Week 5 Reviewing the Literature

Reposted from Lost in the Maze of Languages

Week 5 Day 1 Reviewing the Related Literature

Finally it is time to work on my literature review which I always thought my weakness in writing lies in. I honestly think the problem is very fundamental– I haven’t read enough and I haven’t figured out how to systematically organize the materials that I have read. One good thing is that I’m now working on these things. I’m doing a reading challenge to address the first problem. Since I’m reading around one topic of my choice, identity that is, every day, it has been incredibly helpful. I actually feel more confident about the topic that I’m reading about now. Secondly, I started actively using Zotero to organize the materials. I’ve been indiscriminately using google drive, drop box, zotero, mendeley, and pretty much anything that others recommended. But I found it really hard to get the hang of the citation management softwares- zotero and mendeley. Also as I wanted to use them with my android tablet, it seemed a lot more complicated. But I’m finally developing my own system of citation & annotation management using dropbox, dropsync, and zotero. I still need to improve my note taking skills though. Still, I think this is a good start. Moreover, I’m going to read “Literature review: six steps to success” with my reading partner Kalynda to improve my literature review skill after we finish our first reading challenge this week. I’m pretty excited about this book.

Today’s reading in Belcher (2009) was about different types of literature, and different reading/organizing strategies. I appreciate, as always, how she lays out everything so clearly. As I said, I find a literature review hardest to write among all other parts in a research paper. I think I sort of had an idea that there seem to be different types of literature reviews before but seeing them divided up based on the different categories helped me have a firm grasp of it finally. It seems like this week’s tasks will be pretty heavy since I’m planning on completely rewriting my literature review. Hopefully, I can have a decent draft by the end of this week.

Week 5 Day 2&3 Evaluating the Current Citations & Identifying and Reviewing the Related Literature

Lately it has felt very tough to catch up with everything. I know what my problem is. I have a tendency to do too many things at the same time. I have a very short attention span so I tend to work on many different projects at the same time and plan even more things for the future. I long accepted that that’s just who I am and I don’t even fight it any more. But I think lately it has been taking an emotional toll on me. I’m excited to work on all the different projects I want now since I don’t have any more courses to take. But I might have started too many things or I might not as productive as I wanted myself to be. So I ended up planning a lot more than I can do and I feel guilty about not finishing everything I planned. I don’t think I’m slacking but it just so happens my day is 24 hours, not 48, as I seemed to think when I plan. Anyhow, so I had to catch up with the day 2 that I missed yesterday and worked on day 3 for today.

Although I felt bad doing each day’s work on the day I planned, the activities of the day 2 and 3 seemed worked really well to do together. I evaluated my current citations first; then, I created a reading list. I wasn’t able to read them yet but I think I’ll plan on work on literature review till next week so I have a little more time. After a quick evaluation of the literature review of my current draft, I realized that most of my citations were mostly contextual literature. So I set out a new search for the related literature. I was able to identify 10 article and one book, which seem like a good amount according to the Belcher’s suggestion (2009). One thing that I’m pretty happy about is four of the articles that I found are from the journal that I’m planning on sending my article to. When I went to the ‘presentation to publication workshop’ at the Harvard graduate student conference, the professor said that it is important to add the citations from the journal that you’re submitting to. So I think this is good. Now that I made a list of the related literature, I should dive into reading the materials.

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