When I decided to make the literature review (LR) or synthesis matrix during the LR process, I didn’t expect how this matrix would help me in writing the LR until the day I was working on my paper for submission during the writing workshop. My supervisor thought I needed more references in that paper and I needed to get the paper ready in less than an hour. I just opened my LR matrix on PLE that I made earlier, looked through it again on the different aspects that I’ve made notes on, then I easily added more references where I saw appropriate to my paper without the need to reread all the related articles. Within half an hour, I had the paper ready with extra related references. That’s when I realized my hard work and time spent on my LR matrix has paid off.
I’ve done a few matrices on different research topics for my literature review but my LR matrix on PLE is the most comprehensive because that’s my major research topic that I focused on. I basically divided my matrix into a few aspects that I wanted to look into, so when I was reading each article about PLE, I’d take note of these aspects.
These aspects were the common issues about PLE that I wanted to talk about in my LR. All these notes really helped me in writing my LR on the overview of my understanding about the topic. The cite-able notes are the most valuable in my matrix because these notes were the ones that I cited in my LR as references using my own words. So, basically I’ve at least one cite-able note per article and sometimes I’ve more than one per article depending on what I was writing for LR. In a glance, I’ve every article summarized nicely and neatly in table format. Whenever I’ve new article to read, I just simply add another column to the table and make notes on the same aspects like the others.
In conclusion, I’m speaking from my real life experience that LR matrix has helped me not only in organizing my literature review but in saving me time and effort writing my LR in the long run. Making the LR matrix is the best (early) effort ever in my studious life.