For this TMA you are required to:
- provide a working title for your project
- provide a literature reviewoutlining the rationale for your study
- state your research question or hypothesis.
Word limit: 1200 words total excluding reference list. You are advised to use a maximum of 50 words on the title and research question together.
Your working title should be short and mention the method and topic you wish to investigate. Your literature review should draw on evidence from three to five studies you have found in academic journals
You should evaluate these studies and aim to identify a gap in the literature (or limitations with previous work) that your project will aim to fill or address. You should then use your review of the literature to justify your research question or hypothesis.
There are three essential components to your literature review.
First, you must supply a working title for your project. This should be informative, describing your project. For example, a text-based study could be ‘A discursive analysis of the media representation of smoking’Note this title is likely to change for your final report, so don’t be concerned that it might sound a bit boring at this stage!
Second, you need to write a literature review of three to five primary sources
Finally, you should include your research question – what do you aim to discover? Try to make sure that your research question is phrased as a question.
Like an essay, a literature review is essentially made up of three different sections: an introduction, the main body and conclusion.
The introduction should explain the broad context of your research area and the main topic(s) you are interested in and why (defining any key terms, if needs be). It should also include a brief overview of the format your review will take.
The main body makes up the bulk of the review. Here you should include a description and critical analysis of the literature that is relevant to your research. This should serve to contextualise your own research by illustrating how it builds on what has been done before.
An important part of the review is to provide a critical assessment of the studies you identify, comparing and critically evaluating the different contributions to the literature. In this way the review goes beyond simply providing a list of the published papers or chapters that you identified in the literature search. Instead, it should aim to identify any patterns and shortcomings in the literature, which can be used to justify your own work. For example, this might include one (or more) of the following:
- Identifying significant patterns, relationships or themes within the literature.
- Discussing areas where there are unresolved questions or conflicting evidence.
- Identifying methodological or theoretical weaknesses within different studies that need to be addressed.
- Specifying areas that have been under-researched or not researched at all.
In terms of the ‘shape’ of the review, you should start off with a general, wider view of the literature, gradually narrowing it down to address the specific focus of your research. It should allow the reader to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
The conclusion should summarise and evaluate the important aspects of your review. Importantly, it should summarise any significant problems or gaps within the existing research and explicitly explain how your proposed study is going to address these gaps or build on the existing literature to produce something new. You should end this section with your proposed research question or hypotheses, linking your research to existing knowledge. Your research question or hypothesis should read as a logical conclusion to the discussion of the literature.
My Literature review is a Phenomenological research project ( so it will be a study of individuals lived experiences based on analysis of text through recorded semi structured interview.
I want to do something based on:
How does the Windrush generation experience…?
The experience should ideally focus on something current as there are issues with memory if you are asking them to remember decades ago. Try to avoid focusing directly of sensitive topics i.e. “…experience racism” but you may well find these themes emerge from the data so a good question might be
How does the Windrush generation experience relationships with their white neighbours post Brexit referendum? ( This is my tutors idea so it needs to be a bit different than this and apparently it has to be positive so as to not upset people when I interview them.
So racist themes might emerge but you aren’t solely focused on that there is also room for positive themes or more nuanced themes as well.