 5. How were major variables measured?

    • Reliability and validity; appropriateness of measures
    • triangulation and strength of conclusions
    • discrepancies in results and patterns in method


6. Characteristics of participants/samples?

  • 6. Characteristics of participants/samples?

    • Make notes on demographics.
    • Could demographics have played a role in results? (no way you can say for sure, but might raise question
  • 7. How large is difference?... not just significance

    • statistically significant -- greater than chance, not necessarily big.
  • 8. Major flaws? (do not dissect each article)

    • Safe to assume that all empirical studies have them.
    • Degrees of evidence


1. Decide purpose and voice

  • 1. Decide purpose and voice

    • Purpose:
      • term paper, dissertation/thesis, journal article?
    • Voice:
      • formal, de-emphasize self, avoid first person (usually)
  • 2. Consider how to reassemble your notes

    • NOT a series of annotations of research studies
    • describe the forest (not the trees) from a unique perspective using the trees you found
    • how do the pieces relate to each other?


3. Create a topic outline that traces your argument

  • 3. Create a topic outline that traces your argument

    • establish for the reader the line of argumentation (thesis)
    • develop a traceable narrative that demonstrates the loa is worthwhile and justified (writer formed judgments about topic based on analysis and synthesis of lit)
    • TO is roadmap of argument.
      • Starts with assertion, then introduction, systematic review of relevant literature, and ends with conclusion that relates back to original assertion
  • 4. Reorganize notes according to path of argument

    • code cards according to TO; write cites on TO


5. Within each topic heading, note relationships among studies

  • 5. Within each topic heading, note relationships among studies

    • can subgroups be created?
      • Add detail to your outline
    • consider consistency of results from study to study
      • if discrepant, provide relevant info about research, trying to identify possible explanations for the differences
  • 6. Within each topic heading, note obvious gaps

    • discuss in manuscript


7. How do individual studies advance theory?

  • 7. How do individual studies advance theory?

    • Often researchers will discuss this in their studies -- use their expertise.
  • 8. Plan to summarize periodically and again near end of the review

    • especially with long, difficult, or complex topics
    • help reader understand direction the author is taking
    • begin last section with brief summary of main points


9. Plan to present conclusions and implications

  • 9. Plan to present conclusions and implications

    • conclusion: statement about state of knowledge using degrees of evidence.
      • “it seems safe to conclude that...” “one conclusion might be...”
    • if weight of evidence does not favor one conclusion over the other, say so
    • implication: statement of what people or organizations should do in light of existing research.
      • What actions (interventions) seem promising based on review
      • you are now an expert and can offer conclusions and implications.


10. Plan to suggest directions for future research

  • 10. Plan to suggest directions for future research

    • make specific (relevant) suggestions about gaps
      • can be populations (understudied groups), methodologies, etc
  • 11. Flesh out TO with details from analysis

    • final step before write first draft
    • include enough detail to write clearly about studies
      • strengths/weaknesses, gaps, relationships, major trends
    • TO will be several pages long
    • studies may appear in several places on TO


1. Identify broad problem area; avoid global statmts

  • 1. Identify broad problem area; avoid global statmts

    • start broad in your topic area and work toward specific
  • 2. Indicate why certain studies are important

  • 3. If commenting on timeliness, be specific

  • 4. If citing a classic or landmark, say so

  • 5. If landmark was replicated, say so and state result

  • 6. Discuss other lit reviews on topic

  • 7. Refer reader to other reviews on related topics

  • 8. Justify comments such as “no studies were found”



9. Avoid long lists of nonspecific references

  • 9. Avoid long lists of nonspecific references

  • 10. If results of studies are inconsistent or widely varying, cite them separately

  • 11. Cite all relevant references in review section of a thesis/dissertation or journal article

  • 12. Emphasize the need for your study in your lit review section or chapter

    • closes gap in lit, tests important aspect of current theory, replicates important study, retests hypothesis using new or improved method, resolves conflicts in lit, etc


Remember: this is not an annotated bibliography (a series of connected article summaries). Review should have a clearly stated argument, developed in such a way that all elements work together to communicate a well-reasoned account of argument

  • Remember: this is not an annotated bibliography (a series of connected article summaries). Review should have a clearly stated argument, developed in such a way that all elements work together to communicate a well-reasoned account of argument

  • 1. Describe review outline for reader

    • introductory paragraphs should include roadmap of where you are going in paper
  • 2. Near beginning, state what will and won’t be covered



