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HCS335 - Popular Culture & Gender Construction

Gender and Communication

Looking at Models

Examine the model literature review below.

  • Look for major ideas.
  • Determine how (and why) the author organized the literature review - thematically, chronologically, or methodologically.
  • Consider what rhetorical devices the author used to walk the reader through this section of their paper.

Ask the following questions as you read. Reflect on why the author made specific decisions in their writing.

Did the literature review...?

- big picture stuff -

  • engage with specialists in one discipline, or generalists in more than one discipline?
  • contain headings throughout to identify different themes/concepts?

- writing conventions -

  • flow in an engaging manner?
  • contain topic and transition sentences in each paragraph?
  • use appropriate citations?
  • put key words or concepts in italics/bold, making them easy to identify?

- analysis/evaluation -

  • describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration, noting contradictory studies?
  • include major debates among scholars?
  • provide a new interpretation of the topic, or new solution to a problem?
  • trace the intellectual progression of the field, or reveal a new trend in the field?
  • highlight an aspect of the field that is missing?
  • discuss seminal works (influential studies that changed the direction of the field)?
  • explain how the existing literature intersects with their project, and/or how their project complements the existing literature?

Mapping your Literature Review

When working on a literature review, it can be helpful to think about the major themes within your topic. It may be beneficial to add additional columns (for more articles) or additional rows (to include a place to record each study's research method, findings, or limitations). The more work you do on the front end, thoroughly analyzing various aspects of each article, the easier it will be to pull it all together in the end for your literature review.

  Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4
Article Analysis Matrix Example: Gender Wage Gap
Marital Status   X   X
Education X X X X
Professional Culture X   X  
Technical vs. Social Work X      
Investment Strategies.                                                          X.                                                                                                                       

Based on this matrix:

  • What themes are well covered in the literature? Education
  • Which are lacking? Technical vs. Social Work AND Investment Strategies.                 
  • Some of these articles overlap, and should be connected in your literature review.

In the google doc below: is a matrix listing the articles will analyze in the top row of the matrix, and the major themes in the far left column. In groups, you will then review an article to see what themes are covered in that article. Check the appropriate boxes for what themes are discussed in each article. When you are done, you will be able to easily see which articles share common themes, and where there are gaps in the research regarding coverage of certain concepts.

Looking at Models