The exercises in this learning resource have been designed to help you think about the kind of structure that a literature review typically has. They also show how a literature review can fit into the structure of a complete report; in other words how the literature review can help to tell a convincing story about your research. To begin with, you should listen to Tina's comments.
Exercise 2 Narrative structure in reports
Tina talks at one point about a 'step by step' approach and at another about the text telling 'a really nice story' that leads the reader on. This is interesting and useful because reports as a whole, not just literature reviews, often do share a similar 'narrative' structure to stories. We can think of this structure as having four typical stages:
(See Hoey 2001; Swales & Feak, 2009)
What's nice about Tina's idea of 'story' is that it emphasises the importance of leading the reader along. Let's go back to the Literature Review part of a report and focus in particular on the story told by the Literature Review on: The development of a system for TDz-TDS detection of cartilage proteins'. Below are some 'steps' that the writer took expressed in the form of questions and answers. (Tina has clarified some of these (*) where they are a little unclear in the student's text.)
Notice how the answers lead to the the next question?
Hoey, M. ( 2001) Textual interaction: an introduction to written discourse analysis. London: Routledge
Swales, J.M. (1990) Genre Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Swales, J.M. & Feak, C.B. (2009) Academic Writing for Graduate Students: essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press