A literature review might form an important part of a thesis or a dissertation, or might also just be a self-standing review of the literature on a subject.
7 Tips to Write a Literature Review
Before going to the tips let’s make a literature review definition clear. A Literature review is defined as a kind of academic writing that is aimed to demonstrate one’s familiarity with previous work in one’s field of study and the place of own work within the context of this field. A literature review has a number of objectives:
- Survey of the literature in the specific area
- Synthesis and summary of the information extracted from that literature
- Critical analysis of the gathered information by identification of gaps in the knowledge
- Presentation of the literature in an organized way
Where Is a Literature Review Used?
The first stage of any given research project is reviewing the field. A literature review might form an important part of a thesis or a dissertation, or might also just be a self-standing review of the literature on a subject. It is often the first stage of a wider research project, done to allow the supervisor to evaluate whether the student is on the right path. It is a compendium and synopsis of a specific field of study and research, permitting anyone reading the paper to determine why you are after this specific research program.
Need to write a literature review? The article below will help you:
Literature Review Outline
The structure of a literature review is similar to that of any essay. It should, therefore, have an introduction, main body/supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here are some steps you have to follow in each of these parts.
- Give a clear definition of your topic and supply a suitable context for exploring and analyzing the literature.
- Establish your point of view and list the reasons for reviewing the literature
- State the spread of your research
- Explain the sequencing
- State what is and what isn’t included in your literature review.
- Structure the literature in a manner corresponding to common themes
- Provide correlative insights between the topic of your choice and the wider area of the subject in hand
- Zoom-in from the wider theme of the reviewed literature to your specific area of interest and research
- Provide a summary of the important points
- Give evaluation to the present state of that literature
- Make an identification of major flaws and gaps in the knowledge in hand
- Give an outline for further study
- Provide a link between your research and existing knowledge
7 Literature Review Writing Tips
TIP 1. Organize your writing so it is focused around and relating primarily to the thesis of the conducted research. It can help to draw a diagram showing you the related fields and how you can arrange them in correlation to one another, as a preparation for the writing.
TIP 2. Invest in a well-conducted literature review research. Broaden your horizons, take advice from the librarian and consult your mentor if possible. All these might expand your sources to unexpected and more engaging level.
TIP 3. Combine results into a summary of known and unknown elements. Always remember, it is about showing the ability for critical thinking and identification of issues through literature, rather than a simplistic overview of what’s out there.
TIP 4. Look out for controversial areas in the literature you read. These are the most interesting and need to be pointed out. It is about awakening a relevant discussion and finding the truth through arguing.
TIP 5. Be polite when arguing a point. If you are reading something you disagree with finding the proper words to conduct your point of view without offending the other writer.
TIP 6. Link the elements in a way that makes sense. If you are using various sources to discuss a problem, use linking words to create relations between the sources.
TIP 7. Quote sources properly. If you choose to use a direct quote from someone, make sure you give them the proper credit, otherwise, it might appear as if you are trying to present it as your own.
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