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Literature Review: 3. Organize Information

Group Information

Identify major themes, developments, trends and changes in the literature.

Group information into headings based on themes or theories.

Organize Information into Sections

Image of a folder tree showing breakdown of documents into different sectionsOrganize and divide information into sections to avoid creating a summary of each source.

Based on your analysis of each source, group information into different categories. Identify and group information based on the theme of the information, theory, and methodology used.

Grouping resources with similar ideas, theories, themes and methodologies together will help organize the flow of information in your literature review and facilitate comparing and contrasting resources.

Group together information with similar:

  • Themes
  • Methodologies
  • Chronology/Time Period
  • Points of View
  • Theories
  • Conclusions

Analyse

Avoid creating a summary or list of contributing literature. Analyse the information and consider the strengths and weaknesses of sources:

  • Recognize implications of the knowledge
  • Identify gaps, weakening or conflicting information and unanswered questions
  • Demonstrate how  your study relates to previous research and the literature
  • Evaluate the methodology used in the studies
  • Make note of areas where authors disagree
  • Find patterns and trends in the literature

Draw Conclusions

Draw your own conclusions on the topic and make your own interpretations. Reflect on how the information answers your original research question.

The aim is to break information into its key components, create a comprehensive analysis of the current literature, and provide your outlook for the topic's future development based on your research findings.