|Abstract or Summary
- At Oregon State University Libraries, we discovered graduate students frequently run into several roadblocks while writing literature reviews for their theses or dissertations. As a result, several librarians created a workshop focusing on the literature review process. Most graduate students, regardless of discipline, are required to write some form of literature review, and they are often unsure of themselves at the beginning stages of this writing and research process. They have questions about how to use unfamiliar library resources, how to organize the information they find, how to keep up with the massive amounts of information available, and how to begin writing the actual literature review.
From our experience working with students at the reference desk, in classes, and in individual consultations, we decided to approach these problems graduate students face by providing instruction to graduate students outside of a specific classroom setting. This allowed us to open up our instruction sessions to all graduate students on campus regardless of departmental affiliation or faculty buy-in.
We began holding the literature review workshop in February 2007, and have been overwhelmed with the success of the program. Over 300 graduate students have attended the workshops, and an online version of the workshop has been added to serve students in our distance education programs. Workshop evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive. Elements of the workshop that have contributed to the workshop’s success have been thoughtful promotion of the event, a balance of lecture and demonstration with student discussions and participation, and an overview of the theory behind writing literature reviews.
I will show why we chose to teach graduate students about the literature review process, how we promoted the workshops, what we cover in our workshops, and what we have learned from planning and implementing this instructional service.