Academic Writer

academic writer: evidence: secondary sources: survey of published work

Survey of published work
If you are working on a longer academic paper, it is almost certain that you will want to demonstrate your awareness of other work existing in your area of study. This can be done by surveying already published work in the field and by using citation and references. Such a review will probably be descriptive and neutral in tone. It will emphasize why the published work is significant, interesting or relevant to your work.

A descriptive review is a very valuable tool as it underlines your connections (and debts) to work already published in the area. It is unlikely that at undergraduate level you will want to review published sources in a critical manner because you are unlikely to be an expert at this stage. The surveys shown here are closely related to Literature Reviews, but shorter and therefore likely to be much less comprehensive.
EXAMPLES

Invisible Killers: Fine Particles
Throughout the '50s and '60s, complacent authorities assumed there was a threshold --some amount that was safe. However, after 1975, a revolution took place in scientific understanding of fine particles and health. In the late 1970s the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, (George, 1978) and the United Nations (Onions, 1979) both published book-length studies of the dangers of small particles to humans.

 

Invisible Killers: Fine Particles
The study of fine particles and their effects on human health has been under way in earnest since 1975. Over the past 20 years, studies have been able to rule out sulphur dioxide and ozone pollution as the cause of the observed deaths (Dockery and Pope, 1977). That year a new study of 552,138 adult Americans in 151 metropolitan areas confirmed once again that there is a clear relationship between fine-particle air pollution and human deaths, and it ruled out smoking as a cause of the observed deaths (Pope, 1977). This study is particularly important because it didn't simply match death certificates with pollution levels; it actually examined the characteristics (race, gender, weight and height) and lifestyle habits of all 552,138 people. Thus the study was able to rule out tobacco smoking (cigarettes, pipe and cigar); exposure to passive tobacco smoke; occupational exposure to fine particles; body mass index (relating a person's weight and height); and alcohol use. The new study also controlled for changes in outdoor temperature. The study found that fine-particle pollution was related to a 15% to 17% difference in death rates between the least polluted cities and the most-polluted cities.

 

The growing army of the self-employed in Great Britain
Analysis of the self-employed received little attention from the economics profession before the 1980s. During that decade male self-employment rose in Great Britain by approximately 52 per cent from 1.7 million to 2.6 million, forming 17 per cent of male total employment. It was this dramatic rise that has caused a resurgence of interest.
Studies of the upward trend in Great Britain have, in most cases, been confined to statistical surveys. These examine the long term determinants of the rate of self-employment and the work of Robson (1994) and Parker (1995) typify the approach. In particular, Robson (1994) highlights the significance of personal wealth as the means of meeting the substantial start-up costs.

Academic Writer 2000