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My First Literature Review

 Written by    November 10, 2015

All the way back in August, I saw that one of my assignments for my Language Acquisition class was to write a literature review. I immediately got really excited, because I assumed a literature review was like a book review–you know, reading a book and say what you liked and didn’t like about it. This would be easy, I thought, I’ve done plenty of book reports in the past, and I love reading books, so I have nothing to worry about!

But I soon found out I was wrong. A literature review is when you read research articles on a certain subject and then write an essay synthesizing the findings of all of the articles. This was going to be a lot harder than just reading a book!

Luckily, I had a lot of help along the way to make sure my first literature review wasn’t a disaster.

First, I set up a meeting with my professor to discuss possible topics to write about. Because I’m interested in audiology, she suggested reading research articles about children with cochlear implants. After she showed me how to find articles on the OSU Library website, I decided to narrow my topic down to studies about syntax development in children with cochlear implants.

Now that I had my topic and research articles, it was time to create an outline. I consulted a book called “Writing Literature Reviews” by Jose L. Galvan for help, and it gave me lots of ideas about how to structure my outline so it could eventually help me write a full essay.


After my professor approved my outline, I got to work on the actual essay. It was a lot easier than I had imagined since I had my thorough outline to follow! I took my first draft to the OSU Writing Center, where I received lots of helpful hints, like to discuss the research studies in the present tense and to discuss the significance of the conclusions of each study.

I used the tips I got from the Writing Center to complete a final draft, and then submitted it on Carmen for my professor to grade. Although I’m still waiting to hear back about what score I received, I feel good about the work I put into it, and I know I couldn’t have done such a good job without all of OSU’s resources!

Photo credit: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Literature-Reviews-Students-Behavioral/dp/193652337X


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