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The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success
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The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A six-step model offers invaluable assistance for selecting a topic, searching the literature, developing arguments, surveying the literature, critiquing the literature, and writing the literature review.
Paperback, 164 pages
Published July 10th 2008 by Corwin Press (first published 2008)
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I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it contains a wealth of interesting information, ways of thinking about literature reviews, and some useful tools. On the other hand, it suffers from a number of problems that I will discuss below. I do not urge students to steer away from this book - there is not a lot of great works existing on how to do a literature review, and this book does contain valuable information. But the reader should see this as being one possible approach rath ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Monique rated it really liked it
Shelves: phd-stuff
Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2012). The literature review: Six steps to success. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.

The author’s breakdown the elusive literature review. All successful research starts with serious inquiry and reflection. The researcher should prepare and be ready to spend countless hours reading, investigating and critically reflecting on the topic, problem and issues surrounding it. Plan you time and just write allowing your ideas to flow. You must pick a topic that you can become im
Dec 26, 2012 Kitab rated it really liked it
In contrast to Christopher Hart's "Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination", this book is a much easier read. It's compacter, uses easier language, and quite a number of examples to motivate people struggling with the basics of writing a literature review. It uses a number of references including Hart's book to present argumentative techniques, which a struggling student/academician can use. In this way it follows the same strategy as another good book about ...more
Feb 08, 2012 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I've been told that I'm a great writer of literature reviews, and in preparation on teaching a workshop for others on the topic, I thought I would read this. In particular, I was hoping for systemic and step-by-step advice that I could pass on. Frankly, I found more that confused me than that I thought I could use. To be clear, there is a lot of good advice here, and the authors certainly chart a more systemic course than I could articulate on my own. However, many of their charts seemed needles ...more
Jul 09, 2013 Erin rated it did not like it
Find a different book. Or use some of those awesome search skills you've honed doing your academic research to find a few really great internet resources on doing a lit review, print them out at the student computer lab, and use that fancy stapler next to the printer to make them into your very own book. Scrawl your name and the words "STUFF THAT WILL ACTUALLY HELP ME FINISH THIS PROCESS WITHOUT LOSING MY MIND" on the front, and sleep with it under your pillow. I mean, you will have to refer to ...more
Sara Best
Dec 12, 2014 Sara Best rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a surprisingly readable and very practical book. It certainly shows that the scope of a lit review for a PhD is a huge task, but it lays out the steps very practically. The approach to organizing the research material looks so useful, I actually want to do a "test run" of the method for a shorter research paper I need to do.
Apr 23, 2011 Toni rated it liked it
Talk about simplifying (and demystifying) the literature review! Why didn't I read this BEFORE my publications? Here's hoping I can apply this stuff to my dissertation...
Jan 13, 2013 Fed rated it really liked it
This book is very helpful for who is writing a thesis or dissertation.
Jan 22, 2015 David2smith rated it really liked it
A good book. The literature review model in this book in interesting and useful.
Aug 23, 2013 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I really wanted to like this book but, ironically, it's very poorly written. The authors can't seem to keep their own terminology straight. For example, the first page of Chapter 1 defines three key terms: personal interest, research interest, and preliminary topic. The authors explain that you should start with a personal interest, use it to identify a research interest, and refine the research interest into a preliminary research topic. The rest of the chapter describes these three tasks in mo ...more
Michelle Turner
This book may prove useful to graduate students who do not have a class that is structured to train them on writing literature reviews. I found the fourth chapter on surveying the literature to be most useful to me particularly the matrices.
Sam Alexander
Jan 22, 2014 Sam Alexander rated it liked it
Skip the first chapter, which makes little sense on its own and esp not in the context of the book as a whole. Otherwise helpful in slowing down the process. Pacing is important for undergrads writing LRs for the first time
Nisah Haron
Feb 04, 2013 Nisah Haron rated it really liked it
Shelves: academic-read
A good book for organizing your chaotic 'literature review' before preparing proposal for dissertation.
Jan 02, 2014 Erica rated it liked it
Would have been useful in grad school. A bit repetitive. Am using a few parts for an undergrad research methods course.
Humberto Lopes
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