3. Specify your point of view early

  • 3. Specify your point of view early

    • serves as thesis statement -- the assertion or proposition that is supported in remainder of report
    • can incorporate it into description of path of argument
  • 4. Aim for a clear and cohesive essay; avoid annotations

    • organize research to make a point
    • translate TO into prose account that integrates important details of research lit into an essay that communicates a point of view


5. Use subheadings, esp in long reviews

  • 5. Use subheadings, esp in long reviews

    • use TO to place strategically to help advance argument
  • 6. Use transitions to help trace your argument

    • e.g., first, second, third
  • 7. Consider a table for comparing studies

    • main characteristics of related studies
    • still must discuss them in narrative
  • 8. If topic crosses disciplines, review separately

    • e.g., diabetes in teenage girls: nutrition, medical, psych


9. Write a conclusion for the end of the review

  • 9. Write a conclusion for the end of the review

    • depends on reason for writing review
    • stand alone: make clear how material in body supports assertion or proposition presented
    • thesis/diss/journal article presenting original research: not labeled as conclusion. Lit review leads to research questions/hypotheses that will be addressed.
    • If paper is long and complex, briefly summarize
  • 10. Check flow of argument for coherence (does manuscript hold together as unified document)



1. Compare draft with TO

  • 1. Compare draft with TO

    • ensure you have fleshed out the path of the argument
  • 2. Check structure of your review for parallelism

    • balance in arguments: for/against; strengths/weaknesses
  • 3. Avoid overusing direct quotations

    • quotations should not be isolated from surrounding prose
  • 4. Check style manual for correct use of citations

  • 5. Avoid using synonyms for recurring words

    • allow the reader to compare across studies and internalize information quickly


6. Spell out acronyms when first use and avoid using too many

  • 6. Spell out acronyms when first use and avoid using too many

  • 7. Avoid contractions

  • 8. Coined terms should be quoted

  • 9. Avoid slang expressions, colloquialisms, idioms

  • 10. Use Latin abbreviations in parenthetics. Use English elsewhere

    • (e.g.,……); (cf. ….) or ….for example,……


11. Check draft for common writing conventions

  • 11. Check draft for common writing conventions

    • complete sentences avoid first person
    • avoid sexist language strive for clarity
    • use active voice 0-9 spell out, >10 write
    • spell out number when first word in sentence.
  • 12. Write a concise and descriptive title

    • identify field of study and point of view
    • help reader adopt frame of reference
    • avoid “cute” titles
    • keep it short


13. Strive for user-friendly draft (for feedback)

  • 13. Strive for user-friendly draft (for feedback)

    • spell-check, proofread, edit number pages
    • double-space use 1” margins
    • staple or binder clip identify yourself
    • font should be readable avoid “cute” touches
  • 14. Avoid plagiarism at all costs

    • see University rules about this
  • 15. Get help if you need it

    • hire proofreaders
    • go to writing center on campus


Put the ms aside for a time to create some distance

  • Put the ms aside for a time to create some distance

  • Remember that writing is an ongoing process of negotiation between writer and audience

  • Approach draft from viewpoint of audience member

  • Get feedback from anyone who will read your paper

  • DO NOT BE PERSONALLY OFFENDED BY SOMEONE’S CRITICAL EVALUATION of your work!!!!!



1. The reader is always right

  • 1. The reader is always right

    • if the reader did not understand a point, rewrite it.
      • What needs to be clarified? What specifically is the trouble?
  • 2. Expect your instructor to comment on content

    • do not make it difficult for instructor to read/understand
      • get the style/grammar/language in order before handing it over
  • 3. Concentrate on comments about ideas

    • did ideas come across as you intended?
  • 4. Reconcile contradictory feedback

    • seek clarification from both and negotiate a resolution


5. Reconcile comments about style with a style manual

  • 5. Reconcile comments about style with a style manual

  • 6. Allow plenty of time for feedback and redrafting process

    • at least one or two drafts!!


By Jose Galvan, 1999, Pyrczak Publishing, LA, CA

  • By Jose Galvan, 1999, Pyrczak Publishing, LA, CA

  • Excellent book with great examples

  • Contains a comprehensive self-editing checklist for refining the final draft at end.

  • Contains 3 excellent literature reviews for evaluation and analysis

  • I *highly recommend* purchasing this book



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