Helping students write a literature review – Part I


DoctoralWriting SIG

Cecile Badenhorst MA (UBC), PhD (Queen’s) is an Associate Professor in the Adult Education/Post-Secondary program in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University.  Her research interests are post-secondary, higher education and adult learning experiences, particularly graduate research writing, academic literacies and qualitative research methodologies. In this 2-part guest post she explains her approach to teaching postgraduates about literature reviews.

By Cecile Badenhorst

After many years of running workshops on “How to write literature reviews”, I realized that postgraduate students often left with a few useful tools but without that deep understanding of what was required. Without a doubt, the literature review is one of the most challenging genres students face. It is also one of the most challenging genres to teach. How do you explain in an hour or two a process that takes years of practice, feedback and revision to hone and refine? Recently, I conducted research on literature…

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One response »

  1. As always, Cecile, thanks! I realize more and more that lit reviews were such a gap in my doctoral program. There was a major assumption made that we knew what they entailed. The message I always got was ‘oh that’s easy.’ Looking forward to reading, saving, sharing with students, etc.
    Omo just handed in his Lit Review for his thesis; I notice he took much of what you say here to heart. I’m so glad he took your course.

    Thanks for being a gift!
    Enjoy the new academic year.

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