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. 7nd ed. A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE, 7566 Ridley, Diana. An extensive review of relevant material will include books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources. It concludes with a purpose or thesis statement. After reading your literature review, it should be clear to the reader that you have up-to-date awareness of the relevant work of others, and that the research question you are asking is relevant.
It is an important showcase of your talents of: understanding, interpretation, analysis, clarity of thought, synthesis, and development of argument. A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported. Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field. There are two kinds of literature reviews you might write at university: one that students are asked to write as a stand-alone assignment in a course, often as part of their training in the research processes in their ﬁeld, and the other that is written as part of an introduction to, or preparation for, a longer work, usually a thesis or research report. Look at your speciﬁc area of study. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 6998 Jesson, Jill. It can also establish a framework within which to present and analyse the findings. EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE NOTED, THIS WORK IS SUBJECT TO A CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 8. Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e. The analytical features of a literature review might: Fink, Arlene. If the review is a stand-alone assignment for a course, it should suggest any practical applications of the research as well as the implications and possibilities for future research. It is not a list like an annotated bibliography in which a summary of each source is listed one by one. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e. The process of conducting and reporting your literature review can help you clarify your own thoughts about your study. At university you may be asked to write a literature review in order to demonstrate your understanding of the literature on a particular topic. Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on.
Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies. G. The introduction explains the focus and establishes the importance of the subject. At postgraduate level literature reviews can be incorporated into an article, a research report or thesis. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 7555 Hart, Chris. , your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). However, don’t promise too much! It s usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. 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 questionIf 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. Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper. It would be safer and probably more realistic to say that your research will ‘address a gap’, rather than that it will ‘fill a gap’. It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers. Sometimes, the literary review is a part of a larger research paper. 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. A literature review is a review of various pieces of literature on one topic, ranging from series of books to shorter pieces like pamphlets. You show your understanding by analysing and then synthesising the information to: Work out what you need to address in the literature review.
Therefore, it will discuss only that research which leads directly to your own project. What are you being asked to do in your literature review? The literature review is generally in the format of a standard essay made up of three components: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It discusses what kind of work has been done on the topic and identiﬁes any controversies within the ﬁeld or any recent research which has raised questions about earlier assumptions. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. The Library would be the best place to search for your sources. Nope, not so. A literature review is an integrated analysis-- not just a summary-- of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question. If the review is an introduction to your own research, it highlights gaps and indicates how previous research leads to your own research project and chosen methodology. First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem. What are you searching the literature to discover? That is, it represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question. Often divided by headings/subheadings, the body summarizes and evaluates the current state of knowledge in the ﬁeld. Some people might think of a literature review as reading a book and then giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. The conclusion summarizes all the evidence presented and shows its signiﬁcance. .
In a stand-alone literature review, this statement will sum up and evaluate the state of the art in this ﬁeld of research in a review that is an introduction or preparatory to a thesis or research report, it will suggest how the review ﬁndings will lead to the research the writer proposes to undertake. Español: Português: Italiano: Deutsch: 中文: Français: Русский: Nederlands: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 666,886 times. If the review is preliminary to your own thesis or research project, its purpose is to make an argument that will justify your proposed research. Talk to your professor, brainstorm, and read lecture notes and recent issues of periodicals in the ﬁeld. The focus and perspective of your review and the kind of hypothesis or thesis argument you make will be determined by what kind of review you are writing. Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice. It notes major themes or topics, the most important trends, and any ﬁndings about which researchers agree or disagree. Analyse the structure of their arguments and note the way they address the issues. Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. A literature review is a critical analysis of published sources, or literature, on a particular topic. Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you. Similar to primary research, development of the literature review requires four stages: A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject. At undergraduate level literature reviews can be a separate stand alone assessment. One way to understand the differences between these two types is to read published literature reviews or the ﬁrst chapters of theses and dissertations in your own subject area. It is an assessment of the literature and provides a summary, classification, comparison and evaluation.
Fourth edition. 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. It may provide background or history. You may be able to write a paragraph or so to introduce the focus of each section The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students. 5 LICENSE. Best literature review writing service. Related Study Guides are:,,, The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report. Think about what interests you, and what is fertile ground for study. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE, 7567. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 7569. The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill. Fink, Arlene. Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative. Its purpose is to prevent duplication of efforts, resolve conflicts, and point the way for further research. A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. A literature review is both a summary and explanation of the complete and current state of knowledge on a limited topic as found in academic books and journal articles.
A literature review: To some extent, particularly with postgraduate research, the literature review can become a project in itself.