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Literature reviews


Hi, Currently trying to do a literature review for university. My aim is to develop a sensory garden for under two's. However i am struggling with how to begin the review, I've tried looking for literature review examples on line. Also how to start the review with the aim to linking it to current legislation and research. I would be grateful for any assistance.

Many thanks


We have a number of literature reviews published on the TTRB.  A keyword search with literature review (exact phrase) gives over 200 results.  These cover a wide range of subject areas and educational levels but may give you some ideas.

I also suggest you go to your library to find books about academic writing as these will give you valuable help and some writing examples too.

I do recommend an article published quite recently on the TTRB by Profession Jerry Wellington from the University of Sheffield.  It gives an excellent overview of the reasons for doing the literature review, evaluation and conducting your literature search.  The article also includes a link to a sample chapter on the literature review from an excellent book by Thomas (How to do your Research Project).

You will also find that many universities give information and guidance on their websites about academic writing and I include some examples below.

One of the best ways to look at literature reviews is to look at work done by other students in your own institution.  You may want to check if your library has any previous dissertations in stock?
The ERIC database has a considerable number of theses published online, which should include literature reviews.  See examples below.  You can search the database online via the link below, or your university may subscribe to ERIC via Dialog Datastar.
I found these examples by doing an online advanced search and by selecting ‘publication type' as ‘Dissertations/Theses' and by selecting ‘Early Childhood education' as the ‘Education Level'.

I hope this has given you some ideas - best wishes.


Writing Dissertations


Writing the Literature Review

University of Reading

Starting a literature review

Palgrave Skills4Study

Carrying out a literature review


Kindergarten Readiness: Using Age or Skills in Assessing a Child's Readiness. Online Submission, December 2005, pp. 38, 9 refs. Smith-Leslie-Barden.
URL: http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED490711

Improving the Preschooler's Science Knowledge and Skills through Hands-on Activities. Ed.D. Practicum II Report, Nova Southeastern University. , 1995, pp. 66. Wigg-Anne.
URL:  http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED388453

An Examination of Play Behaviors in Young At-Risk Children. Online Submission, M.A. Thesis, Minnesota University, May 2008, pp. 42, 35 refs. Schwabe-Adrienne, Craig-Unkefer-Lesley.
URL: http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED505793

Institute of Education library catalogue

Telling a research story : writing a literature review. Feak, Christine B. University of Michigan Press, 2009. ISBN:9780472033362.

The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students. Ridley, Diana, Dr.  SAGE, 2008.  ISBN:9781412934251



literature reviews, academic writing, writing skills, higher education

The TTRB E-librarian service is no longer in operation.
However, if you look through previous E-librarian responses you will find help and advice about searching which you can apply to your own questions and find lots of useful material both in the TTRB itself and elsewhere. 
Have a look at the Useful Search Tips page for advice on searching the TTRB itself.
Many thanks to everyone who has submitted questions to the E-librarian, we hope that you have found the service useful.


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