1. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    literature review

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ohmyrichard, Jul 16, 2009.

    Hi,guys.
    Is a literature review an indispensible part of the introduction of a literary thesis?
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've no clue what you mean... see if you can be a bit more specific... what are you writing and why are you writing it?

    if it's a class assignment, the one to ask is the teacher who assigned it...
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you mean a summary of the book in question, its sometimes a good idea but not an indispensable part. If you mean like a critical review, then no, critical reviews and academic criticism are two completely separate thing.
     
  4. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    A literature review is a survey of the current literature on the topic. You don't have to read every book, but you need to be able to talk knowledgeably about at least some of the most important writing.

    They're generally considered very important, since your thesis needs to be grounded in the current work. If you're doing something new, you still need to be able to show that you've done your reading, and explain why the current literature is inadequate.

    I suggest you talk to your lecturer or supervisor about this, as mamma points out.
     
  5. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks. But I did not mean a summary of the book in question by "literature review". Literature review means a summary of views by other scholars on the same issue. It seems that in the introduction of a critical paper this summary of findings others have made may be included. However, when it come to literary papers, this good knowledge of those findings seems to be implied throughout the paper; a lot of literary papers I have read do not list those findings in their introductions.
    I have borrowed several books from the school library, but as I have been pretty occupied, I have gotten around to reading them. What caused me to post my question is that I want to get more ideas as different people may have different ideas on this same issue.
    Thanks.
    Richard

    Thanks for replying to my question.

    Actually I myself am a teacher at a Chinese university teaching undergraduate English majors. There is a controversy over the inclusion of literature review among literature teachers and linguistic teachers in my department. Linguistic teachers insist that it should be included in the introduction, while, referring to how to go about literary papers/theses,literature teachers refute it saying that a literature review will take up too much space and that the good knowledge of the old and new findings in a certain field can be implied through the paper/ thesis.

    When I was doing my MA, my supervisor did not tell me anything about it. Oh, my academic interest is in Chinese American literature and I now supervise students who choose to write literary papers before graduation. Writing an academic paper before graduation is a requirement of every undergraduate student here in China.

    I plan to read some books on this issue during the summer break. However, I would like your views first. I myself got confused, so I would like you to tell from your personal experience. I am sorry for not having been specific.

    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, richard, i didn't notice who the poster was, or i wouldn't have suggested consulting your teacher!

    love and abashed hugs, maia
     
  7. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    It does not matter. I have been grateful to you my friends for your great help. Whenever I have a problem with English, I come here for your advice.I may have given you too much trouble.
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    never too much, richard!... it's always a pleasure and an honor for me, to be able to help you improve your ability to teach your students...
     
  9. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  10. aprilrain
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    aprilrain New Member

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    I have recently finished my second Canadian University degree. Over the course of my two degrees, I wrote many academic papers (10-40 pages depending on the paper in question). Every paper had a literature review (a summary/description of the current findings and thoughts in the field on a given topic) at some point in the paper. For every paper, this was the most important part. In order to defend the statements I made in my paper, I needed to back them up with other's research. However, depending on the style and preferences of my professor, the literature review could go in different areas in the paper. Some were written as a main chunk of the introduction. Others the review was done throughout the paper.
    I guess what I am saying is that in terms of importance, I have been taught that a literature review MUST be done. In terms of location, it can depend upon the style/preference of the paper.
    I know that things are not always done the same way in different cultures, so although this is what I was taught, it may not apply to you... hopefully it helps in some way.
     
  11. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    By saying "[In]Others the reviews was done throughout the paper", do you mean that you should support your ideas with good evidence and others' research wherever your ideas appear in the paper or thesis, so that your reader will easily see that your own research is based on others' and that you have a good knowledge of what other scholars have done in this field even if there is no summary/ literature review in the introduction? To your knowledge, is there a difference between papers on literary topics and those on linguistic topics in terms of the placement of literature review? It seems that in papers on linguistic issues we often see a literature review in the introduction while in papers on literary issues there may not be a literature review in the introduction, just as you said, "the review was[is] done throughout the paper." It also seems that many literary papers are somewhat discursive compared with linguistics papers.
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  12. aprilrain
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    aprilrain New Member

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    When I said that some times my literature review was done throughout the paper, I did mean that all of my statements were backed up and supported by the use of research on other's work/findings.

    However, I am not sure that I can be much help in terms of what is different between literary and linguistic topics, as I have not studied either of those two fields. I do know from experience that different fields have different ways of doing things, so my guess would be that if you are noticing a difference, the two fields probably have different standards.

    I really hope that this has clarified what I meant and has helped some.
     
  13. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks a lot, aprilrain. I am glad that I did not misunderstand you. I will read some books and articles on this issue and consult some experts on this issue if possible, as there is controversy over this issue among my work colleagues. I am also co-compiling a book on academic writing, so I have to get clear about it.
    Thanks again.
    Richard
     

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