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Literature Reviews

General information on how to organize and write a literature review.

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Reviewing the Literature

Evaluate Your Sources

When you work with the literature you will read and critically examine the articles and books. You want to evaluate the information based on:

  • Credibility—What are the author's credentials? Are the author's arguments supported by evidence (e.g. primary historical material, case studies, narratives, statistics, recent scientific findings)?
  • Objectivity—Is the author's perspective even-handed or prejudicial? Is contrary data considered or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the author's point?
  • Persuasiveness—Which of the author's theses are most/least convincing?
  • Value—Are the author's arguments and conclusions convincing? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject?

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Describes parts of an empirical research article