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Each review document contains a description of the work that is being reviewed, a summary of the work and a critical assessment of the work (or works) being reviewed.

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There are four stages in developing a literature review. First of all, the researcher needs to decide which topic will be the area of interest in the document. Research comes next. This will involve finding relevant information about the area of interest. Once you have collected enough sources, you want to evaluate those sources. This is the third step in the development of the document. The most useful and informative information will come forward and the less useful items can be moved aside. The fourth step involves your interpretation of the information. You need to use your analytical skills and your ability to discuss theories and ideas in a coherent manner. It also requires the writer to convey information that is clear, concise and directly to the point.

There are important elements in a literature review. The document should include a general overview of the topic. The purpose of the document you are creating is relevant, here as well.

Another element is comparisons. There are, without a doubt, different pieces of information that take similar positions while others take contradictory perspectives. Finally, the conclusion should direct the reader of your document as to which works are most compelling in their arguments.

There are typically two kinds of literature reviews we write, read, or use as resources most often. The first type of literature review is the more informal type, which probably has a wider readership: it is the review of a written piece of work, a summary and an evaluation of, for example, a recently published book. The second kind of literature review is the scholarly resource, written as a review of a book or textbook.

The casual literature review includes emotional, aesthetic or intellectual responses and discussions of credibility, creative worth, and literary value.The book review or report, includes 1) a summary (whether the book being reviewed is fiction or non-fiction); 2) examples of ideas or characters, plots, setting, and/or other elements; and 3) your opinion of the work, what was most interesting, and whether or not you think this book is a must-read for others (including, briefly, why you think what you do).

The more academic literature review contains, primarily, a more intellectually based and focused evaluation or analysis and a summation of research done and detailed in the original research report.



concise – краткий, лаконичный

overview – обзор

contradictory – противоречивый

credibility – надежность, достоверность

a must-read – литература, подлежащая обязательному прочтению


  1. Look through the text again and find words and constructions you may use in your professional discourse (scientific terms etc.). Translate and memorize them.
  2. Find the transcription of the following words and practise pronouncing them: coherent, require, scholarly, aesthetic.
  3. Decide whether the following statements are true or false according to the text:

· To interpret the information for a literature review you need a good aesthetical sense.

· A scholarly resource is meant for general public.

· The author of a literature review doesn’t have the right to express his opinion of the literary work.


Epigrammatic quotations


  1. Read the text and find the answers to the following questions:

· What is an epigram?

· What kind of literary work tends to use epigrams more often?

· What are the examples of epigrammatic quotations in Russian literature?


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, anecdotes were often transformed into epigrams, and epigrams were often recast as prose anecdotes. Many epigrammatic witticisms made their way into novels.

According to the definition (later rejected and forgotten) penned by Francesco Robortello, the epigram is any tiny fragment of a work written in one of the traditional genres (be it comedy, tragedy, epic, etc.). Certainly, there are more than a few examples of how epigrams end up being included in large works, especially those which tend toward satire. Here are two “epigrammatic quotations” woven into the text of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.

When Pushkin describes the condition of his hero in the eighth chapter of Onegin, he repeats that Eugene nearly lost his mind, // Or nearly became a poet; <...> And he did not become a poet, // He did not die, did not go mad. The closest parallel to these words is P. P. Sumarokov’s epigram “Clitus knocked his head so painfully this summer...”: <...> Yet he did not go mad because of this, // But merely became a poet. This theme originated in antiquity with Democritus, whose utterance became part of poetic usage in the seventeenth century, but was reconceived in a satirical spirit. At the turn of the seventeenth century, an epigram was written which was then repeatedly translated into various languages, including Russian, right up to the nineteenth century (M. A. Iakovlev, 1823). Along with Martial’s distich 12.46 (47), it gave rise to a whole series of epigrams playing on the theme of the poet as madman and jester.

The second part of the article is devoted to the history of an ironic recommendation which Pushkin proffers in the fourth chapter of Onegin: <...> Love yourself, // My esteemed reader! // A worthy object: surely nothing // More lovely there is than it. This joke, which is repeated in numerous French epigrams, originates in the Neo-Latin poetry of the Scot George Buchanan (1506—1582).



witticism – острота, шутка

wove – сплетать, соединять

reconceived – переосмысленный

distich – двустишие, дистих

jester – шут, шутник



  1. Look through the text again and find words and constructions you may use in your professional discourse (scientific terms etc.). Translate and memorize them.
  2. Find the transcription of the following words and practise pronouncing them: genre, reconceived.
  3. Prove that:

· Some epigrams originate in Greek literature

· Some epigrams became international.



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Читайте в этой же книге: Philology | Hamitic Languages | Ural-Altaic languages | Textual and cognitive philology | Erasmus And The New Philological Method | The Life and Works of Thomas Gray | William Blake | George Gordon Byron: The life of poetry and revolution. | The Life and Works of John Keats | Charles Dickens |
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Qualities of Literature| Geoffrey Chaucer was born in 1343. Chaucer worked as a diplomat, a courtier and a civil servant altogether.

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