The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success

Author(s): Lawrence A. Machi


This new edition of the best-selling book offers graduate students in education and the social sciences a road map to developing and writing an effective literature review for a research project, thesis, or dissertation. Organized around a proven six-step model and incorporating technology into all of the steps, the book provides examples, strategies, and exercises that take students step by step through the entire process: Selecting a topic Searching the literature Developing arguments Surveying the literature Critiquing the literature Writing the literature review The second edition includes key vocabulary words, technology advice, and additional tips on when and how to write during the early stages-including the use of journals and memoranda-to make the literature review process a success.


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"If I had known about this book when I began working on my dissertation, it would have saved me at least a full year and much, much consternation! The clarity and organization with which this book is written make it a tremendous and exceptionally user-friendly asset to anyone who is serious about presenting clear, well thought-out research." -- Dr. Cindy Wilson, Associate Professor and Department Chair 20120516 "This is the one book a graduate level student in education will be able to use from cover to cover. It provides the perfect roadmap for the successful completion of an outstanding literature review. It should be a required text for all students attempting to complete a literature review." -- Dr. Cathy Patterson, Elementary Educator 5th Grade 20120516 "The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success is a must-have for both novice and experienced researchers. The authors provide a roadmap as researchers journey from inquiry to argument for advocacy. If a strong literature review is the foundation for a successful thesis or dissertation, Machi and McEvoy offer the building blocks for that foundation." -- Louanne Jacobs, Associate Professor of Education, Department Chairperson 20120516 "This book provides invaluable support for graduate students in writing a literature review. The authors provide a clear, straightforward model for taking a researchable idea and transforming it into a research study. I have already recommended this text to all of my doctoral students!" -- Dr. Sara McNeil, Associate Professor, College of Education 20120516 "Every graduate student would benefit from reading this text on how to do a literature review and working through the questions to refine their own work. This is a concise, logical and very well written tool for graduate students and their advisors." -- Dr. Sherry Markel, Associate Professor, College of Education 20120516

Lawrence A. Machi is a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne. He teaches research methods and design and chairs doctoral dissertation research in addition to teaching classes in organizational development. Machi has extensive experience in higher education, having taught in schools of education at the University of San Francisco, St. Mary's College of California, and Sonoma State University prior to his tenure at the University of La Verne. Machi has also been a K-12 educator, having worked as a secondary teacher and served as a school administrator in both secondary and elementary school districts in Northern California. He has held the roles of vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Machi has consulted with many California school districts and nonprofit organizations over the years. His specialties have been in the areas of finance, negotiations, and organizational development. He holds an MA in curriculum development and an EdD in organizational leadership. Brenda McEvoy began her fascination with research and writing at age 15 when she became the "interested amateur" reader for her father's books on topics including Pueblo ethnology and natural history. Those five years of early experience taught her the importance of careful research that produces logical arguments and that is expressed in clear, understandable language. She has taught high school English and history, including research skills, for the past 30 years. For eight years, she worked for the California State Department of Education leading groups of educators in improving their ability to edit and assess student writing. Also for the state, she was a mentor for beginning English and history teachers. Participation in the California Writing Project extended her knowledge of writing and the difficulties that students at all levels face when producing a major assignment. She has worked as an editor and a proofreader for the books of several associates. Currently, she is doing research on health insurance coverage for two teachers' associations. Her depth of experience as a practitioner teaching writing and researching at many levels has shown her the many pitfalls that can bedevil student researchers. Her major interest has always been to help writers create work that is clear and logical, guiding student researchers toward producing well-argued and well-written literature reviews.

Preface New to This Edition Audience Special Features and Text Organization Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction Key Vocabulary The Purpose of a Literature Review The Literature Review Defined The Literature Review Process Step 1. Select a Topic Step 2. Search the Literature Step 3. Develop the Argument Step 4. Survey the Literature Step 5. Critique the Literature Step 6. Write the Review Inquiry: The Necessary Precondition Ethics Pack Wisely Before You Begin Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 1: Step 1. Select a Topic Key Vocabulary Task 1. Choose a Research Interest Exercises Researcher Bias Task 2. Refine a Research Interest From a Personal Interest Activity 1. Specifying a Research Interest Activity 2. Focusing the Interest Activity 3. Selecting a Perspective Activity 4. Reflection: The Key to Interest Selection Task 3. Using the Research Interest to Identify a Preliminary Research Topic Rules for Library Use Task 4. Write the Preliminary Research Topic Statement Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 2: Step 2. Search the Literature Key Vocabulary Task 1. Select the Literature to Review Task 2. Conducting a Literature Search Activity 1. Managing Your Data Activity 2. Scanning the Literature Activity 3. Skimming the Literature Activity 4. Mapping Your Materials Activity 5. Creating Subject Memoranda Task 3. Refine Your Topic Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 3: Step 3. Develop the Argument Key Vocabulary Concept 1. Building the Case for a Literature Review Concept 2. Arguments-the Basics Concept 3. Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument Concept 4. Understanding Claims Claims Claim Acceptability Concept 5. Building Evidence Data Versus Evidence Data Quality Data Relevance Qualifying the Claim Concept 6. Warrants-Logically Connecting the Evidence to the Claim Concept 7. Multiple Claims Arguments Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 4: Step 4. Survey the Literature Key Vocabulary Task 1. Assemble the Collected Data Activity 1. Cataloging the Data Task 2. Organize the Information Activity 1. Arranging Information to Build Evidence Activity 2. Organizing the Information and Building Claims Task 3. Analyze the Patterns of the Data Complex Reasoning Comparative Reasoning Building the Discovery Argument: An Example Activity 1. Mapping the Argument of Discovery Activity 2. Analyzing the Argument Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 5: Step 5. Critique the Literature Key Vocabulary Concept 1. Implicative Reasoning Concept 2. The Two Arguments Concept 3. Argument Patterns Concept 4. Backing Concept 5. Fallacies Concept 6. The Case Is Everything Tips Summary Checklist Chapter 6: Step 6. Write the Review Key Vocabulary The Writing Process: Overview Task 1. Write to Understand Activity 1. Reviewing Notes and Memoranda Activity 2. Exploratory Writing Activity 3. Outlining Activity 4. Preliminary Drafting Task 2. Write to Be Understood Activity 1. Writing the First Draft Activity 2. Working With the Second and Third Drafts Activity 3. Completing the Final Draft Style Manuals Tips on Writing Last Words Glossary References and Further Reading Index

General Fields

  • : 9781452240886
  • : SAGE Publications Inc
  • : Corwin Press Inc
  • : 0.318
  • : August 2012
  • : 229mm X 152mm X 13mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Lawrence A. Machi
  • : Paperback
  • : 2nd Revised edition
  • : 001.4
  • : 200
  • : Illustrations, ports.