Most readers would go for books with good book reviews from known publishers or reviewers. If you’re not a book lover, you would depend on reviews provided by book experts or recommendations from friends, so that you can buy a book that you’ll read. But if you need to write an academic paper, like a dissertation or thesis, there’s this chance that you’ll be required to write a literature review. Although not all professors require a literature review before starting a dissertation or thesis, it’s still a good thing to know what it is and learn how it’s done. That is because it will help you write a well-researched academic paper.
What Is a Literature Review?
First of all, you shouldn’t involve creative literature with a literature review. Literature can mean three things. It can be a written work that has artistic or intellectual value, or a leaflet for advertising products. Literature is also defined as books and writings about a particular subject, and this is the type of literature we’re referring to. A literature review evaluates or discusses the information in a specific scholarly topic or published material. Unlike a book review, literary studies should not include the writer’s personal opinion regarding the topic or subject. Instead, it provides an overview of the most significant and relevant publications about a specific topic.
Writing a literature review is already challenging, especially if you know nothing about it. But the more significant challenge is how you can write a good literature review that will be useful to you and to others who are also working on the same or similar topic. Well, you can start with the four main components of a literature review, which consists of a description of the publication, summary of the main points, discussion on the research gaps, and evaluation of the what the contribution of the release to the topic. Following a specific review system and using sample reviews are things that will surely get you started.
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How to Write a Literature Review
If you’re new to literature writing, you should start with a short literature review until you get a hang of how it’s done, before proceeding to write a long one. For starters, the steps below will help you write a literature review on your selected topic.
1. Determine the Topic to Write About
If you’re doing this in preparation for a dissertation or thesis and you’re not sure about the topic, then have this clarified with your instructor. If this is not for an academic paper, then decide on what topic to write about and be specific on what and where you want to focus.
2. Look Up Relevant Literature
After clearly defining your topic, the next step is to search for relevant information from different publications. For dissertations and thesis, you will need to look for sources that are related to your research problem.
3. Summarize Each of Your Sources
Evaluate the list of sources that you have gathered. Cut your sources down to half and only include sources that are most relevant to your topic. Summarize the remaining most relevant sources, and include its main points, why it’s important, a project statement, and relevant information.
4. Make an Outline
Choose an outline that you want to use for literature review. There are downloadable literature review templates that you can modify and make your own. These templates also make good reference material if you intend to make an outline from scratch.
5. Write the Contents of Your Literature Review
Now that the resources you need are ready, you should be able to write the contents of the main part of your literature review. Checking out other literature review samples will guide you on what you should and should not include on your work.
Why is a literature review important?
A literature review helps in identifying data that other researchers have used, which you can also use. Through a literature review, gaps in the literature are revealed. Old interpretations are given new interpretations or a combination of both. The information gathered in a literature review also helps in providing evidence that will support your findings.
What are the types of literature reviews?
The types of the literature review are narrative, systematic, argumentative, integrative, and theoretical. In a narrative or traditional literature review, the body of literature is examined or summarized. Systematic literature review uses standardized methods and rigorous approach to identify and appraise relevant research. Argumentative literature review critiques literature selectively to support or disprove an argument. The integrative literature review examines secondary data in an integrated manner that generates a new topic perspective or framework. Theoretical literature review focuses on theories about an issue that already exists.
How can I differentiate literature review and an annotated bibliography?
Literature review is a summary of the evaluation and analysis of a specific topic. An annotated bibliography, on the other hand, is a list of information sources that are arranged alphabetically. If you want to know the pros and cons of a topic, then you’ll need a literature review. If you want to know the accuracy of the sources used, as well as its relevance and quality, then go for an annotated bibliography.
Reviews are conducted to check for a variety of reasons, but mostly to point out the good and bad qualities of what is being reviewed. Aside from books, literature, movies, fashion, and art, reviews are also conducted in the workplace, such as performance reviews and employee reviews.
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