SAGE Journal Articles

You can access here SAGE articles that help us to understand the role of reading in developing a research question. In the paper by Boote and Beile (2005) the importance of being a ‘scholar’ (in other words a student of geography) before being a ‘researcher’ (a producer of geography) is duly described. Writing from the perspective of Education Studies, the authors highlight the need to study, read and engage with a topic before we can hope to know how we might contribute to it. Torraco’s paper (2005) provides an overview of why we must review literature and how we go about doing so. Although not geared specifically towards geography, it offers some practical guidance in how you might organise and structure a review, which is helpful to all students. The article by Schäfer (2015) provides an example of how an engagement with the literature – a knowledge of what work already exists – helps us to produce new questions and lines of enquiry. Schäfer’s study of ‘dark tourism’ in Japan shows clearly how her study has been influenced by earlier work in the field of tourism studies. In the abstract she notes how the focus of her study has been ‘neglected’ in work on the topic so far. In particular, read the beginning of the article where Schäfer contextualises her study within various bodies of existing work, making space for her research project in process.