Literature Reviews 101 How to write a compelling and “A”-worthy literature review.

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  • Slide 1
  • Literature Reviews 101 How to write a compelling and A-worthy literature review
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  • What is a Literature Review? Analysis Evaluation Synthesis What a Literature Review is not? Summary
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  • What is the purpose of a Literature Review? demonstrate knowledge justify topic and / or chosen method identify where research fits identify relationships / discover key variables place research in historical context
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  • Reading To Review What to extract? arguments; conclusions; findings; hypotheses; interpretations; methods; research questions; theories
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  • What is Analysis & Synthesis? Analysis systematic breakdown into constituent parts points & evidence Synthesis making connections between the parts looking for a new order / patterns
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  • Making an argument? Two components: 1.point / statement 2.reason / evidence
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  • Focused Organizing for Your Lit Review Making Sense of Your Notes
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  • Example of Raw Notes From Current Project
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  • Example Summary Table Key themes: fuel type & vehicle attributes (monetary, non- monetary & environmental) Further breakdown (e.g. monetary into price, fuel cost, maintenance)
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  • From Notes to Paragraph, Step 1 ThemeStudy Variables Examined & Findings (sig. in bold) Monetary* Adler et al. * Beggs et al. * Bolduc et al. * Bunch et al. * Ewing * price, fuel $, maint., also $ incentives (no tax, free parking, HOV access/commute) * price, fuel $ * price, fuel $, maint., HOV access * price, fuel $ * price, fuel $, maint., free parking, reduced commute time Env. Char. (emissio n levels) * Adler et al. * Beggs et al. * Bolduc et al. * Bunch et al. * Ewing * emissions (more likely to buy AFV if pollution levels at 10% of today, but may be misleading) * emissions * not evaluated
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  • Monetary attributes most commonly examined in stated preference studies include vehicle purchase price, fuel operating cost, and to a lesser extent, maintenance cost. Findings are fairly consistent; vehicle purchase price and fuel operating costs tend to be the primary factors influencing consumer demand for AFVs. 1 In a small number of studies, other monetary attributes such as tax incentives or subsidies, 2 free parking, 3 or commute costs, including access to express lanes, 4 are considered, but these tend not to be significant predictors. From Notes to Paragraph, Step 2
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  • Your Turn Topic: environmental characteristics of AFV and peoples preferences What might be the research question you are answering? What is the general / overall finding? How many studies? Explanation for the finding? (Think about car buying behavior, whats most important?) Exception(s) to the overall finding? Possible explanation for the exception?
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  • Given the potential environmental benefits of AFVs, it is important to understand consumer preferences related to environmental performance. Although five out of six studies evaluate the importance of environmental attributes, rarely do results indicate that pollution level is a significant factor influencing consumer decision-making (monetary attributes tend to outweigh most other concerns). 1 One study did find a significant effect, but caution needs to be taken since research suggests people often give socially- responsible answers not reflected in actual buying behavior. 2 Your Turn: AFVs, Emissions & Preferences
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  • Group Activity: Practice Analysis/Synthesis Resources: table of research findings, guiding questions Task: in small groups, identify the key themes/findings in one area (support for taxes; demographic variables; environmental attitudes/behavior findings) Report: write your conclusions (in bullet point) on the board
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  • Assignment Review Four Components: 1.Introduction (provide structure for reader; identify focus of review, acknowledge specific exclusions) 1.Main Themes/Debates (consider subheadings for each) 1.Conclusion (summarize major findings, show how your research fits) 1.Annotated Bibliography (proper citation & specify reference type -- see table)
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  • Assignment Review Due dates: Draft - October 25 Final - November 15 What to include: analytical references (academic articles, high- quality professional reports) not primary documents (use these in your actual research activity) 30 sources, min. 15 peer-reviewed journal articles


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