Our Getting Started pages are designed to give you the basics to get you started in using Edinburgh Napier University's library service. You'll find our library Powerpoint presentation here, and an induction handout with all the key addresses.
Our Study Skills pages - our collection of resources and sources of advice on .
These resources are particularly relevant to Arts & Creative Industries subjects:
A literature review can form a part of any assignment but it is perhaps more commonly associated with work at dissertation and Masters levels. It should represent an overview of a specific question , sketching out the state of that subject and the ongoing debates and research at that point in time. Your literature search will have been wide ranging and systematic in approach and may use sources as wide ranging as books, journal articles, government policies, web pages, theses etc. Your review of the literature will involve critical analysis of the arguments and positions, not just a description of the literature.
Look at the powerpoint slides below for a brief outline of literature reviewing.
In health and social care the two main types of literature review are the narrative or integrative literature review and the systematic review.
Traditional or Narrative Literature Review
Broad in focus. Does not always address a specific question.
Not comprehensive in literature included.
Does not always state reasons for inclusion of papers.
Not structured in approach to searching for literature or critical appraisal
A review of research literature using a systematic, explicit, accountable and dcocumented methodology.
The key characteristics of a systematic review are:
Rigor: use of systematic methods to answer set research question
Transparency: every step is described; nothing left to reader’s imagination
Replicability: a second researcher should arrive at the same conclusions
Systematic reviews are carried out by a team, or at least two, individuals and usually take 12 months or more to undertake.
Students undertaking undergraduate, Masters or PhD dissertations should take a systematic approach to reviewing the literature but they will not be expected to complete a full systematic review following full Cochrane Library methodologies.
A good literature review should:
Here are 5 top tips towards a stress free literature review
"Referencing is the way that you can credit all the sources of information and ideas that you have used in any piece of academic work. In producing your assignments you should refer to published works (books, articles in journals, etc.) to increase your breadth of knowledge of the topic, and to help you develop lines of argument within the essay or assignment. It is important to refer to these sources within your written work to make clear that you have researched the subject thoroughly and that your arguments have substance/support"
This extract is taken from the guidelines drawn up by The School of Creative Industries, and you will find more information if you click on the link: