It really makes a difference to be going through this process not alone and to be watching the process unfold as you see somebody doing a literature review and you hear from people who have done it, you hear from research supervisors who read a lot of literature reviews and see what can go wrong. You can really gain a lot by learning from other people's experience. So that's what this course is really about. So welcome to the course. We're really looking forward to meeting you and finding out what your research is about and helping you connect with other students. Get engaged as much as you can. The more you give, the more you'll get out of the course, for sure.
This course focuses on principles and practices that are common to any kind of literature reviewing task, large or small, so you can take from it what applies to your own situation. You may have started writing a literature review, or just thinking about it, you may need to write a short and simple one, or develop a mini proposal into a thesis chapter. You might just be wondering whether research is for you, and what this ‘thing’ is that researchers have to write…. whatever your situation, the course aims to help you recognise and appreciate what a literature review can be, and enjoy the process of creating one.
It’s possible to write a simple literature review in a month, but a complex one might take a year or more, so this course aims to raise awareness, and focus on the necessary preparation, rather than the completion of a literature review. We want to help you establish the groundwork, so you can continue to develop your literature review with confidence - and with a community of research peers, if you want to stay in touch with those you meet during the course.
As we explore various literature reviews and how to develop a new one, we’ll be thinking about the lit review as a genre - an important concept in developing understanding of language in context. We’ll be looking at it as a particular way of using language that ‘just works’ in an academic context – not just as a writing task, but also as a way of being academic.