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The Literature Review

The Literature Review A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

  • Diana Ridley - Sheffield University, UK
  • Description

This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and literature review, and guides the reader in how to write up a literature review as part of a PhD thesis or Masters dissertation.

Ridley outlines practical strategies for reading and note taking, and guides the reader on how to conduct a systematic search of the available literature, and uses cases and examples throughout to demonstrate best practice in writing and presenting the review.

New to this edition are examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines, a new chapter on conducting a systematic review, increased coverage of issues of evaluating quality and conducting reviews using online sources and online literature and enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

This book also comes with a companion website containing a wide range of examples of successful literature reviews from a wide range of academic disciplines.

See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html .

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'The Literature Review is a clearly written and easily accessible self-guided introduction packed with detailed examples. It's especially useful for budding researchers unfamiliar with crafting literature reviews that support strong theory development and empirical testing. I recommend it to every first-year doctoral student' - Michael R. Hyman Distinguished Achievement Professor, New Mexico State University

Excellent book, providing very good guidance on how to conduct a literature review.

Provides specific guidance on doing a literature review which is relevant to UG and PG students.

This text will support our trainees with their M-level study. A very useful text.

My students have found this book so helpful. The step-by-step approach offers clarity and helps build students' confidence in conducting a literature review.

Thank you very much for this insepction copy. This book is current and comprehensive. It includes useful consideration of referencing software. It has a particulalry easy to follow format with lots of text boxes and excercises. It is particularly useful for those new to literature searching.

This is an excellent book, clearly written and suitable for undergraduate students.

It outlines the purpose of literature review and gives good information about note taking and how be critical.

This book should help my students with the part of the research process to often struggle with.

Excellent guide. A must read for postgraduate learners.

This book provides detailed insights into carrying out the reserach for a literature review. Also it provides excellent step-by-step guidance in the writing process.

Helpful for students at all levels. The framework is useful for students trying to grasp a complicated procedure. The systematic literature review chapter is a nice addition. A great resource for students.

Preview this book

Sample materials & chapters, for instructors, select a purchasing option, related products.

How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences

  • Find My Rep

You are here

The Literature Review

The Literature Review A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

  • Diana Ridley - Sheffield University, UK
  • Description

New to this edition are:

  • Examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines
  • A new chapter on conducting systematic reviews
  • Increased guidance on evaluating the quality of online sources and online literature
  • Enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

This book also comes with a companion website containing a wide range of examples of successful literature reviews from various academic disciplines. SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub  for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

Supplements

Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub  for tips, resources and videos on study success!

'The Literature Review is a clearly written and easily accessible self-guided introduction packed with detailed examples. It's especially useful for budding researchers unfamiliar with crafting literature reviews that support strong theory development and empirical testing. I recommend it to every first-year doctoral student' - Michael R. Hyman Distinguished Achievement Professor, New Mexico State University

Excellent book, providing very good guidance on how to conduct a literature review.

Provides specific guidance on doing a literature review which is relevant to UG and PG students.

This text will support our trainees with their M-level study. A very useful text.

My students have found this book so helpful. The step-by-step approach offers clarity and helps build students' confidence in conducting a literature review.

Thank you very much for this insepction copy. This book is current and comprehensive. It includes useful consideration of referencing software. It has a particulalry easy to follow format with lots of text boxes and excercises. It is particularly useful for those new to literature searching.

This is an excellent book, clearly written and suitable for undergraduate students.

It outlines the purpose of literature review and gives good information about note taking and how be critical.

This book should help my students with the part of the research process to often struggle with.

Excellent guide. A must read for postgraduate learners.

This book provides detailed insights into carrying out the reserach for a literature review. Also it provides excellent step-by-step guidance in the writing process.

Helpful for students at all levels. The framework is useful for students trying to grasp a complicated procedure. The systematic literature review chapter is a nice addition. A great resource for students.

Preview this book

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How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences

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You are here

The Literature Review

The Literature Review A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

  • Diana Ridley - Sheffield University, UK
  • Description
  • Author(s) / Editor(s)

This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and literature review, and guides the reader in how to write up a literature review as part of a PhD thesis or Masters dissertation.

Ridley outlines practical strategies for reading and note taking, and guides the reader on how to conduct a systematic search of the available literature, and uses cases and examples throughout to demonstrate best practice in writing and presenting the review.

New to this edition are examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines, a new chapter on conducting a systematic review, increased coverage of issues of evaluating quality and conducting reviews using online sources and online literature and enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

This book also comes with a companion website containing a wide range of examples of successful literature reviews from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Supplements

Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub  for tips, resources and videos on study success!

