Studying Musical Theory Can Be Easy
The literature review in your thesis paper is not merely a summary of works on the topic. It shows what is already known about the topic, and where are the gaps in the reviewed works. It presents the comparison and assessment of researches and shows what place your study takes in the research scope. Your main goal is to approach the papers you mention critically and provide a solid ground for the methodology. In order to write a great literature review, you need to:
1. Know your tools. There are many things you can use to gather and process the sources effectively, and you should be familiar with the ones you feel comfortable using.
First consider using ‘smart’ databases to look for sources, as they can suggest you similar articles, and analyze your inquiries more thoroughly. Also, they will surely include scholarly sources, so that you will not have to check them for credibility. Look for the reference and citation generators that will let you save a lot of time on making a bibliography. Try using something outside Word, and find the program that will detect the mistakes better and let you store the info.
2. Identify the keywords. Create a list of applicable keywords that help describe the topic, and use them to search for the sources. You can also put down the articles you have found for each word, and create a table with the ones you have gone through.
3. Name the files properly. You will most likely download tons of papers you want to read later, and it is crucial that you do not just store them under confusing names. Create folders with proper names, and label files with the names of books and authors to keep everything in order. Thus, you will not waste time trying to find the file you have downloaded on your desktop.
4. Note a lot. As you read, do not forget to make substantial notes. This way you will recall the information easier and will not forget what kind of data you have already gathered. Also, note your thoughts on the matter, even if they do not seem smart. They may appear a lot more useful later.
5. Know when it is enough. You are a modern student with the library right in your computer. You do not have to go to the real one, stay calm and quiet while you and other people slowly wander from shelf to shelf, take books that weight 30 pounds each, and feel awkward while reading. You can simply access the books on the web and review them a lot faster. However, you may get a little addicted to the research, and keep doing it until you realize you are reading something completely irrelevant. Enough is enough, and you need to see where is the point you need to stop at. You may continue researching because you do not really want to get to writing. However, when you feel like you have gathered the info you need, leave it and do what you have planned next. Even if there will be something you have missed, you can always do it later.
6. Just write. We all know how easy it is to find something ‘very important’ you have to do right now, which is certainly not writing a thesis paper. That is why you should set the time aside for writing. Yes, as bad as it sounds, you need to force yourself to write. Take about 1.5-2 hours to write and make a 15-30 minutes break. Repeat until you hate the keyboard, the teacher, the university, and the educational system. Well, do not make it that bad, just make sure the work does not stand still for weeks.
7. Write in a group. The great thing about universities and classes is that you have a lot of fellows that have to write a literature review too. You can make a group of three, help each other with resources, drafts, and control the schedule. This creates a certain competitive environment where you try hard not to be left behind and thus write more and better. Also, you can give each other feedbacks on drafts and final papers, which means your work will be extremely polished and surely understandable for the wide range of readers.
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