Writing a literature review

These guidelines are adapted primarily from Galvan (2006). Galvan outlines a very clear, step-by-step approach that is very useful to use as you write your review. I have integrated some other tips within this guide, particularly in suggesting different technology tools that you might want to consider in helping you organize your review. In the sections from Step 6-9 what I have included is the outline of those steps exactly as described by Galvan. I also provide links at the end of this guide to resources that you should use in order to search the literature and as you write your review.

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Is the program a vendor for my charter school? Please voice your interest in Essentials in Literature products and have your vendor contact our Operations Manager, Kristina, at 417-256-4191.
What levels will be available? Can you tell me what levels will be coming out first?

  • Levels 7, 8, and 9 have been released.
  • Level 10 is expected to release on August 1, 2017
  • Level 11 is expected to release on or before August 1, 2018
  • Level 12 is expected to release on or before August 1, 2019
  • Levels 6, 5, 4, and 3 will follow (in that order)
Can we see a table of contents or a list of literary works explored? A list of all literary works that are explored for each level is listed in the Level 8 Literary Works PDF above.
How does Mr. Stephens suggest we pace the course--especially if we are using it with Essentials in Writing? For instance, I alternated between literature studies and writing workshops in blocks ( a few weeks at a time) throughout last year with my son, but I need some idea of how to intermix these two programs. Alternating is one of many effective approaches. Complete a writing activity (one week or more) then switch to a literature study (one week or more). The key is to allow the “flip-flop” to occur naturally without trying to hold to a rigid schedule. Additionally, there are many parents who choose to complete literature in the fall and writing in the spring. Both approaches are acceptable. For a detailed explanation of all options, please contact Customer Service.
Can we see a sample lesson or a walk through of a lesson? Yes. There is a video sample above and accompanying pages from the textbook.
How does the curriculum challenge the student to analyze the literature and develop critical thinking skills. Students learn to analyze the literature through multiple lectures, graphic organizers, and written answers. Students develop critical thinking skills by constantly reading about, exploring, and participating in activities such as seeing the relationships between events, analyzing characters actions and reactions, drawing conclusions, etc.
Any ideas of special helps for students who have difficulty? As with any curriculum, modifications may be necessary for students who struggle. However, because the approach is a day by day, step by step, small bite size chunk approach to literature, students typically fare well with this type of approach.
Level 7 Learn More Level 8 Learn More Level 9 Learn More Level 10 Coming August 1, 2017
Ships August, 7, 2017

Your plot could also have similarities to whole groups of other stories, all having conventional or easily recognizable plots. These types of stories are often called genres. Some popular genres include the gothic, the romance, the detective story, the bildungsroman (this is just a German term for a novel that is centered around the development of its main characters), and the novel of manners (a novel that focuses on the behavior and foibles of a particular class or social group). These categories are often helpful in characterizing a piece of writing, but this approach has its limitations. Many novels don’t fit nicely into one genre, and others seem to borrow a bit from a variety of different categories. For example, given my working thesis on education, I am more interested in Victor’s development than in relating Frankenstein to the gothic genre, so I might decide to treat the novel as a bildungsroman.

Draft in hand? Now you’re ready to revise. Spending a lot of time revising is a wise idea, because your main objective is to present the material, not the argument. So check over your review again to make sure it follows the assignment and/or your outline. Then, just as you would for most other academic forms of writing, rewrite or rework the language of your review so that you’ve presented your information in the most concise manner possible. Be sure to use terminology familiar to your audience; get rid of unnecessary jargon or slang. Finally, double check that you’ve documented your sources and formatted the review appropriately for your discipline. For tips on the revising and editing process, see our handout  on revising drafts .

Writing a literature review

writing a literature review

Draft in hand? Now you’re ready to revise. Spending a lot of time revising is a wise idea, because your main objective is to present the material, not the argument. So check over your review again to make sure it follows the assignment and/or your outline. Then, just as you would for most other academic forms of writing, rewrite or rework the language of your review so that you’ve presented your information in the most concise manner possible. Be sure to use terminology familiar to your audience; get rid of unnecessary jargon or slang. Finally, double check that you’ve documented your sources and formatted the review appropriately for your discipline. For tips on the revising and editing process, see our handout  on revising drafts .

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