'The Literature Review is a clearly written and easily accessible self-guided introduction packed with detailed examples. It's especially useful for budding researchers unfamiliar with crafting literature reviews that support strong theory development and empirical testing. I recommend it to every first-year doctoral student' - Michael R. Hyman Distinguished Achievement Professor, New Mexico State University

Excellent book, providing very good guidance on how to conduct a literature review.

Provides specific guidance on doing a literature review which is relevant to UG and PG students.

This text will support our trainees with their M-level study. A very useful text.

My students have found this book so helpful. The step-by-step approach offers clarity and helps build students' confidence in conducting a literature review.

Thank you very much for this insepction copy. This book is current and comprehensive. It includes useful consideration of referencing software. It has a particulalry easy to follow format with lots of text boxes and excercises. It is particularly useful for those new to literature searching.

This is an excellent book, clearly written and suitable for undergraduate students.

It outlines the purpose of literature review and gives good information about note taking and how be critical.

This book should help my students with the part of the research process to often struggle with.

Excellent guide. A must read for postgraduate learners.

This book provides detailed insights into carrying out the reserach for a literature review. Also it provides excellent step-by-step guidance in the writing process.

Helpful for students at all levels. The framework is useful for students trying to grasp a complicated procedure. The systematic literature review chapter is a nice addition. A great resource for students.

Preview this book

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The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition

  • Book Description
  • Editorial Reviews

New to this edition are:

  • Examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines
  • A new chapter on conducting systematic reviews
  • Increased guidance on evaluating the quality of online sources and online literature
  • Enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

This book also comes with a companion website containing a wide range of examples of successful literature reviews from various academic disciplines. SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub  for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

About the Author

  • ISBN-13 978-1446201428
  • Edition 2nd
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  • Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication date July 23, 2012
  • Language English
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  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00JWO427C
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ SAGE Publications Ltd; 2nd edition (July 23, 2012)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 23, 2012
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1070 KB
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Matthew Wargent

February 18th, 2013, book review: the literature review: a step by step guide for students by diana ridley.

3 comments | 4 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

In this second edition of The Literature Review , Diana Ridley provides increased guidance on evaluating the quality of online sources, and discusses copyright and permissions issues alongside many cases and examples to demonstrate best practice. Ridley outlines practical strategies for conducting a systematic search of the available literature, reading and note taking and writing up a literature review as part of an undergraduate research project, Masters dissertation, or PhD thesis. Matthew Wargent finds that the book holds its own against the many offerings in the blogosphere.

The Literature Review: A Step by Step Guide for Students . Diana Ridley. Sage. 2012.

the literature review a step by step guide for students by diana ridley

As part of Sage’s extensive Study Skills Series , the second edition of Diana Ridley’s text aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the literature review process for university students of all levels. Books of this nature face a significant threat from the proliferation of blogs (and accompanying twitter communities) designed to aid all stages of the research process, particularly at doctoral level. For a long time I have resisted the temptation to read step by step guides, doubtful that they could contain any value above that which can be gleaned from reading good published research in my own field. However having been recently drawn into reading numerous academic blogs, now seems an appropriate time to find out how the published alternative compares.

There can be little doubt that Ridley is well placed to provide advice as her own PhD concerned the the role of the literature review process in postgraduate research. The book contains eleven well delineated chapters that are extensively summarised in the contents page, allowing for easy reference to specific topics. Mapping out your literature review is usually one of the first tasks in any research project and as Ridley attests, it is rarely finished until the project itself is completed. The first steps of a literature review are unquestionably a daunting prospect for any student and of central concern to many is developing a critical voice. Chapter 8 furnishes students with a slew of techniques to develop a critical mindset, in a straightforward and logical manner. ‘Foregrounding your voice’ is an essential skill for fledgling academics and Ridley demonstrates how this can be achieved via manipulation of citation patterns, strategic organisation of the text and employing personal pronouns – a stylistic choice which undergoes a considered discussion. Ridley argues that despite the use of the first person historically being considered sacrilege, the practice is becoming increasingly fashionable within the social sciences.

Other chapters pay close attention to technological advances on offer to students, from the use of Boolean logic in Google Scholar searches to utilising tools such as CiteULike (and more besides: EndNote, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, Turnitin). The use of internet tools is well covered throughout; in fact this turns out to be one of the key strengths of the book. Academic blogs provide rolling coverage of all such tools so in order for texts of this nature to compete it is no longer the case that they can tag on a chapter devoted to the advent of new technologies as an afterthought. This analysis must now figure prominently throughout.

