literature review - what goes in it?


I thought I had this sorted, but now I'm not so sure. I've been working on chapters rather than the lit review - putting it off I suppose :$ but I think I need to take some of the material out of a chapter and put it in the lit review.(I've decided that I need to do this for each of the chapters I'm writing as I go along) The thing is, how do I decide what should go in there? I don't want to put too much, or it will affect the chapter structure. I can see how this might be useful for some areas, but much of the material in the first few core chapters will be providing the stepping stones for the rest. I've tried reading through it and marking bits I think might be moved, but then I look again and wonder if this is the right way to go about it (because they look quite comfy where they are, as they do, don't they when you have been working on them for ages). Should I start the lit review from scratch and leave the chapter as it is, or should I pinch some of the bits - it is too long at the moment, so will need some trimming, well stuff put into endnotes anyway :-). The subject is education, but this bit is about labour process and labour theory. Any ideas?


You don't necessarily (so I've been told) have to have a whole chapter that is just a lit review if you think it work better to spread the lit across several chapters.

I have a lit review chapter, but then I have more specific mini lit reviews at the beginning of each empircal chapter. It didn't work to put it all in the lit review chapter - but there was a heap of more general stuff that did go there.


It's also OK to repeat information. You might want to take aspects of your chapters and rephrase them or rearrange them in your lit review. I really struggled with this concept when I was writing my Honours thesis - I was so familiar with my subject that I baulked at the idea of repeating myself, but my advisers all said that it was a good idea. The thesis (more so with a PhD) is a lengthy document, so it's OK to repeat things, to refresh your reader's mind of something you said earlier. It is a way of 'signposting' the important elements.


Thanks for the input. My research is into the effect of role transition within education and I could start with a look at the changes being suggested for education, which would lead into the chapters, and might combine the introduction with the review, but then I've just re-read Bell's book on doing your research project which suggests that it needs to be a more critical piece of writing - which is quite difficult as although there is quite a bit on the labour process as applied to industryand some applying it to education, there doesn't seem to be much stuff on my particular aspect, loads on teachers, and some on pupils, but they are not the subject and I want to save most of the stuff I do have for the appropriate chapters! I've set out my chapter headings using the method from Dunleavy's book, so the lit review is supposed to be quite a chunk and I don't want it to be a waffle, or to reveal the plot :$