+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6,243

    Advice on doing my literature review

    I wanted to get some input on how I am preparing for the literature review for my doctorate degree. It's about a year and a half off, but I have already started. Here's my method, please give any critiques or suggestions that come to mind.

    1. I already have a vague dissertation topic in mind and, unless absolutely impossible, every paper I write for a class involves something to do with that topic.

    2. I thoroughly research each paper and then catalog all of the references and notes in Zotero. Each reference has all my notes for the article pasted on a "child-note" attached to the bibliographic information stored in Zotero. Every time I pull up a specific reference to an article, the notes I have taken from that article are attached.

    3. Each reference is indexed with tags that I can use to search and quickly find the article, my notes and the associated reference.

    I'm hoping that investing the extra effort to do this now will make my literature review much easier to research and write. In fact, I'm hoping to have a majority of my literature search complete when I start my literature review in earnest.

    Any thoughts or tips?
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  2. #2
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    punoɹɐ ƃuıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ
    Posts
    5,361
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelOliver View Post
    It's about a year and a half off, but I have already started.
    Which is why you will do awesome!
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College -------- AA, Liberal Arts ---- Excelsior College

    I say do what makes you happy -- if you can afford it. - CalDog

  3. #3
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6,243
    Hope you are right.
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  4. #4
    airtorn is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    1,739
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelOliver View Post
    ...Any thoughts or tips?
    I am reminded of why I have no interest in pursuing a doctorate.

  5. #5
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6,243
    Quote Originally Posted by airtorn View Post
    I am reminded of why I have no interest in pursuing a doctorate.
    I must be mentally ill, but I enjoy it.
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  6. #6
    airtorn is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    1,739
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelOliver View Post
    I must be mentally ill, but I enjoy it.
    The time commitment involved with the dissertation is the thing that keeps turning me off to the idea.

  7. #7
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    punoɹɐ ƃuıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ
    Posts
    5,361
    Quote Originally Posted by airtorn View Post
    I am reminded of why I have no interest in pursuing a doctorate.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College -------- AA, Liberal Arts ---- Excelsior College

    I say do what makes you happy -- if you can afford it. - CalDog

  8. Advertisement

  9. #8
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    7,916
    Maybe I can pile on a bit: remember that a literature review can potentially be tweeked into a good journal article.

  10. #9
    edowave is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,589
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelOliver View Post
    I wanted to get some input on how I am preparing for the literature review for my doctorate degree. It's about a year and a half off, but I have already started. Here's my method, please give any critiques or suggestions that come to mind.

    1. I already have a vague dissertation topic in mind and, unless absolutely impossible, every paper I write for a class involves something to do with that topic.

    2. I thoroughly research each paper and then catalog all of the references and notes in Zotero. Each reference has all my notes for the article pasted on a "child-note" attached to the bibliographic information stored in Zotero. Every time I pull up a specific reference to an article, the notes I have taken from that article are attached.

    3. Each reference is indexed with tags that I can use to search and quickly find the article, my notes and the associated reference.

    I'm hoping that investing the extra effort to do this now will make my literature review much easier to research and write. In fact, I'm hoping to have a majority of my literature search complete when I start my literature review in earnest.

    Any thoughts or tips?
    I did a process similar to yours. I ended up with a few hundred references in Endnote with a bunch of notes. With that many, it made it had to back and look for individual articles, even with the tags.

    I recently stumbled across this awesome post on using Mind Maps to track your references and put together your lit review. If I used this method to write my dissertation, I probably would have been done a lot sooner!

    SciPlore Blog » Blog Archive » How to write a thesis (Bachelor, Master, or PhD) and which software tools to use
    BS, MS, PhD - University of Florida
    MBA - Heriot-Watt University
    Penn Foster - Home Remodeling and Repair (currently)
    Edinburgh Business School East Coast Alumni Ambassador

  11. #10
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6,243
    Quote Originally Posted by edowave View Post
    I did a process similar to yours. I ended up with a few hundred references in Endnote with a bunch of notes. With that many, it made it had to back and look for individual articles, even with the tags.

    I recently stumbled across this awesome post on using Mind Maps to track your references and put together your lit review. If I used this method to write my dissertation, I probably would have been done a lot sooner!

    SciPlore Blog » Blog Archive » How to write a thesis (Bachelor, Master, or PhD) and which software tools to use
    Fabulous! Thank you very much!
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  12. #11
    distancedoc2007 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    229
    A good tip I got was to locate those journal articles that offer a survey or critical overview of the state of the scholarship in the field. They are like miniature lit reviews in themselves, often offer a good intro to the historical currents of thought and are loaded with references. There's no magic bullet for finding them that I found, but you will know when you are looking at one - the title sometimes offers a clue. These are great finds and excellent shortcuts for organizing your ideas. Good luck!

Similar Threads

  1. Any advice on GRE English Literature?
    By jackrussell in forum CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-03-2009, 10:00 PM
  2. Employer Perceptions of Online Degrees: A Literature Review
    By Abner in forum General Distance Learning Discussions
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-26-2009, 01:07 AM
  3. Advice on passing the GRE subject exam in Literature in English
    By Niteowl444 in forum General Distance Learning Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-30-2006, 02:44 AM
  4. Degree advice - Review of life experience degrees
    By George Brown in forum Off-Topic Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-28-2005, 04:42 PM
  5. Question about literature review
    By Roscoe in forum General Distance Learning Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-17-2003, 09:37 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174