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Muirhead (2004) states that the literature review process is often a major challenge for graduate students who must learn to effectively work with computer technology and manage larger volumes of available information. I think most of you will agree with the statement of Muirhead (2004), since most of us are facing the challenges of writing literature review. Moreover, in a world where the Internet has broadened the range of potentially relevant sources, however, doing a literature review can pose challenges even to an experienced researcher (Knopf, 2006).

Why it is challenging? The literature review in its own has several functions such as identification deficiencies, or gaps in existing knowledge or practice that need to be addressed; identification of points of debate and convergence in the literature; measuring and discussing the overall quality of the reviewed literature and so on . Therefore, it requires more effort from the writer.

What is required for carrying out quality literature review? What I have understood so far, to carry out a quality literature review it is not enough only to make efforts only, also skills and abilities, patience and diligence are required. As for as skills and abilities, Hart (1998, Muirhead, 2004) defines the ability to integrate theory and method as a crucial ability for carrying out literature review. According to Muirhead (2004), reviewing the literature also requires patience and diligence from researcher. They are of vital importance, since most of the common mistakes like poor alignment of the literature review with the researchers own study; inclination to rely  on secondary sources rather than on primary sources in reviewing the literature, non-critical evaluation of existing literature happen only because the researcher does not possess patience and diligence. Since the advances in technology increasing the possibility to conduct manually done operations automatically, I think that ICT skills must be considered while discussing the skills required for conducting literature review.

What techniques and strategies I used to overcome faced challenges? The first challenge I faced was time allocation for literature review. I dealt with this problem by setting a schedule for conducting a literature review. The second challenge that I have faced while I was writing literature review was finding of sources. To overcome the challenge of finding sources I mostly used the searching in referencing. Finally, now I am at the stage of analyzing and synthesizing selected literature for my paper. Fortunately, at this stage of my study, one of my colleagues has shared her experience of using web tool zotero (http//, which I am planning to use as well. Zotero is an only research tool built by practicing researchers and teachers, at the Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University that automatically senses content in your web browser. It collects, organize, cite, synchronize the data of your research and gives opportunity to create and join research groups to focus on any topic you choose.

To sum up, I hope that my groupmates will finally collect the pieces of jigsaw puzzle using advice given by all groupmates and write a quality literature review until the start of fall sessions.



Knopf, J.W., (2006). Doing a Literature ReviewPS: Political Science & Politics. Vol.39, No. 01:127-132.

Retrieved from September 19, 2015 from files/Doing_a_Literature_Review.pdf

Muirhead., B, (2004). Literature Review Advice [online document]. International Journal of Instructional

Technology and Distance Learning. Vol.1, No. 2. Retrieved from September 25, 2015

Zotero. Retrieved from September 25, 2015 from http// http//



  1. Dear Dinara,

    Thank you very much for your inspiring post! Very good tips! I absolutely agree with you that not only effort and skills you need to write a research paper but also patience and diligence.
    Also there exists a term called a writer`s block when a person instead of producing some piece of writing s/he will be surfing the Internet, various social media, checking emails when s/he knows that they should be writing. I personally experience such blocks as doing some things around the house or running errands even though they are not so urgent from time to time. And my question is do you have such conditions like never feeling ready to write? and how do you cope with them, if you have? Thanks.


    1. I think everybody has such kund of block. Sometimes it is helfpul first be interrupted and then continue with your writing, since you will finish everything and then pay all of attention to your paper. However, sometimes it happen that you want to do something else, and start checking your mails and so on. This happens with me when I can’t come up with an idea. The technique that will help to overcome this problem is continue to concentrate on work that you are doing as tge things like divergence and assiduity starts with forcing and will be fixed in everyday practice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cute graphic.

    Thank you for the zotero information. Very interesting. I’ll look it up.

    I strongly suggest that you review the audio power point on plagiarism that was posted last week. Since you are in your second year, we hoped you would know by now that you can’t copy word for word without quotation marks. I noticed that your Muirhead and Knopf sources had in-text citations but you had not paraphrased at all. This is plagiarism. This is exactly the same mistake you made in post #2. Please address this before writing your master’s thesis. I would hate for plagiarism to be found in it.

    2 out of 5


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