The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students

Series SAGE Study Skills
Author(s) Diana Ridley
Publisher Sage Publications
Published 2008
Pages 184
ISBN 9781412934268
Reviewed by Mrs Margaret Simms
Review published 28 March 2008

I highly recommend Diana Ridley’s book. One of its great strengths is its relevance to all students in Higher Education required to undertake a literature review. Ridley’s step-by-step guide to the process and product of literature review is a principal source for students at any stage of their review.

I made a conscious decision to approach the reading of this book as one in need of guidance on writing a literature review immediately finding comfort in its ‘step-by-step guide’ title, bright pink colouring, and thinness. A glance at the contents pages provoked a sharp intake of breath, as set before me were ten chapters on everything I needed to know about literature review. Noting that the Tables would come in useful at some stage I skipped on to the Introduction, here a sense of security prevailed in the presence of the author’s uncomplicated writing style and pages rightly divided into manageable chunks.

The tools for successful review contained in this book include strategies for reading and note-taking, structuring the literature review and the continuing process of literature review, reference management and in-text citations. Students will also learn how to be critical in their reading and writing and how to bring their own writer voice to the fore. The author encourages application of knowledge and understanding derived from this guide to literature review by frequent use of tasks, templates and real examples from completed dissertations and theses.

The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students by Diana Ridley lives up to its claim to contain extensive practical tips on how to prepare, organise and write a success literature review.