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The Literature Review - Book Cover Look Inside

The Literature Review

Six Steps to Success

By: Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi, Brenda Tyler McEvoy

The latest edition features new graphics illustrating the pioneering six-step model, tips for writing in the early stages, and new learning tools and reflection sections.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071852903
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2022
  • Page Count: 264
  • Publication date: January 03, 2022

Price: $39.95

For Instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.


The essential guide—updated, expanded, and easier to use than ever.

Creating a successful literature review can be a daunting task, which is why so many researchers have relied on previous editions of this book to make the process more manageable. Using the six-step model, you’ll work seamlessly to narrow your research topic, focus your literature search, negotiate the myriad of books, periodicals, and reports about your topic—and, of course, write the review.

Updated, expanded, and reorganized to improve ease of use, the fourth edition of this bestselling handbook includes:

  • New and improved graphics ideal for visualizing the process
  • More explanations and tips, especially for writing in the early stages
  • An expanded range of learning tools
  • Additional reflection sections to direct metacognitive activities
  • Four new reference supplements

This pioneering book has provided countless graduate students and researchers with a road map to success. Its model takes you through the logical progression needed for producing a quality literature review—while taking the mystery out of the process.

Key features

The text is organized around a six-step model to guide the reader through the process of developing a successful literature review. These steps are: Select a topic; Search the literature; Develop the argument; Survey the literature; Critique the literature; and Write the review. A NEW flowchart at the beginning of the book graphically illustrates the 6 step process, outlining each task and activity necessary for completing each step. Then the relevant segment of this flowchart is repeated at the beginning of each "step" chapter, serving as an advance organizer for the chapter and reminding the reader of each task and activity associated with the step. Each chapter addresses a specific step of the model and contains several learning aids to increase reader comprehension. These learning aids include the following: The six-step process is directly aligned and explained using an applied critical thinking model that demonstrates the logical progression needed for producing a quality literature review, while taking the mystery out of the process. NEW Technology references and online guides to simplify the work of organizing material and revising the written composition. NEW Graphics and charts that clarify the key topics under discussion, and models that present pictures that tie together complex themes and procedures. At the end of each chapter, tips provide specific ideas for using the material covered in the chapter. These tips will help the reader make immediate, practical use of the material. Each chapter closes with a checklist. These lists allow readers to track their progress through the entire literature review project.


Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi photo

Lawrence (Larry) Anthony Machi

Lawrence A. Machi is a Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. He holds an MA in curriculum development and an Ed.D. in organizational leadership. He has taught research methods and design and has chaired doctoral dissertation research in addition to teaching classes in organizational development. He has extensive experience in higher education, and prior to his tenure at La Verne, he taught in schools of education at the University of San Francisco, St. Mary’s College of California, and Sonoma State University. Dr. Machi has served as a Fulbright Specialist and recently completed his third assignment in Taiwan at National Chung Cheng University, where he currently serves as a visiting professor.

With K–12 experience as well, he has worked as a secondary teacher and served as a school administrator in both secondary and elementary school districts in northern California. He has occupied the roles of vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent, frequently consulting with many California school districts and nonprofit organizations. His specialties are in the areas of organizational leadership, finance, negotiations, organizational development, and strategic thinking.

Brenda Tyler McEvoy photo

Brenda Tyler McEvoy

Brenda T. McEvoy taught high school English, history, and science for 36 years. Research skills were always part of her curriculum. For eight years, she worked for the California State Department of Education, leading groups of educators in improving their ability to edit and assess student writing. She has also served as a mentor for beginning English and history teachers. Participation in the California Writing Project extended her knowledge of writing and the difficulties students face when producing a major assignment. She has worked as an editor for several books, focusing on helping writers create work that is clear and logical.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Literature Review Flow Chart



About the Authors

Introduction: Doing and Producing a Literature Review

     Key Vocabulary

     Introduction Overview

     The Purpose of a Literature Review

     The Literature Review Defined

     The Literature Review Process

     Mindset: Personal Dispositions on Thinking, Doing, and Deciding

     The Ethics of Reviewing the Literature

     Reflective Oversight

     Plan Wisely Before You Begin



     Reflective Exercise

1. Step 1: Select and Define a Topic

     Key Vocabulary

     Chapter Overview

     Task 1. Identify a Subject for Study

     Task 2. Translate the Personal Interest or Concern Into a Research Query

     Task 3. Link the Research Query to the Appropriate Discipline

     Task 4. Write the Preliminary Research Topic Statement



     Reflective Exercise

2. Step 2: Develop the Tools of Argumentation

     Key Vocabulary

     Chapter Overview

     Concept 1. Building the Case for a Literature Review

     Concept 2. Arguments—the Basics

     Concept 3. Evaluating the Basic Parts of an Argument

     Concept 4. Understanding Claims

     Concept 5. Building Evidence

     Concept 6. Warrant—Logically Connecting the Evidence to the Claim

     Concept 7. Complex Claims



     Reflective Exercise

3. Step 3: Search the Literature

     Key Vocabulary

     Chapter Overview

     Task 1. Select the Literature to Review

     Task 2. Conduct a Literature Search

     Task 3. Refine Your Topic



     Reflective Exercise

4. Step 4: Survey the Literature

     Key Vocabulary

     Chapter Overview

     Task 1. Assemble the Collected Data

     Task 2. Organize the Information

     Task 3. Analyze the Patterns of Data



     Reflective Exercise

5. Step 5: Critique the Literature

     Key Vocabulary

     Chapter Overview

     What Is a Literature Critique?

     Concept 1. Making the Case for the Literature Review

     Concept 2. Descriptive Argument Patterns: Factual Reasoning

     Concept 3. Implicative Argument Patterns: Implicative Reasoning

     Concept 4. The Implicative Argument: Nine Basic Patterns

     Concept 5. Backing

     Doing a Critique of the Literature: Building the Advocacy Argument

     Task 1. Determining the Implicative Logic Pattern Inferred by the Topic of Study

     Task 2. Reframe Claims to Meet the Prerequisite Conditions Identified by the Selected Logic Type

     Task 3. Build the Advocacy Argument

     Concept 6. Fallacies

     Concept 7. The Case Is Everything



     Reflective Exercise

6. Step 6: Write the Review

     Key Vocabulary

     The Writing Process: Overview

     Task 1. Write to Understand

     Task 2. Write to Be Understood

     Style Manuals


     Reflective Exercise

     Last Words


Supplement A The Role of the Literature Review

Supplement B Literature Review 101

Supplement C Writing a Journal

Supplement D SQRRR


References and Further Reading