There are some portions of the book that could be filed under ‘leaving no stone unturned’. Chapter 4 advises: ‘avoid saying the words to yourself as you read’ and ‘do not run your finger under the lines as you read them’ (p66). Such recommendations should be redundant in a text aimed at university students. At times this particular chapter, ‘Reading and note-taking strategies’ descends into such minutiae of the educational process that it can only be of interest to those pursuing an EdD. As a result some of the guidance found here is too simplistic to warrant inclusion, though it fair to say that this is an occupational hazard of providing an exhaustive text catering to all abilities.

The text extensively uses examples to facilitate understanding, with a number of students’ theses used repeatedly throughout. In some chapters the examples far outweigh the text itself, however the continuity of these is an astute approach since the reader need not familiarise him or herself to the context each time. The final chapter contains concise reflexive descriptions of each contributor’s experience and these prove emblematic of the text’s accessibility, providing candid and illuminating snapshots of the overall process.

Ridley emphasises that conducting a literature review is not a linear enterprise, noting the “cyclical, continuous, and interconnected nature of the various processes involved” (p117) such as attempting to integrate the literature review into the wider research project. Even whilst it acts as the foundation of your research, it is not uncommon for the literature review to change and transform as you progress – for instance your findings can cause a significant shift in the focus of your review (p176). This recognition should be reassuring to students of all levels – academic writing is not a painless endeavour: it is complicated, demanding and rarely complete. Ridley’s authoritative text assures the readership that you are allowed to find this process difficult – it is only in the drafting and redrafting of your literature review that your own arguments are forged and refined. Students should distill confidence from this advice and be encouraged to take ownership of their literature review and write with self-assurance.

The utility of this book will be dependent on your own level of experience. It will prove most useful for undergraduates but that is not to say that the text is devoid of value for those further down the academic career path. For some, this book will serve better as a reference text than a cover-to-cover read, allowing you to cherry-pick the advice offered when needed. As an example, Chapter 11 – new  to this edition – could be read in isolation as it provides an insightful synopsis of how to conduct systematic literature reviews and considers their use in evidenced-based policy.

This is an accessible text that skilfully manages the difficult task of providing generic advice to students operating at different levels and in specific disciplines. The plethora of blogs that cover the academic process no doubt offer comparable advice, and whilst they offer community and interaction they can at times lack the authority of a published text that some students seek. As such Ridley’s book continues to hold its own against the blogosphere, containing all relevant information in one place and in a uniform style. For students, every literature review is forged through the competing interests of your discipline’s norms and style, your supervisor’s advice, the literature itself and your own voice – to navigate this landscape successfully a certain confidence in your own writing is required, and Ridley’s book might just provide that.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science. The LSE RB blog may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through the above Amazon affiliate link. This is entirely independent of the coverage of the book on LSE Review of Books.

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Matthew Wargent is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield where his ESRC funded research concerns the nature of democratic participation and political empowerment in the United Kingdom. 

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The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide For Students (Sage Study Skills Series)

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The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide For Students (Sage Study Skills Series) Paperback – 31 July 2012

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  • Book Description
  • Editorial Reviews

New to this edition are:

  • Examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines
  • A new chapter on conducting systematic reviews
  • Increased guidance on evaluating the quality of online sources and online literature
  • Enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.

This book also comes with a companion website containing a wide range of examples of successful literature reviews from various academic disciplines. SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub  for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

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  • ISBN-10 9781446201435
  • ISBN-13 978-1446201435
  • Edition Second
  • Publisher Sage Publications Ltd
  • Publication date 31 July 2012
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 16.99 x 1.35 x 24.21 cm
  • Print length 232 pages
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  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1446201430
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sage Publications Ltd; Second edition (31 July 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 232 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781446201435
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1446201435
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.99 x 1.35 x 24.21 cm
  • 126 in Under- & Postgraduate Student Guides
  • 136 in Social Sciences Statistics & Research
  • 235 in Study & Learning Skills for Educational Students

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the literature review a step by step guide for students by diana ridley

Frances Slack

This article offers support and guidance for students undertaking a literature review as part of their dissertation during an undergraduate or Masters course. A literature review is a summary of a subject field that supports the identification of specific research questions. A literature review needs to draw on and evaluate a range of different types of sources including academic and professional journal articles, books, and web-based resources. The literature search helps in the identification and location of relevant documents and other sources. Search engines can be used to search web resources and bibliographic databases. Conceptual frameworks can be a useful tool in developing an understanding of a subject area. Creating the literature review involves the stages of: scanning, making notes, structuring the literature review, writing the literature review, and building a bibliography .

