This may or may not be helpful, but I’ve put together a quick and basic guide on producing a literature review and gutting sources for history dissertations. I’m still getting used to being on camera so please bear with my awkward camera techniques, but hopefully this video will help give you an idea of how to progress with your literature review if you are a little uncertain. Please remember, these are just my suggestions.
The key things to remember are:-
-a literature review is not just a list of books. Don’t list every single source one at a time
– try to synthesis and summarise the key arguments. – try to get into the habit of “gutting” texts. You can’t read every source cover to cover.
I’ve attached a Word document with a template to help you think about some of the sorts of notes you should be taking. These are just my suggestions for the sort of questions you want to be answering as you gut a book. This template is just intended to be a starting point. Add your own questions and develop your own style as much as possible.
Here is David Lavery’s article on ‘How to Gut a Book’: