Methodology – (3500 words)
a brief summary of the broad methodological issues and orientation for this work.
What the research design literature says about:
o Literature reviews as a research methodology
o The process of conducting a literature review which includes: searching for the literature; critical appraisal of the literature; thematic analysis of the literature and synthesis to answer the question.
So, this chapter is a richly referenced critically evaluative discussion of literature review as a research methodology and shows your in depth understanding.
Theoretical Perspectives – you must show that you have a philosophical understanding of research in this chapter e.g. consider which research paradigm is appropriate for your question, and relate to different research perspectives e.g. ontological, epistemological etc.
This will also include:
o Why literature review is an appropriate methodology for your study
o Discuss, with references, the importance of being methodical when searching the literature. Explain why you must be precise about:
o Inclusion/exclusion criteria
o Choosing search terms
o Selecting and justifying databases
You do not state the search terms in this chapter as this account should be given in the Methods chapter. Here, just explain what search terms are and why they are important.
o Discuss, with references, critiquing the literature and the variety of critiquing methods available for the articles you select
o Discuss, with references, the various ways of analysing other people’s research findings – reworking their findings and treating their findings as your data e.g. thematic analysis
o Discuss the ethical implications of literature review as a research methodology
o Ethical issues involved in using other peoples’ research findings for your own research.
o The need to be transparent in not claiming the work of others as your own. It is about accurately representing and reviewing the work of others?
This Chapter is concerned with ‘WHY?’ and needs to be richly referenced
The Methods – (1300 words)
State exactly what you did about searching for your primary research articles, critical appraisal and thematic analysis.
• How did you search the Literature?
• What databases did you use? Give your reasons
• What search terms did you use? How many hits did you get? Include the two Boolean search tables here.
• What inclusion and exclusion criteria did you use? Give your reasons for this
• What critiquing framework did you use? Give your reasons for this
• What method did you use to analyse your data, e.g. thematic analysis.
This chapter is concerned with “WHAT” and “HOW” and is not normally referenced. This chapter can be written from the first person
Your search strategy should be clear so that if someone wanted to replicate your study they could do so using your search strategy.
the specific method steps and process you went through in undertaking the literature review to address your research question. This is probably the most important part of the dissertation (you can see this by looking at the marking criteria in the dissertation handbook – most of the criteria are related to method). In the method section one would expect to see details of definitions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, sources (databases to be searched) with justification, search syntax and terms, details of critical appraisal method with justification for the approach chosen, details of thematic analysis method with justification. All the above should be appropriately referenced…….
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