Please check the University's ethics pages where you will find all the information about procedure & clearance. See particularly the section on Useful Forms & the research student handbook
I would say that for a doctoral thesis your literature review should be methodical, not as far as doing a systematic review perhaps, but it should be clear about where you have searched, and what terms you have used. You might want to use tables to summarise central themes, perhaps identifying divisions in the literature. You might want to rank publications in terms of citations (using google scholar), so you are able to point to the most influential papers. You might look chronologically at the history of the idea. You should make sure that you get a balance of papers and books, bearing in mind that paper often have more academic standing (because they are peer reviewed), so they should be in the majority.
You need to use the literature review to develop an argument, that is to say, the review should be a purposeful and directional. For a doctoral thesis the literature should inform your research questions, that is to say, the review should be the lead-in to justifying your research questions (ideally where there is a shortfall in prior knowledge that you have identified). In other words, in your literature review you are seeking outs gaps in knowledge, and your research questions (or hypotheses) link to these gaps and then hold the promise of new knowledge (albeit if you have a sound methodology for answering these questions). Your writing in the literature review should be critical, balancing arguments and ideas from theoreticians against each other, picking out holes and contradictions. You also have scope for your own critique, the building of an argument where your opinion is supported (or evidenced as you say). In terms of style, I would suggest trying to limit starting off paragraphs or sentences with the reference you are discussing (the paper or book you have read), in other words the emphasis in the writing style is more inclined towards the debate you are corralling, you lead the literature rather than the literature leading you (if that makes sense)? One final thought, The opening literature review is not laid down in concrete. You should think about the literature review as the bread that holds the research sandwich together. That is, after you have completed the field study data analysis, you might find yourself returning to some aspects of the literature in discussion and conclusions section. You might move some of the literature from the introductory section to the conclusions section; eg “I have discovered this and therefore this confirms the research of so & so, or refutes the research of so & so).
Full time students will receive a calendar specific editable version of a supervision form at the beginning of the month (part-time students every 2 months). During the month (part-time 2 months) , please use this form to record details of contact, which can also include more informal and ad-hoc interactions as well as documented meetings. At the end of the month (part-time 2 months), please email the completed form back to EducationResearchPGR@nottingham.ac.uk and please remember to CC your supervisors.
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