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LANG 3070 - English Communication for Humanities and Social Science Studies II: Literature Review


This guide is created to be a resource to you as you work on your assignments for LANG 3070.

It is especially related to doing a literature review.

This Guide from the University of  Southern California Libraries, "The Literature Review"  is full of useful information & details.



You select documents on the topic that contain information, ideas, data, & evidence

You write it from specific standpoints - express views on the nature of the topic & how you will investigate the topic or question(s)

You effectively evaluate  (appraise critically, not just summarize) the documents you selected in relation to the research you propose.

(Hart 1998, p.13)

Generating & Communicating Research Information & Knowledge

Research is Conducted by:

Associations | Businesses | Charities | Governments | Individuals (people)  | Institutions (universities, think tanks, etc.) | Pressure groups | Trade Unions  

►    Information is Generated from:

Research  |  Critical evaluations  | Interperative work

►   Information from, on, or about Research is Communicated  via:

Anthologies | Blogs | Books (monographs) | Book chapters | Conference Papers |  Emails | Journals |  Journal articles | Lectures | Letters | Meetings | Newsletters  | Newspapers | Reports | Seminars |  Textbooks  | Theses | Tweets

Information from, on, or about Research is Organized  in:

Article Databases | Bibliographies | Data Repositories |  Dictionaries | Encyclopedias | Library Catalogs

(Hart, 1998, p. 4)


  • Demonstrate your skills in library (research literature) searching
  • Show your command of the subject area ("I know my stuff!")
  • Show you understand the research problem
  • Justify your
    • research topic
    • research design
    • research methodology

(Hart 1998, p. 13)

Questions your Literature Review can answer about your topic

  • Key concepts and theories & ideas?
  • Main questions & problems answered up to now?
  • Major issues & debates?
  • Origins of the topic?
  • In what ways has the topic been defined or limited?
  • Key sources (authors, books, articles, data, etc.?)

(Hart 1998, p. 14)


Scholarship as an activity = thinking systematically

  • Systematic questioning
  • Searching
  • Looking  deep and long =  Scrutinizing -   詳細地檢查

Integration (making intellectual connections) between  ideas, theories, & experience = key to good scholarship

  • Applying a method from one area to another
  • Place a situation or phenomenon into larger theoretical framework
    • Drwaing elements from different theories into a synthesis
    • Make new insight
  • Re-examine existing knowledge based on new or more recent development

(Hart 1998, p 8-9)


Hart, Chris. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage, 1998.  (HKUST Library H62 .H2566 1998)

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