Research Methods Literature Review – Day 1. Literature review  What is the goal of a literature review?  How does it differ from the research paper.

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  • Research MethodsLiterature Review Day 1

  • Literature reviewWhat is the goal of a literature review?How does it differ from the research paper (like the ones you have written too many times in the past)?

  • Final resultClear picture of your chosen topic that shows the current state of knowledge.What do we know?What do we not know?What areas are very fuzzy/contradictory?

  • Why botherHow does a literature review establishExisting gaps in our knowledgeA level playing field for the readerYour credibilityThe validity of your topic

  • Literature reviewIs this a literature review?A typical undergraduate research paper takes one source (perhaps a book on the topic) and spends most of the time talking about what this book says. The other sources are added to support that first book.

  • Literature reviewHow do the texts differentiate between the literature review of a qualitative and quantitative research project?In other words, how does the literature get integrated into the text differently.

  • Can and should a topic be researchedWhat does this mean with respect to TCWhat is the difference between can and should in real-world terms

  • ContradictionsOften times, you'll find previous research is contradictory; different studies find what appear to be oppose conclusions. Yet, both of these studies are within the area you are researching. Even worse, one of them may not support the hypothesis you're planning for your study. How do you handle these contradictions when writing up the literature review?

  • Secondary vs primaryWhen you are selecting sources for a literature review, how do you make decision between using secondary and primary sources? What drives these decisions? How can your decisions effect the reader's response to the literature review?

  • Secondary vs primaryI once read a thesis which made extensive use of popular web design books (the kind you find in at Barnes & Nobles). What is the problem with using these sources extensively in an academic literature review?

  • Literature review as stand aloneAs secondary research, a literature review can provide a valuable contribution to the discipline's literature. What would be the characteristics of a literature review written in this style? How would it differ from the literature review section of a primary research project? Why would a person undertake to write such a literature review?

  • Writing as cyclic processYou start with a research question. Then you consider what you think are the implications (part 3 of a paper). Finally, you write a lit review which leads to your chosen implications.Is this good writing?Is it how research often works?

  • Writing techniques

  • OverviewMinimize citations in the introduction. Use your own words there; show your research muscle in the lit review.Remember you are building a story about how bricks fit into a wall. What are the bricks, how do they fit, where are there missing bricks.

  • Finding sourcesHow do you search for journal articles?How do you daisy chain articles?What is the problem with search engines?

    How does a TOC subscription help? (long term issue)

  • Direct quotesWhat drives the need to insertshort quoteslong quotesWhy bother with quoting?What is a dump quote?What defines overuse of quotes?

  • Example - poorOverall, Philbin, Ryan, and Friedel found that the practitioners surveyed--both randomly chosen STC members and graduates of Bowling Green State Universitys program in Scientific and Technical Communication--experienced a level of job satisfaction that was in the 35th to 38th percentile of national norms, using the Job Descriptive Index (JDI). (1995) This percentile indicates a much greater level of dissatisfaction with the work than is typically found in other occupations. (1995) Taking into consideration job aspects such as pay, possibility of promotion, supervision, co-workers, and gender differences, the survey concluded that technical writers are disaffected and suggested some implications for current educators. Philbin, Ryan, and Friedel focused on trainingtechnical, entrepreneurial, and reality.

  • Example - goodTwo other approaches proposed by Corbett and addressed by Miles, case studies and the praxis model, take the information approach to the next step--audience consideration. First, case studies treat knowledge as contextual and negotiable (Corbett 114). Case studies allow for audience analysis and evaluation of document design issues. A great deal of the internationalization research involves case studies. For example, in addition to Schriver, Waka Fukuoka in his article "Illustrations in User Manuals: Preference and Effectiveness with Japanese and America Readers" examines cultural design issues in his study of Japanese and American manual users. Fukuoka's study revealed

  • Example - poorIn the article Usability Basics for Software Developers, a sample of usability benchmarks is examined to access quantitative usability goals. These benchmarks are determined before any design begins. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines benchmarks as a point of reference for measurement. Jeffery Rubin recommends generating a chronicled record of usability benchmarks for future reference. Hereby, ensuring maintenance or progress in future products (Handbook 26). The benchmarks should be an average or maximal time interval for the task to be accomplished. For example, if you were analyzing the usability time of a predetermined E-mail system, you would need to recognize how long it takes users to accurately put in his or her name and address in the E-mail system. If it takes 15 minutes to conclude this task, the design is flawed by most standards. You will need to evaluate the average and maximum time it took users to enter the information correctly (Handbook 98).

  • Example - goodHirst (1996) is not only an advocate of faculty internships, but also reports on what he learned in his experiences as an intern. In accord with Rehling, he claims that a faculty internship is much more of a two-way street [because]you are expected to make some contributions, but your employers know that you are with them on a mission to improve yourself as an educator. (1996) He not only enumerates the benefits of this internship to himself, but also to the various organizations for whom he worked.

  • Example - goodMany of these guidelines cite Jakob Neilsons (1994/1997) observation that only 10% of web users will scroll down a page. In 1997, Neilson declared, scrolling now allowed. However, he still lists scrolling navigation pages as one of the Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design (Neilson, 1999). Additionally, work by Morkes and Nielson (1997), which found higher usability for concise and scannable text, has been used to support the notion that scrolling should be avoided on web pages. Although Neilson is widely regarded as an expert on web usability, much of his work has not been subjected to the scrutiny of peer review.

  • Example - poorThere is a persistent drive for editing to be done online rather than on print, because the internet has the capacity for multiple users, continual updating of editing methods, and directed goals to create tailored outcomes (Ojala, 2005). As production costs continue to increase, future expenses in health care rise continue to rise, and the availability of huge amounts of online data information is widespread, it is foreseeable that print editing will be obsolete in the future (Ojala, 2005). The challenge now lies in setting out strategies and frameworks for information discovery and content development for getting the most out of editing online (Ojala, 2005).

  • End

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