Literature review

Bruce, S. (2019). Pray TV: televangelism in America (Vol. 7). Routledge.

Swatos Jr, W. H. (2007). Televangelism. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.

Literature review PART 1: geography and sociology of religion – How has religion been studied in geography?

Literature: social function of religion (binds people, deludes people – religion as opium for the people; give an account of how the social science (geography, sociology)

Key concepts in geography, key concepts in sociology

Key reference books for geography + sociology

Dictionary of human geography (e-resource).

How has geographers and sociologists studied religion’’

Writing a literature review, some guidance:

1) WRITE A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Remember that you are writing a review of the literature and not a review of an issue.
a) Therefore, you make explicit mention of authors, texts, schools of thought, methodological approaches, disciplinary norms and so on in composing a review of the literature.
b) For example, you do not write “the paratransit systems of cities in low to middle income countries are fragmented (an author, date)”. This treats the idea that paratransit in LMICs are fragmented as a fact, standing alone when it is an observation and assessment based on a methodological and theoretical approach (a study) undertaken by someone.
c) Instead, you write, “X (date) states that paratransit systems of cities in LMICs are fragmented”. This allows to you investigate and evaluate how they arrived at this observation by connecting to similar studies and critiquing their claims.

2) EVALUATING THE LITERATURE
Start evaluating the literature as part of developing good writing practices.
a) Connecting to methods and observations, for example:
i) If X writes that paratransit systems in LMICs are fragmented, this will mean that they approach paratransit systems in particular ways, using particular methodologies that have led to the observation of fragmentation. You can then evaluate how they have arrived at this observation.
b) Are there other scholars that have arrived as similar observations and arguments, for example:
i) Y arrives at a similar observation but using a different method/ but from a different theoretical perspective.
c) Can you critique the claims of X and Y?:
i) Z criticises X and Y, arguing that paratransit may look fragmented, but to local communities these forms of transportation are cohesive. Explain how they arrive at this observation.
ii) A agrees with Z, arguing further that the paratransit is approached as a development issue that needs to be addressed in a problem to be solved.

Once you start to actually review the literature and not review an issue, you should see how the literature progresses through critique. It is at this point you will want to think more carefully about the structure of your literature review.

3) PLANNING (organising and structuring your literature review)
You need to keep your literature review focussed and sharp
a) Ultimately, the literature review should rationalise your research question and lead through to your methodology. The reader should be convinced, thinking, yes, I am persuaded that their research question is interesting and significant.
b) You will always end up reading more than you write about. I’m not sure what the averages are like, but I would say that 30% of what you read will not end up in the final literature review as you sharpen and structure it.

4) MAKING DECISIONS
How to position literature in relationship to itself requires making decisions about structure.
a) There are different ways to structure a literature review and your decision to structure it a certain way can depend on the research design, your feel for the literature, and how it progresses.
b) Methodology
i) Your methodological choices should be reflected in your literature review. For example, if you are doing a qualitative study, your literature review should not be focusses on quantitative studies, unless you critique their dominance.
c) Think carefully about how you structure the literature review. You can think about this as arranging the literature into different piles:
i) Thematic (by problems identified)
ii) Chronological
iii) Conceptual/school of thought: for example, if reviewing theoretical shifts, you might position the literature in wider schools of thought (cultural turn in geography is related to the import of post-structural philosophy into the social sciences)
iv) Methodological
v) Social, cultural, political event – in relationship to the events happening in the world (for example, you might write a literature review about global capitalism starting with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism.)

5) MIX IT UP
a) A literature review can mix-up the structure, having an overarching thematic structure, with subsections structured by method, school of thought or chronological (for example)
6) An annotated

Writing a good literature review takes practice and make no mistake it is a thought process developed through writing. In essence you are learning to synthesise ideas and concepts, evaluate scholarly work and make connections across your research. So, you are thinking on different levels, and this takes practice and the forming of good habits.

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS