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Literature review


ENGL 7702


Lecture

Objectives


Define the purpose of a literature review


Explain how to select and evaluate sources


Explain how to write a literature review for
both qualitative and quantitative research
studies

Literature review


What is the goal of a literature review?


Existing gaps in our knowledge


A level playing field for the reader


Your credibility


The validity of your topic


A literature review is not a research paper
(like the ones you have written too many
times in the past)

Final result


Clear picture of your chosen topic that shows the current state
of knowledge.


What do we know?


What do we not know?


What areas are very fuzzy/contradictory?


A frequent definition is that a technical writer takes information
that is only understood by a brilliant few and make it available
to the masses, but this is not correct. Your job as a technical
writer is to understand the audience expectations and the
rhetorical situation and to develop appropriate content. When
doing research, the rhetorical situation does not include writing
for the masses; you are essentially writing a journal article and
the expectations are that it should read like one.


Research as building a brick wall


Your research works to fill in missing spots. The overall theory
discussion defines where along the wall you are working, the
literature review considers the surrounding bricks and shows which
ones are missing, then the original research moves forward to show
how it provides a new brick.

Random sources lit review


An unorganized lit review or one where the author just took the
first 10 sources she found gives a view like this. It doesn’t
establish the hole or the shape of the literature around that hole.

Literature review


Qualitative and quantitative research integrate the
literature into the text differently. With qualitative, the
initial lit review is shorter and the literature is intermixed
heavily with the discussion. It can show both how the
literature supports/does not support the findings and to
show how this study resolves issues raised in other studies.


In both cases, the goal is to support that the method made
sense, the findings fit within the existing literature, and the
research makes sense.

Establish a topic can and should be researched


Can be researched


Other people have looked at the topic


Other research methods might establish that it requires more time/money
than you have available


Should be researched


Fits within TC research


Holes exist that are worth exploring. Previous research found something
worthwhile and worth further exploration


Your topic has not been researched


A research project needs to be generating new information. A new twist
or a new slant. You can’t repeat already published research.

Contradictions


Often times, you'll find previous research is
contradictory; different studies find what appear to be
oppose conclusions. Yet, both of these studies are
within the area you are researching. Even worse, one
of them may not support the hypothesis you're
planning for your study.


Good. The lit review needs to help clarify why/how
these studies seem to contradict and lead up to how
your study will help resolve that contradiction.

Secondary
vs

primary


When you are selecting sources for a literature review, you
will have to make decision between using secondary and
primary sources


Try to use primary sources. But the secondary sources are
great for finding those sources.


Too many secondary sources turn your lit review into a
repeat of those sources. You will frequently see sentences
such as: “See Martin & Palmer (2007) for substantial
review on …” You are covering 5 areas and Martin &
Palmer did an
in
-
depth lit
review on one of those areas.

Popular how
-
to books


I once read a thesis which made extensive
use of popular web design books (the kind
you find in at Barnes & Nobles).


The author then found it almost impossible
to compare/contrast sources since they all
said the same thing. And they were all
variations on “here’s how to design this part
of your web site”

Literature review as stand alone


As secondary research, a literature review can
provide a valuable contribution to the
discipline's literature.


This is what you learned to write in 7701.


It works to be an exhaustive search on the topic
and draw broad conclusions. The lit review for a
research project is narrow; you only care about
the bricks around your hole.

Writing as cyclic process

You start with a research question. Then you consider what you
think are the implications (part 3 of a finished paper). Finally, you
write a lit review which leads to your chosen implications.


You have to have an idea of where you are going before starting
the lit review. There is too much information available and you
need a way to filter it.

This it how research often works. You have an idea, collect data,
and during the analysis find something more interesting. So you go
back and rework the study design as of that was your intention
from the beginning.

Writing techniques


Literature review


A typical undergraduate research paper takes one source
(perhaps a book on the topic), the first source says “there are
five ways to …” The paper has five sections that explain what
that source says. You are explaining (data dumping) everything
you know about those five ways. The other sources are added to
support that first book.


In a literature review, you’ll only say this sources says there are
5 ways. You don’t explain them in detail. You then compare
those against other sources. There is an assumption that you
and the reader are both familiar with the subject and you using
it to position your discussion, not explain the topic.

Finding sources


How do you search for journal articles?


How do you daisy chain articles?


What is the problem with search engines?



Get some TOC subscriptions (long term
issue)

Direct quotes


What drives the need to insert


short quotes


long quotes


Quote when the person says something better than you can
say it yourself.


Avoid a “dump quote” when you quote without
introducing it.


Don’t overuse quotes. For the most part, the reader is
concerned with the other person’s results, not how he said
it. This is different from a literature review in many
humanities subjects.

End


Literature Review

Examples


Example
-

poor


Overall, Philbin, Ryan, and Friedel found that the practitioners
surveyed
--
both randomly chosen STC members and graduates
of Bowling Green State University’s program in Scientific and
Technical Communication
--
experienced a level of job
satisfaction that was in the 35th to 38th percentile of national
norms, using the Job Descriptive Index (JDI). (1995) This
percentile indicates “…a much greater level of dissatisfaction
with the work than is typically found in other occupations.”
(1995) Taking into consideration job aspects such as pay,
possibility of promotion, supervision, co
-
workers, and gender
differences, the survey concluded that technical writers are
“disaffected” and suggested some implications for current
educators. Philbin, Ryan, and Friedel focused on training

technical, entrepreneurial, and “reality.”

Example
-

good


Two other approaches proposed by Corbett and addressed
by Miles, case studies and the praxis model, take the
information approach to the next step
--
audience
consideration. First, case studies treat knowledge as
contextual and negotiable (Corbett 114). Case studies
allow for audience analysis and evaluation of document
design issues. A great deal of the internationalization
research involves case studies. For example, in addition to
Schriver, Waka Fukuoka in his article "Illustrations in
User Manuals: Preference and Effectiveness with
Japanese and America Readers" examines cultural design
issues in his study of Japanese and American manual
users. Fukuoka's study revealed

……

Example
-

poor


In the article “Usability Basics for Software Developers, “ a sample of
usability benchmarks is examined to access quantitative usability goals.
These benchmarks are determined before any design begins. The
Merriam Webster Dictionary

defines benchmarks as a point of reference
for measurement. Jeffery Rubin recommends generating a chronicled
record of usability benchmarks for future reference. Hereby, ensuring
maintenance or progress in future products
(“Handbook” 26)
. The
benchmarks should be an average or maximal time interval for the task to
be accomplished. For example, if you were analyzing the usability time
of a predetermined E
-
mail system, you would need to recognize how long
it takes users to accurately put in his or her name and address in the E
-
mail system. If it takes 15 minutes to conclude this task, the design is
flawed by most standards. You will need to evaluate the average and
maximum time it took users to enter the information correctly
(“Handbook” 98)
.

Example
-

good


Hirst (1996) is not only an advocate of faculty internships,
but also reports on what he learned in his experiences as
an intern. In accord with Rehling, he claims that “…a
faculty internship is much more of a two
-
way street
[because]…you are expected to make some contributions,
but your ‘employers’ know that you are with them on a
mission to improve yourself as an educator.” (1996) He
not only enumerates the benefits of this internship to
himself, but also to the various organizations for whom he
worked.

Example
-

good


Many of these guidelines cite Jakob Neilson’s
(1994/1997) observation that only 10% of web users will
scroll down a page. In 1997, Neilson declared, “scrolling
now allowed.” However, he still lists “scrolling
navigation pages” as one of the “Top Ten Mistakes in
Web Design” (Neilson, 1999). Additionally, work by
Morkes and Nielson (1997), which found higher usability
for concise and scannable text, has been used to support
the notion that scrolling should be avoided on web pages.
Although Neilson is widely regarded as an expert on web
usability, much of his work has not been subjected to the
scrutiny of peer review.

Example
-

poor


There is a persistent drive for editing to be done online rather
than on print, because the internet has the capacity for multiple
users, continual updating of editing methods, and directed goals
to create tailored outcomes (
Ojala
, 2005
). As production costs
continue to increase, future expenses in health care rise continue
to rise, and the availability of huge amounts of online data
information is widespread, it is foreseeable that print editing will
be obsolete in the future (
Ojala
, 2005
). The challenge now lies
in setting out strategies and frameworks for information
discovery and content development for getting the most out of
editing online (
Ojala
, 2005
).

Specific points to address


Position your study

As was the case for the ‘‘time
-
consuming and
detrimental to efficiency’’ theme, this feedback primarily
originated from the users of light or moderate user groups.
We conclude, this is due to the same fact that ‘‘heavy’’ users
had adapted their behavior accordingly. We will discuss this
modified behavior in the later section.

Finally, residents complained that the reminder system
lacks guidance in the application of workflow. In contrast to
the history and physical examination forms that residents
typically use, the interface of CRS appeared to provide little
guidance as to a preferred order of data entry.

Position your study


Although these three learning models differ in some respects, they all
incorporate at least two common characteristics that may aid efforts to
develop better decision support for DDM. First, all three models take into
account the need for two forms of learning: explicit (i.e., decision making
based on rules of action) and implicit (i.e., decision making based on
context
-
based knowledge and recognition). There is some evidence that
individuals who have completed a dynamic task are not always aware of
the task structure (i.e., their knowledge is implicit), which suggests that
the knowledge they acquired was not in the form of rules about how the
system works (Dienes & Fahey, 1995). Often, individuals performing
DDM tasks are unable to describe the key elements of the task or
verbalize the ways in which they make decisions (Berry & Broadbent,
1987, 1988). Such a lack of awareness both of the key variables involved
in performing a task and of their relationships may denote an individual’s
dependence on implicit learning (Berry & Broadbent, 1987).

Show general relevance


This is also supported by the broad attention that has been paid to
time availability constraints and their consequences (mostly
psychological stress experienced because of perceived lack of time or
time pressure) in many business disciplines. For example, research in
accounting has actively studied time pressure in auditing (
Kermis and
Mahapatra
, 1985; McDaniel, 1990;
DeZoort

and Lord, 1997;
Spilker

and
Prawitt
, 1997; Braun, 2000
), marketing research has investigated
the effects of time pressure on consumer decisions (
Nowlis
, 1995;
Dhar

and
Nowlis
, 1999;
Pieters

and
Warlop
, 1999
), and under the
broad umbrella of management research, time pressure has been
studied in the context of, for example,
ethical decision
-
making
(
Moberg
, 2000), group communication (Kelly et al., 1997; Brown and
Miller, 2000), and negotiation (
Stuhlmacher

et al., 1998).


Show general relevance


Research in human
-
computer interactions has identified many reasons for the low usage
of on
-
line help.

First, users may not be able to formulate queries effectively, i.e. to give
precise and differentiating descriptions of things they lack knowledge about (Blair &
Maron
, 1985; Nickerson, 1999). Users are left alone to navigate through the query
results (
Hertzum

&
Frokjaer
, 1996; Horvitz, 1999), and often need to re
-
formulate the
queries on a trial
-
and
-
error basis. This process can be fruitless and frustrating. Second,
much empirical evidence has shown that most users put a lot more emphasis on getting
their work done than seeking help to optimize their work (Fisher, Lemke & Schwab,
1985; Carroll &
Rosson
, 1987;
Desmarais
,
Larochelle

& Giroux, 1987; Furman &
Spyridakis
, 1992). One potential solution to these problems is to make on
-
line help
proactive.
However, several major challenges have hindered the effectiveness of this
approach, e.g. correctly inferring a user's task and delivering relevant advice at the right
time (Furman &
Spyridakis
, 1992; Beaumont, 1994; Wolfe & Eichmann, 1997;
Agah

&
Tanie
, 2000)
.Moreover, users like predictability and to be in control, but they do not
like surprises (
Shneiderman
, 1998; Hook, 2000), which are associated with system
-
initiated help.

Show general relevance


Clinical cueing systems (CCS) are a class of clinical decision
support systems (CDSS) that send just
-
in time alerts to clinicians
when potential errors or deficiencies in the patient management
are detected. Significant research evidence shows that CDSS can
enhance the clinical performance in drug dosing, preventive care,
and other aspects of medical care [1

9].

However, most
evaluations of CDSS emphasize clinical performance
and
diagnostic accuracy; few studies address user acceptance and
adoption of such tools in the ambulatory care practice setting that
reflects specific characteristics of the users and/or the
environment [8,9].
It remains unclear whether a CDSS shown to
be effective in laboratory settings will be effective over time in
routine clinical settings with real patients.

Build a path to your research


In addition, earlier research suggests that a transition from paper
to computer
-
based documentation might have other unintended
impacts.
Nygren

and
Henriksson

[11] showed that the format,
layout, and other textural features of the paper record are critical
to a physician’s ability to search, read, and assess the relevance
of information contained therein. Features such as the ability to
manually tabulate pertinent data and mark up abnormal findings
may be important to the cognitive processing of clinical
information and could be lost with CPD.
Indeed, more recently
conducted research by Patel et al
. [12] found that EHR use was
associated with changes in physicians’ cognitive behaviors such
as information gathering, organization, and reasoning strategies.

Defining ideas or concepts


Patel et al. [20,21] point out that when processing natural language text, a distinction should
be made between the ‘text base’ and ‘situation model’. According to this research, the ‘text
base’ represents the core meaning of the text, which is independent of the choice of language
with which it is expressed. The reader generates meaning from the text by transforming the
written information into some semantic form or conceptual message. The mental model
developed by an individual who is reading a text is not limited to the information contained in
the text itself but is extended to incorporate the reader’s prior knowledge. In this sense, the
reader constructs a ‘situation model’ of the scenario described in the text. As a result, a
conceptual representation emerges from the interaction processing natural language text, a
distinction should be made between the ‘text base’ and ‘situation model’. According to this
research, the ‘text base’ represents the core meaning of the text, which is independent of the
choice of language with which it is expressed. The reader generates meaning from the text by
transforming the written information into some semantic form or conceptual message. The
mental model developed by an individual who is reading a text is not limited to the
information contained in the text itself but is extended to incorporate the reader’s prior
knowledge. In this sense, the reader constructs a ‘situation model’ of the scenario described in
the text. As a result, a conceptual representation emerges from the interaction between the
text base and the situation model [20].

