Monday, August 27, 2012

My Venn Diagram

At a dissertation proposal boot camp last summer, the instructor suggested I divide the topics I am trying to cover in my literature review into 3 or 4 broad categories.  

The areas that are shaded by the overlapping circles are relevant literature.  The intersection of all three circles is very relevant literature.  This helps in deciding what to put in, what to leave out and what to emphasize in the literature review section of my proposal.

Next, I will place each source in my annotated bibliography into the appropriate circle.  If the article/book covers more than one of my broad topics, then I will place it in the space that represents the intersection of the relevant circles.

I have not completed my annotated bibliography (unless I consider that is what this blog is for me) so I pile sorted all the articles I have read or accumulated for my proposal.  They are sitting on my dining room table.  I'd include a picture but I'm having problems with the cloud email on my phone.  I'm going back to the AT&T store for trouble shooting - that is, it's on my list of things to do.

The Venn diagram is supposed to help me spot imbalances.  Have I done a lot of research on one aspect of the literature, but neglected another?  This may tell me what to focus my research time on.

"An effective literature review focuses on the details of and relationships between the most relevant sources."  (Social Sciences Dissertation Proposal Handbook, UCLA, 2009)

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