What Is Literature Review and How Do You Write One?
In composing your research paper or a dissertation, you might find yourself asking the question, what is literature review? It is one of the essential sections that a student needs to write properly. The basic literature review definition will indicate that it is a survey of the articles, and literary works related to a certain issue being investigated. Here, a student shows how deeply they understand their topic by including some of the main ideas and points from other literature sources that are related to a student’s current study. This segment is where a student is supposed to provide a link between the new and the old interpretations of a particular topic.
Also, it shows the main advances made in the area being investigated previously. Here, a student evaluates the literary works related to their study and identifies the materials most relevant concerning their current study. Writing this section might seem too complicated. Therefore, we have provided essential pointers for composing a literature review example.
The Basics on How to Write a Literature Review Example
This section of the review of literature shares the attribute of being very demanding, and it plays a big part in determining the direction of your paper. Hence, knowing how to write a literature review example is a great step to having a good quality paper. Before writing this section, it is important to note that there are different types of literature review:
- Argumentative reviews
In this type, any literature gathered is meant for supporting an argument or a major assumption or work against it. This type mainly aims to provide literature that shares a particular view or one that contradicts it.
In this type, the gathered literature is evaluated, criticized, and synthesized to align with the topic at hand.
- Historical Review
This is where literature gets analyzed within a specified period in time. For example, when something first became a concern and how it evolved to the current situation depicted in the topic.
- Methodological reviews
This review is focused on how a student’s findings were possible, and the main situations that led to their discovery. This type focuses on how the relevant researchers came to get to the conclusions they made.
- Theoretical Reviews
This is where the different theories all concerning the main question become analyzed. The writer is supposed to present the extent of the investigation into the theories and elaborate on how the methods relate to each other and the research.
The next step is identifying the structure. A commendable literature review structure requires the following components:
- Some background into the matter
- The objectives of the review
- Categorizing the literary works
- Explanations for any similarities and differences in the works
- A conclusion
The Basics on How to Conduct a Literature Review Properly
We have provided some essential steps on how to conduct a literature review effectively. There exist four main steps in this process:
Formulate the Problem
Here you will first have to dive into the topic. Literature review topics cause students problems because they did not give them enough thought. The first thing to consider when selecting your topic is making sure that the topic fits your word. Count. Ask yourself, is it of the right size? Narrow it down if it is too wide, this will help minimize the count of the literature materials that are needed. Minimize the scope. When formulating the problem, identify the main components being investigated.
Know what is required of you by this paper. A student needs to refer to their instructors to have some insight into details, such as how many sources are needed. What type of sources are required? Do you intend to evaluate these sources? What background information should you give the audience?
Search for Literature
This is where students need to go into exploration mode to discover the key pieces that will be explored in the subject. It is essential to conduct wide research to ensure you have even better content for that review.
Evaluate the Data
In this section, you intend to determine what collected literature contributes best to your topic at hand. Be sure to choose the best few and focus on them. Remember, you are supposed to select the most relevant information to improve your reader’s understanding of your topic.
Interpreting and Analysis
Here, discuss what you found while conduction the literature review together with the conclusions you have drawn from them. When analyzing your sources, consider the level of experience the author has in that field, all evidence supporting the arguments brought forth, whether there are any instances of bias in an author’s work, and whether the sources provide a better understanding of the topic at hand.
Literature reviews need organization when writing. There are various ways in which students can organize their literature reviews.
The first is by chronological order. This is where a student provides information lifted from a variety of sources according to when they were published. Some students prefer following the order in which the research developed — for example, starting with the work of a researcher who started working earlier on the related topic and then working down to the more recent researchers. This method helps the reader follow the transformation of collected research over the years.
Another way is thematically. Instead of applying time as the determining factor, a scholar can prefer to use an issue instead. This means that you need to find the sources that are the most closely related to the issue and then have those first. Then you can include the others that are further-fetched, depending on your sources of research. This is advisable for students who are more experienced with this paper and also those who have a great understanding of the problem.
Guidelines on How to Start a Literature Review
When it comes to figuring out how to start a literature review correctly, you are required to be familiar with the appropriate structure.
The acceptable literature review format consists of three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. Arrange them in this way, and your reader will be able to follow your thoughts easily.
In the literature review introduction, a student needs to begin with a topic sentence that indicates the main problem being addressed by your thesis. From there, narrow down the focus for the reader by showing what will be included, and what will not be. In the final sentence of the introduction, you need to introduce the topics that will be of use when discussing the materials selected.
In the body section, start by dividing the narrowed down topics presented in the last sentence of your first paragraph. Every paragraph needs to elaborate on the choice of the text relevant for your particular research. Make sure the reader understands the relevance behind the chosen study. Be sure to provide a good balance when analyzing your different literary sources. A good number of scholars are prone to unknowingly favoring some sources in their paragraphs than others. Allocate each enough attention so that the reader will not think you are biased.
The last part that should be in the literature review outline is the conclusion. This section gives you the opportunity of summing up the main agreements or contradictions that the literature revealed. This should restate the main take-away points from the literature for your reader. Then provide a summary of the general conclusions that you have drawn from this.
When writing a literature review, be sure of more success with some of these amazing tips.
For one, use any appropriate evidence to back up your points and ideas. Justify the sources with evidence. You are also advised to be choosy with your points. Ensure you have included only the main ones. Any info that is not important when it comes to helping the reader understand the purpose of your study can be placed in the further studies section. While writing, don’t overuse quotes. Quoting is a great way of providing emphasis.
However, do not stuff up your review with quotes. Instead, incorporate your views and opinions. Your ideas or opinions have to appear in the middle of it. Instructors intend to get a glimpse at your thinking ability. Furthermore, maintain your stance when writing by having your ideas represented in the introduction and your literature review body. Finally, cite all sources even when paraphrasing. Any information borrowed needs to be cited. Otherwise, you are plagiarizing.
How Can We Assist with How to Write a Literature Review
Reviews can still be daunting even after having these basics of writing. Thus a student is always advised to seek assistance when they feel this task is troubling them. We provide such assistance to students. As a professional writing company, we help students who have trouble with a variety of papers. For example, essays, journals, research papers, reports, article reviews, annotated bibliography, and also dissertations. We have papers across different fields such as; engineering, Nursing, and medicine, I.T, Business and finance, social sciences.
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