Reading Week 14 (02)

This assignment has two parts: the first is to work through readings for this phase of writing and secondly, you will write up a blog post with your thoughts and including documentation (screenshots, embed docs additional material) that you have created on. Though our writing for our work will be in academic form these posts in the blog should be reflective.

This week’s tasks

This week I have arranged for the Library to give you a tour of the resources and tools that will support you in developing your writing and completing your research. After the “tour” you should complete the tasks below and then write your reflective blog based on the Reading work, be sure to include a reflection on the library virtual visit.

  1. Choose your topic from the outline for the proposed book please leave your name beside your selection
  2. Evaluate your selection based on the research topic checklist. replace question when thinking about the questions in the checklist
  3. Create your search strategy,
  4. Prepare to organize your research into four folders as per the Matrix Method or similar
  5. Either Download the Arts Review Matrix (.XLSX) Spreadsheet and prepare for your research topic or a similar approach for recording your resources

Much of the work below describes the process for writing a literature review whereas we will be creating an academic textbook. When the writing mentions the research question in the following sections, think more in relation to the research topic.

Part A Planning Your Approach


Planning your research strategy before you begin working on your review will focus your efforts and save you time.



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Step 1 Formulating a Research Topic

The first step in formulating a research topic is determining what kind of literature review you are expected to write. Use the following process to write a research topic:

  1. Consult the syllabus to determine the purpose of the review. Some assignments will explicitly detail the topic of your literature review while others will give you room to choose a topic yourself.
  2. When allowed to pick a topic, revisit your syllabus and lecture notes to find a topic that fits within your course’s theme.
  3. From here, narrow the scope of your topic by asking who, what, where, when, why questions and focusing on specific aspects you can investigate through your literature review. This will also frame your scope. These questions will identify the intersections and relationships that your literature review can examine.

Process Organization Chart

Use this helpful chart to organize your Literature Review.

Step 2 Research Topic Checklist

Research Topic Checklist

The research question checklist helps you to determine whether you’ve been successful in identifying a problem that your research question can address.

  • Does your research topic focus on a narrow topic that will allow you to provide an in-depth analysis instead of a superficial survey?
  • Is the topic significant to you and other researchers?
  • Can the research topic be researched and described by the assignment’s deadline?
  • Is there enough information and material available to develop your research topic?
  • Does the research topic allow you to investigate variables and relationships within and between sources?
  • Does your research topic give your research direction?

Part B – Keeping track of your research

Keeping track of what you have read, what you found relevant, and what you will research further can be one of the most difficult elements while researching for writing. The step below are suggestions on approaches that are proven to work. Please investigate an approach that works for your style of working but remember to keep track of everything you read, details for references, and short sentences that answer Who What, Why When, and How for each source you read, and any quotes that you find interesting.

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Creating a Search Strategy

After writing a research topic to narrow the scope and identify the purpose of your literature review, creating a search strategy can streamline your research process. Follow these steps to create a search strategy.

  1. Highlight keywords in your research topic.
  2. Identify synonyms or other words that can be used to search for the same information.
  3. Write search strings using the keywords and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, “___”).
  4. Identify relevant databases to search for sources by meeting with a reference librarian or reading subject guides.
  5. Search for other literature reviews on your topic to highlight seminal sources.
  6. Use search strings to begin searching for relevant sources.
  7. Download relevant sources as you find them.
  8. Read the reference lists of relevant sources or other literature reviews on your topic to identify sources you have not consulted.
  9. Continue steps 5, 6, and 7 until you have enough articles for your assignment or to write a comprehensive review.
  10. If you’re stuck, revisit steps 3 and 4.
Citation Management

The Matrix Method is one system you can use to sort your research and keep it easily accessible. The Matrix Method is more than a note-taking strategy because it also includes a comprehensive citation organization system that stores your research and research process.

The Matrix Method

The Matrix Method organizes your research into four folders: Paper Trail, Documents, Matrix, and Synthesis. These folders reflect your entire research and writing process. Go through each of the folder examples below to see how they work together to organize your literature review. Because they complement each other, all folders must be used.

Review Matrix Method

The following video will demonstrate how you can arrange these folders on your computer.

Creating a review matrix

The Review Matrix is a table you will use to help you extract information from sources as you read.

Follow these steps to construct a Review Matrix for your literature review:

    1. Place your research topic at the top of your Review Matrix to keep you focused.
    2. Create column headings to list your sources’ bibliographic information (author, year of publication).
    3. Create row headings to list themes you will use to extract information from sources (e.g., participant characteristics, theoretical framework, findings, limitations, the period under study, major source types, geographic scope, thesis/hypothesis).

As you read, you will populate the Review Matrix with information from the sources; you may add or delete relevant headings as you read sources and extract information from them.

Example: Completed Review Matrix Chart

Arts Review Matrix

Download Excel Spreadsheet



When you have completed this week’s reading work write up a blog post with your thoughts about what you have worked on. For the blog post, use “planning” in the title, with “Reading 02Week 14” as the labels, and include at least one image (with image information). Here is the Declaration for Reading:

DECLARATION: Reading Options I spent at least 3 hrs working on the reading tasks.
I have published a blog post with my notes.
POST TITLE: I used the phrase “Planning” in the post title.
POST LABELS: I used the label “Reading 02Week14” for the labels.
LINKS: I included at least three links to items of interest, with my thoughts.
IMAGE: I Included at least one image with image information.