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What is a review of the literature? Essay

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography—see the bottom of the next page), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas 1. information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books 2. critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies. A literature review must do these things

1. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing 2. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known 3. identify areas of controversy in the literature

4. formulate questions that need further research
Ask yourself questions like these:

1. What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define? 2. What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy? quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g., studies )? 3. What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? What discipline am I working in (e.g., nursing psychology, sociology, medicine)?

4. How good was my information seeking? Has my search been wide enough to ensure I’ve found all the relevant material? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is the number of sources I’ve used appropriate for the length of my paper? 5. Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them? Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? 6. Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? 7. Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful? Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: 1. Has the author formulated a problem/issue?

2. Is it clearly defined? Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established? 3. Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? 4. What is the author’s research orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, combination)? 5. What is the author’s theoretical framework (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)? 6. What is the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives? 7. Has the author evaluated the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? 8. In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design (e.g., population, intervention, outcome)? How accurate and valid are the measurements? Is the analysis of the data accurate and relevant to the research question? Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis?

9. In material written for a popular readership, does the author use appeals to emotion, one-sided examples, or rhetorically-charged language and tone? Is there an objective basis to the reasoning, or is the author merely “proving” what he or she already believes? 10. How does the author structure the argument? Can you “deconstruct” the flow of the argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)? 11. In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the strengths and limitations? 12. How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing? Final Notes:

A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. It’s usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question

If you are writing an annotated bibliography, you may need to summarize each item briefly, but should still follow through themes and concepts and do some critical assessment of material. Use an overall introduction and conclusion to state the scope of your coverage and to formulate the question, problem, or concept your chosen material illuminates. Usually you will have the option of grouping items into sections—this helps you indicate comparisons and relationships. You may be able to write a paragraph or so to introduce the focus of each section This handout and many others are available in Writing in the Health Sciences: a comprehensive guide.

Ground granulated blast-furnace slag
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS or GGBFS) is obtained by quenching molten iron slag (a by-product of iron and steel-making) from a blast furnace in water or steam, to produce aglassy, granular product that is then dried and ground into a fine powder. Contents [hide] * 1 Production and composition * 2 Applications * 3 How GGBS cement is used * 4 Architectural and engineering benefits * 4.1 Durability * 4.2 Appearance * 4.3 Strength * 4.4 Sustainability * 5 Notes * 6 Literature * 7 References| ————————————————-

Production and composition

The chemical composition of a slag varies considerably depending on the composition of the raw materials in the iron production process. Silicate and aluminate impurities from the ore and cokeare combined in the blast furnace with a flux which lowers the viscosity of the slag. In the case of pig iron production the flux consists mostly of a mixture of limestone and forsterite or in some cases dolomite. In the blast furnace the slag floats on top of the iron and is decanted for separation. Slow cooling of slag melts results in an unreactive crystalline material consisting of an assemblage of Ca-Al-Mg silicates. To obtain a good slag reactivity or hydraulicity, the slag melt needs to be rapidly cooled or quenched below 800 °C in order to prevent the crystallization ofmerwinite and melilite. To cool and fragment the slag a granulation process can be applied in which molten slag is subjected to jet streams of water or air under pressure.

Alternatively, in the pelletization process the liquid slag is partially cooled with water and subsequently projected into the air by a rotating drum. In order to obtain a suitable reactivity, the obtained fragments are ground to reach the same fineness as Portland cement. The main components of blast furnace slag are CaO (30-50%), SiO2 (28-38%), Al2O3 (8-24%), and MgO (1-18%). In general increasing the CaO content of the slag results in raised slag basicityand an increase in compressive strength. The MgO and Al2O3 content show the same trend up to respectively 10-12% and 14%, beyond which no further improvement can be obtained. Several compositional ratios or so-called hydraulic indices have been used to correlate slag composition with hydraulic activity; the latter being mostly expressed as the binder compressive strength.

The glass content of slags suitable for blending with Portland cement typically varies between 90-100% and depends on the cooling method and the temperature at which cooling is initiated. Theglass structure of the quenched glass largely depends on the proportions of network-forming elements such as si and Al over network-modifiers such as Ca, Mg and to a lesser extent Al. Increased amounts of network-modifiers lead to higher degrees of network depolymerization and reactivity. Common crystalline constituents of blast-furnace slags are merwinite and melilite. Other minor components which can form during progressive crystallization are belite, monticellite, rankinite,wollastonite and forsterite. Minor amounts of reduced sulphur are commonly encountered as oldhamite.


