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What is a literature survey? Why would I need one?

(6 Posts)
KatyMac Sun 31-Jul-11 15:29:51

For a project

2plus1 Sun 31-Jul-11 16:27:35

For a project you may have identified your research question but reviewing the literature provides evidence of the gap in knowledge that needs to be filled. Alternatively, there may be literature which supports either potential outcome of your research question so you would need to highlight these but compare and contrast the different views. Literature surveying enables you to demonstrate further knowledge of the subject area through reading others work applicable to your project. In any viable research project, the relevant publications by other groups should be reviewed and your subsequent project results put into the context of that existing literature base.

KatyMac Sun 31-Jul-11 16:31:03

Oh

Thanks

If my project is about "To look at the data held and recorded at XXX and examine if this might be done more efficiently and in reduced time."

What other literature would I look at?

I think something is very wrong.....

Mandyville Sun 31-Jul-11 16:39:18

Not necessarily. Is XXXX "The University of XXXX"? Or "The Department of XXXX"? In which case, there may well be papers which address the question which have already been written (and which you can quote/reference).

Even if this isn't the case, you need to think about the second part of the question: "examine if this might be done more efficiently and in reduced time". How do you know which data management systems are efficient? Are their books/papers on your reading list which address this? If so, these can also go in your lit review. You might need to write something like: "Morgan and Winship (2007) show that electronic data storage is more efficient than paper both in terms of physical space and in terms of ease of access."

Your tutor/lecturer/whatever should have told you what a literature survey is and how to conduct one. It's not really on to leave you on your own with this, I don't think.

Mandyville Sun 31-Jul-11 16:40:20

Bugger. "Are there books/papers..."

KatyMac Sun 31-Jul-11 16:54:53

Thanks Mandyville

XXX is the small company I own & work for so not literature I'm afraid

Your tutor/lecturer/whatever should have told you what a literature survey is and how to conduct one. It's not really on to leave you on your own with this, I don't think. *Oh I agree*

It's a technical course; we don't do books

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