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Category: Literature Review

Literature Review

The importance of doing a thorough literature review was made sparklingly clear by Les Carr on Wednesday when he said, and I paraphrase here, you do a literature review to go from ‘I recon’ to ‘I know’ what the state of a field is.

There seems to be two aspects of a literature review: The list of (possible) relevant papers and the way they are referred to in a document. This then means that reading a paper should include the ability to mark it (underline/highlight) and to add comments, both for the whole document and for specific sections. This then is what the author uses to find relevant text when it comes to writing their document.

I will be reading in whatever app, likely iBooks, then posting comments to EverNote, where they will be searchable, listed by Document.


How to make someone aware they were mentioned? I wrote about Les Carr saying something above. How could we devise a system whereby he would be notified that I did that? Maybe the system should check names for Twitter accounts? Hmm…

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Lit: The Importance of Writing (quotes)

“Writing is thinking made tangible, thinking that can be examined because it is on the page and not in the head, invisible, floating around. Writing is thinking that can be stopped and tinkered with. It is a way of holding thought still long enough to examine its structures, its possibilities, its flaws. The road to a clearer understanding is travelled on paper. It is through an attempt to find words for ourselves in which to express relat- ed ideas that we often discover what we think.”

John Gage, “Why Write?” in A. Petrosky and D. Bartholomae, eds., The Teaching of Writing (Chicago, IL: National Society for the Study of Education, 1986).


“Writing, although valuable as a communication medium, is most valuable as a powerful way of thinking. Writing forces us to order thoughts in a logical and coherent way. It forces us to critically examine our own thinking, which ultimately leads to better thinking, problem solving, and decision making. If the Army wants better thinkers, we should start by educating better writers.”

Major Trent J. Lythgoe, Flight Simulation for the Brain: Why Army Officers Must Write (Major Trent J. Lythgoe, By , an essay submitted for 2011-01 MacArthur Leadership Writing Competition.

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