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Using a Literature Review Map

Creating a literature review map is a very useful graphical technique that helps you to visualize connections and relative relationships between things. Mapping shows the associations between different literature and can help to identify issues such as proximity and connections in terms of ideas and findings. After analyzing a paper or some other literature using critical techniques, literature mapping can show how it fits in with other literature that has already been analyzed. Literature mapping involves identifying the key concepts in the literature and how each paper or piece of material fits into this overall conceptual map.

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After identifying literature with similar themes the literature review map is useful in determining:

  • Areas of agreement between different authors.
  • Areas of disagreement between authors.
  • Reasons for the different views held by various authors.

There are different types of literature maps such as character maps, concept maps and ideas maps. The type of literary map you create will depend on the concept or theme you want to focus on. However, the basics of literature mapping are the same regardless of the type of map you make.

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Steps in Creating a Literature Review Map

  1. Start with a central idea or theme. The starting idea should be kept simple and broad in order to allow for a more detailed exploration as the map is developed. If it is too narrow you will limit the number of relationships between the literature that you are able to make. A literature review map can be for the whole topic of the literature review or just one area or argument of the review. Write down this main idea
  2. Write down all the words and phrases that come to mind in relation to the topic. These are likely to be using search terms when researching the relevant literature. Use branches to connect the main idea and those points that you develop that are related to the main theme. Locate and read relevant journal articles, books, papers and other literature. Analyze the literature and summarize key points.
  3. Add keywords to the branches. Once you have a linking branch add a keyword to the branch that explains the relationship of the ideas/points being linked. This can allow you to see similarities between different literature you may otherwise miss.
  4. Extend your initial ideas using more branches and nodes. After starting with one main idea, related ideas were linked back to it. These related ideas/points, in turn, produce other points that while not directly related to the initial concept, affect it. Continue to expand and make connections until satisfied with the number of supporting points or there are no further relevant connections.
  5. Group ideas/points/references in different ways. Depending on the type of literature review map created, try grouping the relevant information in different ways based on the type of relationship.

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There is more than one way to create a literature review map and people form their own preferences. Sometimes creating more than one map using different methods can provide a new perspective that helps. If you need help with a literature review essay or don’t know how to write a thesis literature review, feel free to check out a literature review essay example or contact us immediately.

What Is a Character Map Literature?

A literature map is a graphical method that provides a structured way to focus on the different elements in literature such as action, setting, atmosphere, or mood. It can be structured to reflect the emphases that are most applicable to the work being studied. One type of literature map is the character map. Literature mapping of characters helps students keep track of facts and details and draw conclusions about a character. It also helps students understand the process of characterization. Learning to create a literature mind map of a character aids students when they have to write a character analysis in assignments, as well as providing a foundation for characterization in their own writing. A character map can be relatively simple or quite complex.

Also, our highly motivated experts will help you with:

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Creating a Literature Character Map

There is more than one way to create a character map. Literature mapping of a character may focus on a character’s physical appearance, personality, speech, thoughts, feelings, actions, and interactions with other characters or any combination of these. The following is one way to build a literature character map in five steps:

  1. Identify the character – Write the name of the character within a circle in the middle of a piece of paper. Usually, this will be one of the main characters or at least a character who has a major influence in the story.
  2. Qualities and characteristics of the character – Write different qualities the character possesses in separate circles around the name of the character and link them to the character. Characteristics and qualities may deal with the physical appearance of the character, their emotional state, moral views, thoughts, or anything else that goes into making up an individual.
  3. Look for evidence that supports the characteristic – Go back to the story and look for examples of evidence that supports the particular characteristic. There are many ways that evidence may be found or recognized. The characters speech, actions, behaviors, through what other characters say about them or comments from a narrator. Sometimes evidence may not be directly stated but can be inferred through things such as behavior and actions a character takes.
  4. Add the evidence to the literature concept map of the character – Write the individual pieces of evidence in rectangular boxes around the characteristic they are providing support for. Sometimes evidence may support more than one character and can be linked to both.
  5. Study the character map for changes in characteristics – In many stories, what happens during the course of events changes the character is mapped. This can produce contradictions in a character map. Characteristics that were present in the beginning may no longer be consistent with who the character is by the end. In some cases, this is the point of the story, while in others it may be incidental.

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