🎙️ PODCAST: Ace The Literature Review

4 Time-Saving Tips To Fast-Track Your Literature Review

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) and Ethar Al-Saraf (PhD) | Feb 2024

Writing a literature review can be a daunting task for many students, but fear not! In this episode of the Grad Coach Podcast, we unveil four “cheat codes” that will help you fast-track your literature review process and ensure you stay on the right track.

Episode Summary


#1: Use Your Research Aims and Questions To Guide Your Search

When embarking on your literature search, use your research aims and questions as a compass to guide you. By inputting the keywords from your research questions into databases like Google Scholar, JSTOR, or your university’s academic repository, you can refine your search results to align closely with your research goals. This strategic approach not only saves time but also ensures that the literature you find is directly relevant to your study.

#2: Plan Out Your Chapter Structure in Advance

Before diving into writing your literature review, sketch out a loose structure outlining the introduction, main topics, and conclusion. By aligning this structure with your research questions, you can streamline your writing process and maintain focus throughout. Having a roadmap in place helps prevent digressions and ensures a cohesive flow in your review.

#3: Aim for Analytical Writing over Descriptive Writing

Distinguish between descriptive writing, which presents facts, and analytical writing, which delves into the significance and implications of these facts. When analysing sources, ask yourself the “so what” question to uncover the deeper meaning behind the information. By critically evaluating the data in relation to your research aims, you can elevate your literature review to a more insightful and impactful level.

#4: Embrace “Quote Sandwiches”

When incorporating quotes from sources, remember to use quote sandwiches. Introduce the quote with contextual information, insert the quote itself, and follow up with an explanatory sentence that links back to your research. This method not only enhances the readability of your writing but also demonstrates a deeper understanding of the cited material.

If you found these tips valuable, don’t forget to check out our free literature review template.

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