An approach to teaching the writing of literature reviews [Online]
Students face difficulties in writing literature reviews that relate in particular to limited knowledge of the genre (Bruce, 1992; E. Turner, 2005). While there has been valuable research relating to genre and discourse analysis of the literature review (such as Bunton, 2002; Kwan, 2006; O’Connell and Jin, 2001), there is a lack of research into the effectiveness of published writing support programmes. Furthermore, with exceptions such as Ridley (2000) and Swales and Lindemann (2002), there is little explicit advice on how to approach the teaching of the literature review. This paper reports on one of two studies described at the 4th International EATAW conference 2007. It describes an evaluation of the effectiveness of an approach at a New Zealand university to teaching the writing of literature reviews. It focuses on a 15-hour unit of teaching as part of a six-day EAL graduate writing course. The study found clear evidence of improvement in all areas that were targeted.