Health Information & …

Andrew Booth

Mick Healey

Synopsis Identifying the most relevant, up-to-date and reliable references is a critical stage in the preparation of essays, reports and dissertations, but it is a stage which is often undertaken unsystematically and in a hurry. This chapter is designed to help you improve the quality of your literature search. The chapter is organized into the following sections:

Modern Language Journal

• Learning outcomes • The nature of a literature review • Identifying the main subject and themes • Reviewing previous research • Emphasizing leading research studies • Exploring trends in the literature • Summarizing key ideas in a subject area • Summary A literature review is usually regarded as being an essential part of student projects, research studies and dissertations. This chapter examines the reasons for the importance of the literature review, and the things which it tries to achieve. It also explores the main strategies which you can use to write a good literature review.

Research Synthesis Methods

Harris Cooper

International Journal of P R O F E S S I O N A L Business Review

With a view to examining the entire proposed structure for an empirical article, this editorial focuses on the Literature Review, also known as the Theoretical Framework. The literature review may be defined as “a documented review of published or unpublished works (articles, books, etc.) in specific fields of interest to the work of the researcher” (Ferreira, 2015: 36). It is to be found in conceptual articles such as empirical articles, whether qualitative or quantitative. It has a clear link to the article as a whole and provides support for the section on the development of the concept and the hypotheses/propositions that follow it in the structure of an empirical article.

BMC Medical …

Human Resource Development Review

Tonette Rocco

This essay starts with a discussion of the literature review, theoretical framework, and conceptual framework as components of a manuscript. This discussion includes similarities and distinctions among these components and their relation to other sections of a manuscript such as the problem statement, discussion, and implications. The essay concludes with an overview of the literature review, theoretical framework, and conceptual framework as separate types of manuscripts. Understanding similarities and differences among the literature review, theoretical framework, and conceptual framework can help novice and experienced researchers in organizing, conceptualizing, and conducting their research, whether qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods.

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  1. The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study

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  5. Book Review: The Literature Review: A Step by Step Guide for Students

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VIDEO

  1. Writing a Literature Review

  2. Literature Review Co-Pilot

  3. Hargeisa University Graduates Research/Dissertation.Ardayda Jaamcadda Hargeisa Cilmibadhis Sameeysay

  4. Ridley Bronson

  5. HOW TO WRITE A LITERATURE REVIEW; A Step-by-Step Guide to writing a Literature Review

  6. Diana Ross

COMMENTS

  1. The Literature Review : A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

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    This second edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling book provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and literature review, using cases and examples throughout to demonstrate best practice.

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    Second Edition. This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and literature review, and guides the reader in how to write up a literature review as part of a PhD thesis or Masters dissertation. Ridley outlines practical strategies for reading and ...

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    The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, Edition 2 - Ebook written by Diana Ridley. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, Edition 2.

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    The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students, by Diana Ridley, London, Sage, 2008, 170 pp., £18.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-4129-3426-8In this work, Diana Ridley presents a coherent and...

  11. The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study

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    Diana Ridley 3.76 146 ratings18 reviews The Literature Review is a concise step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and writing up the literature review chapter in graduate dissertations and in professional doctorate theses.

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    The complete guide to doing a literature search and review also contains a wealth of features to calm students overwhelmed at the prospect of doing their. ... The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students / Edition 2 available in Paperback. ... Diana Ridley is a Senior Lecturer at the TESOL Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK ...

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    The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students by Ridley, Diana, Dr., author. Publication date 2012 Topics ... Introduction -- The multiple purposes of a literature review -- Sources of information and conducting searches -- Reading and note-taking strategies -- Reference management: keeping records and organising information ...

  15. The Literature Review : A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

    This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review outlines practical strategies for reading and note taking, and guides the reader on how to conduct a...

  16. Book Review: The Literature Review: A Step by Step Guide for Students

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    The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students by Ridley, Diana, Dr. Publication date 2008 ... This is a "concise step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and writing up the literature review chapter in Masters' dissertations and in PhD and professional doctorate theses"--Page [4] of title page

  19. The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide For Students (Sage Study

    The complete guide to doing a literature search and review also contains a wealth of features to calm students overwhelmed at the prospect of doing their dissertation or thesis About the Author Diana Ridley is a Senior Lecturer at the TESOL Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK where she supervises research students in the fields of English ...

  20. [Diana Ridley] The Literature Review A Step by St(z lib.org)

    Search engines can be used to search web resources and bibliographic databases. Conceptual frameworks can be a useful tool in developing an understanding of a subject area. Creating the literature review involves the stages of: scanning, making notes, structuring the literature review, writing the literature review, and building a bibliography .

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    A Guide to Conducting a Systematic Literature Review of Information Systems Research. This article presents a methodology for conducting a systematic literature review with many examples from IS research and references to guides with further helpful details, and provides detailed guidelines to writing a high-quality theory-mining review.

  23. The Literature Review : A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

    Diana Ridley SAGE Publications, Mar 3, 2008 - Education - 170 pages The Literature Review is a concise step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and writing up the...