Book review: A Post-graduate’s Guide to Doing a Literature Review: In Health and Social Care

Useful, reader friendly book for those seeking to undertake literature reviews - 4/5

A Post-graduates Guide to Doing a Literature Review

The aim of this book is to guide post-graduate students undertaking literature reviews and explain their relevance to empirical studies or as pieces of work in their own right.

The authors write in a clear and informative way and the reader, whether a novice or doctoral researcher, is walked through the different features of a literature review in a comprehensive step-by-step way.

Each chapter comprises an overview, real-life examples and a summary of main points. Figures, tables and charts are provided in some chapters to convey the more complex approaches to analysis and synthesis of the literature.

Of particular value are the chapters that explore different types of research literature: empirical, theoretical and methodological. These explain the importance of searching for literature that is relevant to the review question and how to do this in a logical way for all levels of post-graduate study. They also offer excellent advice on writing up literature reviews to include practical suggestions.

Those undertaking PhDs or with experience of undertaking literature review may find the book a little elementary in parts, but should find the authors’ approach to the subject refreshing.

Overall, this is a useful, reader-friendly book for those seeking to undertake literature reviews.

Helen Aveyard, Sheila Payne and Nancy Pearson | Open University Press | 248pp | £21.99 | ISBN: 9780335263684

Reviewed by Ellie Forbes, human factors programme manager, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

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