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Writing a Literature Review in Social Sciences

Tips for Writing

Setting concrete daily goals for your writing project helps. Here are some examples of such goals*:

  • Write at least 200 words
  • Print the first draft I finished yesterday, read it, and revise it
  • Make a new list of project goals and write them on my whiteboard
  • Write the first three paragraphs of the general discussion
  • Add missing references and then reconcile the citations and references
  • Reread chapters 22 and 24 from Zinsser (201) to recharge my writing batteries
  • Finish the "Setting Goals" section that I started yesterday
  • Brainstorm and then make an outline for a new manuscript 

Source: Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Academic Phrasebank (from Univ. of Manchester) 
Phrases presented in this resource have been taken from authentic academic sources. Find a list of phrases to use for various language functions such as "being critical," "compare & contrast," "explaining causality", etc.  

The Elements of Style (by W. Strunk, Jr.) 

Handbooks & Labs

Online Writing Lab (OWL) 
From Purdue Univ.
Provides very detailed what and how to do to format your paper in proper publishing styles. 

The Writer's Handbook 
From UW-Madison

Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students
From Penn State Univ.  

Style Manuals

Visit our Citation Guide for information on various style manuals such as APA, Chicago, and MLA. 

Books on Productive Academic Writing

The Florida State University Libraries

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