Guide on How to Write a Literature Review

Step by Step Guide on How to Write a Literature Review


Writing a literature review takes extensive research. For many students, it is the most difficult and complex stage of conducting a research study. Oftentimes, you are required to present it as a separate assignment in itself.

A strong literature review is the core of any research paper. It evaluates existing studies done in the area and demonstrates how yours relates to it. Moreover, it also brings forth new ideas that your study will be contributing to the field.

There are certainly some complicated techniques involved in writing a literature review. But once you become familiar with them it is just a matter of applying them according to your topic. Our complete guide for mastering this task will precisely cover all that you must know about literature reviews.

Why is a literature review important?

Literature reviews are a vital part of the thesis, dissertations, and research papers.

  • They display the writer’s familiarity with the topic and literature relevant to it.
  • Through a literature review, the methodology and theoretical framework of the research are developed.
  • The writer can connect their work to that of other scholars and researchers.
  • If there is any conflict appearing with the previous studies a literature review tends to resolve that as well.
  • Any gap in the research is identified by it and shows how it will be filled by the current research.

Writing a literature review

If you want to know how to write a literature review, then there are certain steps to follow.

Searching relevant material

The topic must be clarified to you before you begin drafting the literature review. Reading and sifting through related literature is one of its main objectives. The content should be linked to the research question and problem. Use keywords from the research description to search for the right sources.

Analyzing and selecting sources

It is understandable that it is not humanly possible to go through all the material related to a single topic. Therefore, you must analyze and pick out the sources which are most relevant to the research question. Your evaluation should be based on the following points:

  • Is the issue or question discussed in the literature similar to what you need?
  • Are the key concepts defined clearly?
  • The approaches, methods, and theories are addressed in it.
  • Is it following an innovative or established approach?
  • Key findings of the work.
  • How is it related to other published content?
  • Does it pose any challenges for other studies?
  • How does it contribute to the field?
  • The main arguments should be analyzed along with the study’s strengths and weaknesses.

Make sure to use only those sources which are authentic and credible. Cite them during this stage in order to avoid any plagiarism claims.

Identifying connections

It is now time to start organizing and creating the structure of y our literature review. But to do that you first need to find the connection between your chosen sources. This can be done by focusing on a few particular elements:

  • Patterns and trends: methods and theories used in them.
  • Themes: Concepts repeated through the studies.
  • Debate and conflict: Arguments which they are based upon.
  • Gaps: the missing elements needing to be acknowledged.

By revealing these similarities and differences, you can determine where your research will stand in the field.

Deciding the structure

The length of a literature review depends on its type. There can be methodological, chronological, theoretical, or thematic frameworks.

Methodological

It consists of comparing the results of collected sources from various research methods. The following might be analyzed:

Results of quantitative and qualitative approach.

Division of sources into cultural and historical categories.

Topic discussion regarding theoretical and empirical approaches.

Chronological

This is the least complicated of literature review structures. You need to analyze the research, patterns, and critical debates shaping the field. Alongside presenting a discussion of your interpretation of them.

Theoretical

In this approach, the writer argues about the relevance of a particular theory. They can also use a combination of theories to make up a wholly new structure for their research.

Thematic

If using this framework, your review will be divided into subsections. Each of the sections will be discussing a single aspect of the selected topics.

Writing the literature review

There are three basic parts of your literature review: introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction

Here you will define the focus and purpose of your review. If it is for a dissertation or thesis then you should include the research question in your own words.

If the review is supposed to be standalone, then provide the background of your topic. Elaborate the scope and objective of your research along with the results you intend to draw from the sources.

Body

Each theme and methodology will be discussed in a separate paragraph. An overview of all the key points should also be included. Powerful topic sentences and transitions prove immensely useful here.

Conclusion

The conclusive paragraph should only contain a summary of the previous content. Also, add how the research will be further implicating the field for future studies.

With these guideline’s insight, you can easily master the techniques of writing a literature review. Contact our literature review help service for further assistance from professional writers and field experts. We are available round the clock to respond to queries and cater to your requirements. Avail of our affordable prices and receive the most original and well-researched content you can find online.

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