GGBS is used to make durable concrete structures in combination with ordinary portland cement and/or other pozzolanic materials. GGBS has been widely used in Europe, and increasingly in the United States and in Asia (particularly in Japan and Singapore) for its superiority in concrete durability, extending the lifespan of buildings from fifty years to a hundred years.[2] Two major uses of GGBS are in the production of quality-improved slag cement, namely Portland Blastfurnace cement (PBFC) and high-slag blast-furnace cement (HSBFC), with GGBS content ranging typically from 30 to 70%; and in the production of ready-mixed or site-batched durable concrete.

Concrete made with GGBS cement sets more slowly than concrete made with ordinary Portland cement, depending on the amount of GGBS in the cementitious material, but also continues to gain strength over a longer period in production conditions. This results in lower heat of hydration and lower temperature rises, and makes avoiding cold joints easier, but may also affect construction schedules where quick setting is required. Use of GGBS significantly reduces the risk of damages caused by alkali–silica reaction (ASR), provides higher resistance to chloride ingress — reducing the risk of reinforcement corrosion — and provides higher resistance to attacks by sulfate and other chemicals.

How GGBS cement is used

GGBS cement is added to concrete in the concrete manufacturer’s batching plant, along with Portland cement, aggregates and water. The normal ratios of aggregates and water to cementitious material in the mix remain unchanged. GGBS is used as a direct replacement for Portland cement, on a one-to-one basis by weight. Replacement levels for GGBS vary from 30% to up to 85%. Typically 40 to 50% is used in most instances. The use of GGBS cement in concrete in Ireland is covered in the new Irish concrete standard IS EN 206-1:2002. This standard establishes two categories of additions to concrete along with ordinary Portland cement: nearly inert additions (Type I) and pozzolanic or latent hydraulic additions (Type II). GGBS cement falls in to the latter category. As GGBS cement is slightly less expensive than Portland cement, concrete made with GGBS cement will be similarly priced to that made with ordinary Portland cement.

Architectural and engineering benefits

GGBS cement is routinely specified in concrete to provide protection against both sulphate attack and chloride attack. GGBS has now effectively replaced sulfate-resisting Portland cement (SRPC) on the market for sulfate resistance because of its superior performance and greatly reduced cost compared to SRPC. Most projects in Dublin’s Docklands, including Spencer Dock, are using GGBS in subsurface concrete for sulfate resistance. To protect against chloride attack, GGBS is used at a replacement level of 50% in concrete. Instances of chloride attack occur in reinforced concrete in marine environments and in road bridges where the concrete is exposed to splashing from road de-icing salts.

In most NRA projects in Ireland GGBS is now specified in structural concrete for bridge piers and abutments for protection against chloride attack. The use of GGBS in such instances will increase the life of the structure by up to 50% had only Portland cement been used, and precludes the need for more expensivestainless steel reinforcing. GGBS is also routinely used to limit the temperature rise in large concrete pours. The more gradual hydration of GGBS cement generates both lower peak and less total overall heat than Portland cement. This reduces thermal gradients in the concrete, which prevents the occurrence of microcracking which can weaken the concrete and reduce its durability, and was used for this purpose in the construction of the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork.


In contrast to the stony grey of concrete made with Portland cement, the near-white color of GGBS cement permits architects to achieve a lighter colour for exposed fair-faced concrete finishes, at no extra cost. To achieve a lighter colour finish, GGBS is usually specified at between 50% to 70% replacement levels, although levels as high as 85% can be used. GGBS cement also produces a smoother, more defect free surface, due to the fineness of the GGBS particles. Dirt does not adhere to GGBS concrete as easily as concrete made with Portland cement, reducing maintenance costs. GGBS cement prevents the occurrence of efflorescence, the staining of concrete surfaces by calcium carbonate deposits. Due to its much lower lime content and lower permeability, GGBS is effective in preventing efflorescence when used at replacement levels of 50% to 60%.


Concrete containing GGBS cement has a higher ultimate strength than concrete made with Portland cement. It has a higher proportion of the strength-enhancing calcium silicate hydrates (CSH) than concrete made with Portland cement only, and a reduced content of free lime, which does not contribute to concrete strength. Concrete made with GGBS continues to gain strength over time, and has been shown to double its 28-day strength over periods of 10 to 12 years.[citation needed]


Since GGBS is a by-product of steel manufacturing process, its use in concrete is recognized by LEED etc. as improving the sustainability of the project and will therefore add points towards LEED certification. In this respect, GGBS can also be used for superstructure in addition to the cases where the concrete is in contact with chlorides and sulfates. This is provided that the slower setting time for casting of the superstructure is justified.

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