Category: Literature ReviewHow do I make a Concept matrix for LR?

I am in a bit of a fix, for the literature review section of my PhD thesis my supervisor had earlier told me to include a concept matrix  that would include details from the resources I have picked up, and according to him, it would enhance the “readability” of my thesis. The only problem was that I couldn’t find common headings that were covering aspects of topics from all the resources, and hence I was finding it very hard to make the concept matrix. When I asked him for help, he flat out refused saying that he couldn’t “spoon-feed” me all the time and that as a PhD scholar I should know how to construct a concept matrix by myself!
I’m very disappointed after hearing his response, don’t know how to approach him again, and I still have to make the concept matrix. FYI, I have over 50 resources in my literature review, how is it even possible that I will find column headings that are appropriate for all the fifty resources? The thought of this task is blowing my mind up! Can someone who has made a concept matrix before help me out urgently?

asked on 20 Jan 18Yashti IyerYashti Iyer Staff
2 Answers
answered on 20 Jan 18

I have made concept matrices before, I mostly use them as a tool to help students get a better grasp of the various essays and articles that we are going through for a particular course. I find them useful when it comes to teaching stuff as they help in clearly constructing ideas for students. I had a difficult time with them I was starting off too. However it is only a matter of practice, once you have a made a few you will not find them difficult to make, irrespective of the number of resources you need to consider. So don’t worry and stay strong! Here is a tutorial page that I think will be helpful:
https://www.unr.edu/Documents/liberal-arts/writing-center/conc_matrix.pdf

answered on 21 Jan 18

Hi
I think you need to take a chill-pill about this and stop worrying about it unnecessarily. I agree with the last reply on this thread, it isn’t very difficult to make a concept matrix, I wonder why your instructor is being such a pain about it and not explaining to you how to go about it. And you do not have to select column headings that are applicable to all of your resources that is not required. Let’s just say that you find a theme that you can spot in 10 resources, you can make it into a column heading even if it doesn’t occur in the others, and leave their corresponding cells blank. Also, I recommend getting in-person help from someone, Isn’t there anybody else (like a fellow PhD scholar who has made a concept matrix before) and you can ask to help you out with yours?

JessicaJessica Staff

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