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CAMS 4331: Communication Theory

What is a literature review?

literature review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research.

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Literature Review Synthesis Activity

This activity provides an easy way to organize all of the important information from your sources as you're getting ready to synthesize and evaluate the information in a literature review.

  • To use the matrix, first label each "Source column" with the author's name or abbreviated title. Then, along the left side of the chart, record the main points/ideas/concepts of your topic. As you examine your first source, you will work vertically in the column belonging to that source, recording as much information as possible about each significant idea (referring back to the sentences you highlighted). Be sure to review your completed chart at the end to identify common themes, areas of disagreement, or gaps in the literature. 
  • Now that you have the synthesis matrix completed, draft an outline of your literature review. Start with a point, then list supporting arguments and resources. Repeat this process for each of your paper's main points.
  • Refer to the more thorough instructions included below for additional information as well as an example of a completed matrix.

--modified from the original created by NC State University:

Literature Review Infographics

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