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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!

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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

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 .

For assistance with your order: Please email us at [email protected] or connect with your SAGE representative.

SAGE 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 www.sagepub.com

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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

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

How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences

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The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students

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Introduction What Is A Literature Review? The Literature Review At Different Degree Levels Why Is It Important To Undertake A Literature Review As Part Of Your Research? Where Do We Find The Literature Review In A Dissertation Or Thesis? Structuring Your Literature Review Task 1.1 Choosing A Literature Review Approach Summary Overview The Multiple Purposes of a Literature Review The Multiple Purposes Historical Background Contemporary Context Theoretical Underpinnings Definitions And Discussion Of Terminology Used In The Research Signalling A Gap In Previous Research And Using This To Justify Your Own The Significance Of A Problem For Research Task 2.1 Reflecting On Your Own Research Summary Sources of Information and Conducting Searches What Is A Literature Search? What Are The Purposes Of A Literature Search? Sources Of Information Evaluating Online Sources Of Information Different Types Of Research Tools For Finding Relevant Sources The Process Of Conducting A Literature Search T...

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This book explores social research methodologies and methods. It contains twelve which explain the research philosophies on which academic research is based, ethical considerations to take into account when doing research, how to conduct a literature review, write a research proposal, quantitative and qualitative methodology, action research and its variants, documentary, narrative research and finally how to publish from your research. This book is designed for early career researchers, students conducting research at Bachelor or Master's levels, or researchers in the community. There is a set of key points and exercises at the end of each chapter. It is written in easy to follow accessible language.

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Dr. Diana Ridley

The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series) Second Edition

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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 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.

About the Author

  • ISBN-10 9781446201435
  • ISBN-13 978-1446201435
  • Edition Second
  • Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication date July 31, 2012
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 6.69 x 0.53 x 9.53 inches
  • Print length 232 pages
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  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1446201430
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ SAGE Publications Ltd; Second edition (July 31, 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 232 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781446201435
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1446201435
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.31 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.69 x 0.53 x 9.53 inches
  • #473 in Research Reference Books
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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 diana ridley pdf

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

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

Sample materials & chapters, diana ridley, for instructors, purchasing options.

Please select a format:

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  1. [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 .

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

    Diana Ridley SAGE, Jul 23, 2012 - Study Aids - 232 pages This second edition of Diana Ridley′s bestselling book provides a step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and...

  3. The Literature Review

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Students Second Edition Diana Ridley - Sheffield University, UK Additional resources: Online Resources Series: SAGE Study Skills Series Other Titles in: Literature Reviews | Literature Reviews (PG) | Research Methods & Evaluation (General) July 2012 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd Download flyer Description Contents

  4. The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students : Ridley

    The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students ... The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students by Ridley, Diana, Dr., author. Publication date 2012 Topics ... Pdf_module_version 0.0.20 Ppi 360 Rcs_key 24143 Republisher_date 20230213084445 Republisher_operator

  5. The Literature Review

    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.

  6. The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students : Ridley

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

    Diana Ridley. July 2012. Sage. Find this book: 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.

  9. 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...

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  11. The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students

    The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students Diana Ridley 2008 Introduction What Is A Literature Review? The Literature Review At Different Degree Levels Why Is It Important To Undertake A Literature Review As Part Of Your Research? Where Do We Find The Literature Review In A Dissertation Or Thesis?

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    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. Expand

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

    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.

  14. 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...

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

    Diana Ridley. Sage. 2012. Find this book (affiliate link): 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.

  17. The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students

    Author: Diana Ridley. Summary: 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. Print Book, English, 2008. Edition: View all formats and editions. Publisher: SAGE, London, 2008.

  18. The Literature Review

    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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    TITLE: The literature review; a step-by-step guide for students. AUTHOR: Ridley, Diana. PUBLISHER: Sage Publications PUBLISH DATE: 2008 PAGES: 170 PRICE: $99.95 BINDING: Hardcover SERIES: Sage study skills LIBRARY OF CONGRESS...

  21. The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, Edition 2

    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.

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

    The Literature Review is a concise step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and writing up the literature review chapter in Masters dissertations and in Ph.D. and professional doctorate theses. Diana Ridley describes how to carry out a literature review in a systematic, methodical way, providing useful strategies for efficient ...

  23. [PDF] The Literature Review by Diana Ridley eBook

    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.