Literature survey guidelines
Literature survey is a background work that is made personally. It is based on books and academic publications. The topics of literature surveys are selected so that they support the assignment.
The main goal of a literature survey is to gather a basis for the practical work and to show that the student is familiar with existing literature and research on the topic. It is not smart to re-invent the wheel, i.e., one has to know what has already been done.
Example of the content of a literature survey
- Title and author
- name, student id and other information as usual
- Abstract (summary)
- Background of the topic, importance, content etc.
- Background (Definitions for relevant concepts)
- Possible competiting definitions
- Concepts that might cause misunderstandings and confusion
- Possiple approaches
- The actual content with appropriate titles
- E.g. introduction and comparison of technologies, models and approaches or examples of applications.
- Most important discoveries and conclusions
- Proposals for further research
- A good list of reference is important
- Has to follow some known referencing practice (E.g. Harward referencing)
It is not necessary to directly follow the previous example. Please do apply it according to your topic!
Additional information about technical writing can be found from the library. You can also ask for more guidance.
- English is strongly recommended as a writing language!
- Please supply copies of the references.
- Remember that the literature survey will be a part of your project document. It is required that the language of the literature survey is the same as the language of the rest of the documentation.
Guidelines for presenting the survey
We have listed all sorts of things here but you are also allowed to use common sense :-)
- Practical matters
- Everyone has 20-30 minutes for the presentation.
- Next performer prepares him-/herself for the presentation while the ending questions of the previous presentation - of course without disturbing others.
- Slides have to be located in the BSCW workspace until 10.00 of the presentation day.
- General stuff about the presentation
- Articulate clearly so that everybody can hear you
- Talk to the audience, not to the wall
- Keep your slides simple. About 5 (+-2) keypoints per slide)
- Use a simple font such as Helvetica, Arial or Geneva. Times is a bad choise.
- Use large fonts. At least 18 pixels.
- Pictures are recommended as they usually illusterate the point very well
- Make sure beforehand that all the needed devices (such as video projectors etc.) work
- Content of the presentation
- Structure should develop from introduction to the more spesific information.
- Important concepts have to be defined.
- You don't have to include all the content of the paper version.
- It is possible to just select the most important points or choose a viewpoint for the presentation.
- The wholeness is important (the big picture)
- Concentrate on the keypoints of the survey.
- You have to make a difference between your own toughts and thoughts of others (references).
- Because this is a literature survey, you don't have to include own ideas. Refering to others is enough.
- References in the slides also (remember references for the pictures).
- Slides in english
- Presentation in english. If you really need an exception, please contact us asap.
- You can use additional illustration devices such as video projector, document camera, video
- Ask and suggest more devices if you have some ideas
- Common mistakes
- Rushing into details too quickly and forgetting to tell about objects and motivations of the work.
- Trying to cover the lack of content of the work with bad jokes
- Screensaver turns on
Updated: 04.10.2004, page maintained by PM&RG