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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.  

Punctuation Made Simple 

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

Guide to Grammar and Style (by Jack Lynch) 

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.  

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