Using a literature review organizer

Okay, this literature review organizer is
a helpful way to organize your literature review paper. Okay? So you have a topic for your literature review,
which is related to your field. Once you get that topic, you’re going to need
to find information in sources. So we can organize the information either
by the source that you found it in or the subtopic or theme that that information is
relevant to. So let’s start with sources, because I think
a lot of people are going to start with their sources. So I’ve got rows here for my different sources. Source 1, Judy Forman. Source 2, Donna Gorrell. That’s the author of my source, and then in
this row is where information from this source would go. Now the columns are the topics, the themes
that I’m finding information about. My overall topic for my paper is procrastination. So I’ve broken that down into different aspects
of procrastination that are covered in my sources. So I’ve got teacher attitudes, why students
procrastinate, how to deal with procrastination. You might be able to divide up your topic
into these themes before you start your research and you kind of look for stuff as you go. But you might not be able to. You might have to read through some of your
sources first to find out what there is information about before you can break it down into these
topics. Once you’ve got your sources and your topics
figured out, then you fill in the boxes, right? So here I’ve got Judy Forman is my row and
my topic is teacher attitudes towards procrastination. Well in Judy Forman’s article, she is uncritically
against procrastination, so that’s what I wrote in the box, that’s her attitude. I also wrote the page number where that information
was so that when I’m writing my paper I can easily find a quote to back up my claim. Okay? So I do that for all my sources. I have a lot of blanks here. That’s totally fine! All that means is that Judy Forman has information
about this topic but not these topics. If your source only has information about
one or two of the topics you’re going over, that’s fine. You really only need one or two sources on
ea–well, I shouldn’t say one or two. Two or three sources on each of these subtopics
you’re covering. Okay? You also want to–let’s go to the bottom here–make
sure that after you’ve kind of finished doing your research you should have a summary or
takeaway that condenses down what you found out about your topic. So looking again at the teacher attitudes
toward procrastination, what I found was that most of the sources were against procrastination,
at least when students were doing it. Um and so that gives me something I could
talk about, that’s kind of like the topic sentence that I might use for that portion
of my paper. Okay? And I need one of those for each of my subtopics. That’s especially important if my subtopics
are based on something um kind of arbitrary like time periods. If I said the 1970s, the 1980s, I need to
have like a point, like What’s interesting about the 1970s? Well, “Most people in 1970s were saying…”
you know, whatever they were saying. Okay? So then I can use this information to write
my actual literature review paper. I’ve sorted out four sections of my paper. Now, these’ll be longer than one paragraph
each, right, because if I only had a paragraph for each topic I’d have kind of a short paper,
um but you know two or three paragraphs for each, just like almost as if they were their
own little mini essay. So I’d write you know three paragraphs about
teacher attitudes toward procrastination, then I’d have like a transition, three paragraphs
about why students procrastinate, transition, and so on. And I’ve got you know information here I know
exactly where to go back to my articles if I need to find information to cite, and it’s
all basically sorted out for me. So this is very helpful to a lot of students. This is a lit review organizer, and you can
download a blank one right off of Canvas. Thanks very much!

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