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The Literature Review

Six Steps to Success

The latest edition features new graphics illustrating the pioneering six-step model, tips for writing in the early stages, and new learning tools and reflection sections.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071852903
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2022
  • Page Count: 264
  • Publication date: January 03, 2022

Price: $39.95



The essential guide—updated, expanded, and easier to use than ever.

Creating a successful literature review can be a daunting task, which is why so many researchers have relied on previous editions of this book to make the process more manageable. Using the six-step model, you’ll work seamlessly to narrow your research topic, focus your literature search, negotiate the myriad of books, periodicals, and reports about your topic—and, of course, write the review.

Updated, expanded, and reorganized to improve ease of use, the fourth edition of this bestselling handbook includes:

  • New and improved graphics ideal for visualizing the process
  • More explanations and tips, especially for writing in the early stages
  • An expanded range of learning tools
  • Additional reflection sections to direct metacognitive activities
  • Four new reference supplements

This pioneering book has provided countless graduate students and researchers with a road map to success. Its model takes you through the logical progression needed for producing a quality literature review—while taking the mystery out of the process.

Key features

The text is organized around a six-step model to guide the reader through the process of developing a successful literature review. These steps are: Select a topic; Search the literature; Develop the argument; Survey the literature; Critique the literature; and Write the review. A NEW flowchart at the beginning of the book graphically illustrates the 6 step process, outlining each task and activity necessary for completing each step. Then the relevant segment of this flowchart is repeated at the beginning of each "step" chapter, serving as an advance organizer for the chapter and reminding the reader of each task and activity associated with the step. Each chapter addresses a specific step of the model and contains several learning aids to increase reader comprehension. These learning aids include the following: The six-step process is directly aligned and explained using an applied critical thinking model that demonstrates the logical progression needed for producing a quality literature review, while taking the mystery out of the process. NEW Technology references and online guides to simplify the work of organizing material and revising the written composition. NEW Graphics and charts that clarify the key topics under discussion, and models that present pictures that tie together complex themes and procedures. At the end of each chapter, tips provide specific ideas for using the material covered in the chapter. These tips will help the reader make immediate, practical use of the material. Each chapter closes with a checklist. These lists allow readers to track their progress through the entire literature review project.


Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi photo

Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi

Lawrence A. Machi is a Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. He holds an MA in curriculum development and an Ed.D. in organizational leadership. He has taught research methods and design and has chaired doctoral dissertation research in addition to teaching classes in organizational development. He has extensive experience in higher education, and prior to his tenure at La Verne, he taught in schools of education at the University of San Francisco, St. Mary’s College of California, and Sonoma State University. Dr. Machi has served as a Fulbright Specialist and recently completed his third assignment in Taiwan at National Chung Cheng University, where he currently serves as a visiting professor.

With K–12 experience as well, he has worked as a secondary teacher and served as a school administrator in both secondary and elementary school districts in northern California. He has occupied the roles of vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent, frequently consulting with many California school districts and nonprofit organizations. His specialties are in the areas of organizational leadership, finance, negotiations, organizational development, and strategic thinking.

Brenda Tyler McEvoy photo

Brenda Tyler McEvoy

Brenda T. McEvoy taught high school English, history, and science for 36 years. Research skills were always part of her curriculum. For eight years, she worked for the California State Department of Education, leading groups of educators in improving their ability to edit and assess student writing. She has also served as a mentor for beginning English and history teachers. Participation in the California Writing Project extended her knowledge of writing and the difficulties students face when producing a major assignment. She has worked as an editor for several books, focusing on helping writers create work that is clear and logical.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Literature Review Flow Chart



About the Authors

Introduction: Doing and Producing a Literature Review

Key Vocabulary

Introduction Overview

The Purpose of a Literature Review

The Literature Review Defined

The Literature Review Process

Mindset: Personal Dispositions on Thinking, Doing, and Deciding

The Ethics of Reviewing the Literature

Reflective Oversight

Plan Wisely Before You Begin



Reflective Exercise

1. Step 1: Select and Define a Topic

Key Vocabulary

Chapter Overview

Task 1. Identify a Subject for Study

Task 2. Translate the Personal Interest or Concern Into a Research Query

Task 3. Link the Research Query to the Appropriate Discipline

Task 4. Write the Preliminary Research Topic Statement



Reflective Exercise

2. Step 2: Develop the Tools of Argumentation

Key Vocabulary

Chapter Overview

Concept 1. Building the Case for a Literature Review

Concept 2. Arguments—the Basics

Concept 3. Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument

Concept 4. Understanding Claims

Concept 5. Building Evidence

Concept 6. Warrant—Logically Connecting the Evidence to the Claim

Concept 7. Complex Claims



Reflective Exercise

3. Step 3: Search the Literature

Key Vocabulary

Chapter Overview

Task 1. Select the Literature to Review

Task 2. Conduct a Literature Search

Task 3. Refine Your Topic



Reflective Exercise

4. Step 4: Survey the Literature

Key Vocabulary

Chapter Overview

Task 1. Assemble the Collected Data

Task 2. Organize the Information

Task 3. Analyze the Patterns of Data



Reflective Exercise

5. Step 5: Critique the Literature

Key Vocabulary

Chapter Overview

What Is a Literature Critique?

Concept 1. Making the Case for the Literature Review

Concept 2. Descriptive Argument Patterns: Factual Reasoning

Concept 3. Implicative Argument Patterns: Implicative Reasoning

Concept 4. The Implicative Argument: Nine Basic Patterns

Concept 5. Backing

Doing a Critique of the Literature: Building the Advocacy Argument

Task 1. Determining the Implicative Logic Pattern Inferred by the Topic of Study

Task 2. Reframe Claims to Meet the Prerequisite Conditions Identified by the Selected Logic Type

Task 3. Build the Advocacy Argument

Concept 6. Fallacies

Concept 7. The Case Is Everything



Reflective Exercise

6. Step 6: Write the Review

Key Vocabulary

The Writing Process: Overview

Task 1. Write to Understand

Task 2. Write to Be Understood

Style Manuals


Reflective Exercise

Last Words


Supplement A The Role of the Literature Review

Supplement B Literature Review 101

Supplement C Writing a Journal

Supplement D SQRRR


References and Further Reading




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