Defining ideas or concepts


Lerch

and Harter (2001) used a real
-
time DDM task to
investigate the effects of outcome feedback and
feedforward

on performance. In their study, outcome feedback included
explicit real
-
time (i.e., instantaneous) details about task
performance.
Feedforward

involved a what
-
if computational
analysis tool that allowed participants to ‘look into the future’
by observing the effects of possible actions. The results of that
study indicate that the effectiveness of the support strategies
depended on the presence of outcome feedback.
Feedforward

alone impeded performance and inhibited learning, but
feedforward

provided in combination with outcome feedback
led to slightly improved performance.

Showing the hole exists


No published research has, however, investigated

the effects of
time availability limitations on data retrieval tasks, which is an
omission worth addressing taken into account the important
role of these tasks play in organizational life.
The main
independent variable of interest in this research, time
availability limitations, was chosen based on the identification
of this gap.
The effects of time availability limitations do not,
however, exist in vacuum but they have to be evaluated
together with other factors that affect human performance in
these tasks.
Prior research on query writing (
Suhan

d Jenkins,
1992; Chan et al., 1993, 1994, 1998) provides a framework,
which is presented in Fig. 1


Showing a hole exists


The majority of approaches (e.g. HTA and its hybrid forms) have been
used traditionally to describe the physical aspect of a task, and the
steps that are required to carry it out. They have made significant
contributions towards improving productivity in cases where the major
elements of the task are observable,
but it has been suggested that they
are less effective in the analysis of cognitive activities (e.g. Klein,
Kaempf
, Wolf,
Thorsden

& Miller, 1997
). As a result of this debate
and an increased emphasis on cognitive aspects of work, cognitive
task analysis or CTA techniques emerged (
a thorough description of
the evolution of task analysis is provided in Annett, 2000
). Cognitive
task analysis (CTA) concerns itself with the knowledge that people
have, or need to have, in order to complete a task. Its approach is to
describe and represent the cognitive elements that underlie decision
-
making, goal generation, judgments, etc. (
Militello

& Hutton, 1998).

Support your method choice


Many UCD modeling approaches exist but none explicitly addresses the
distinct demands of complex problem solving. Commonly, UCD models vary
by degree of granularity. Usage
-
centered design, for example, produces fine
-
grained models of users’ unit
-
level tasks and interrelationships while scenarios
and design rationales or elaborated storyboards capture activities at a coarser
grain [2, 3]. Contextual design represents consolidated findings from task
analysis in five different finely
-
detailed models
--

workflow, task sequence,
artifacts, physical layout and workplace culture [4]. At a higher level,
application (or
sociotechnical
) design patterns capture in separate sections the
context, problem, influential forces, solutions, a visualized example of work
and ecological arrangements, resulting contexts, rationale, related patterns and
uses [5]. Participatory design may produce finely grained use cases and
abstract diagrams of task and screen objects or broader personas and scenarios
[6,7]. Each type of model involves trade
-
offs.

Support your method choice


I also tested another exemplar decision support in the form of
feedforward
: I afforded individuals the opportunity to compare
their decisions with those made by an expert performer. Research
suggests that individuals may be able to improve their
performance by comparing their decisions and effects of their
decisions with the decisions made by an expert and the effects of
those decisions (
Sengupta

& Abdel
-
Hamid
, 1993). Because it
allows individuals to analyze expert’s decisions without having
to execute decisions at the same time, this
feedforward

support
removes time constraints. I hypothesized that individuals
permitted to review an expert’s decisions without time
constraints would exhibit improvements in overall task
performance.

Show your method is acceptable


CTA is considered to be appropriate for tasks that are cognitively
complex (requiring an extensive knowledge base, complex
inferences and judgment) and which take place in a complex,
dynamic, uncertain, real
-
time environment'' (O'Hare, Wiggins,
Williams & Wong, 1998).
This description would seem to make
CTA a highly appropriate choice for inclusion in a design
method for decision support systems.

It would also seem to be
particularly true for the context in which the process described in
this paper, crop production, is carried out. Decision
-
making in
crop production can certainly be described as cognitively
complex, requiring the manipulation of many variables, as this
quotation from Bartlett illustrates:

End