Research Methods Week 3 – 12 May 2014

Posted by Hugh on May 18, 2014 in Reflection, Research Methods |

This week we had a guest lecturer John Dalat for Dundalk IT who talked to us about literature reviews.

Literature review is a mechanical process of reading for meaning. John introduced me to the PAR model of teaching that he uses – Present Apply Review:

Present – New information and or concepts are presented to the Student

Apply – The student carries out an activity that requires them to apply the material presented (Learning by doing)

Review – The key points are confirmed and emphasised with explanations that link the new learning with former learning. This strengthens the links that will be used during subsequent recall.

When you are reading a piece of literature you have to read it for meaning. This involves knowing what you want to get from the piece of work and assessing whether or not it give the information you need.

When you are reviewing literature you need to ask your self questions such as:

  • Is it a good academic source? i.e. peer reviewed
  • Does it clearly cover the area concerned? i.e. focus
  • Is ir relevant and up to date?
  • Have you provided a balance review? i.e. covers both sides of the argument.

You need to go back to basics and discover the seminal sources for the area you are reviewing. You need to set the context, critically synthesise your argument and construct the story for the reader.

A systematic review looks at:

  • What the author is trying to say
  • How the argument is presented
  • Identifies what can be used from the source
  • Who has written the piece
  • What has the piece added to your knowledge
  • Give some recommendations
  • How did the author reach their conclusion.

This session was extremely useful as it focused the mind on the literature review and gave me a lot of good tips on systematically reviewing the literature out there. It reinforced some areas such as identifying the source and ensuring it is academically sound. I found it useful how John explained the literature review present a story of your research and where you want it to go.

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