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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 pagebut 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. 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 information seeking: A literature review must do these things be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known identify areas of controversy in the literature formulate questions that need further research Ask yourself questions like these: What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define?
What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using e.
What discipline am I working in e. How good was my information seeking? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? 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? Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful?
Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: Is it clearly defined? Is its significance scope, severity, relevance clearly established?
Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? What is the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design e.
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?
In material written for a popular readership, does the author use appeals to emotion, one-sided examples, or rhetorically-charged language and tone? How does the author structure the argument?
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?The literature review is a critical look at the existing research that is significant to the work that you are carrying out.
This overview identifies prominent research trends in addition to assessing the overall strengths and weaknesses of the existing research. The Writing Center Literature Reviews What this handout is about This handout will explain what a literature review is and offer insights into the form and Strategies for writing the literature review Find a focus A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources.
Strategies for writing the literature review Find a focus A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organized.
The Writing Center Literature Reviews What this handout is about This handout will explain what a literature review is and offer insights into the form and Strategies for writing the literature review Find a focus A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources.
Writing a Literature Review As an academic writer, you are expected to provide an analytical overview of the significant literature published on your topic.
If your audience knows less than you do on the topic, your purpose is instructional. Literature Review on Marketing Strategies: Showcase Relevant Sources The most essential first step in writing literature review on marketing strategies is to identify important keywords; this will help you navigate through numerous existing literatures.5/5.