Conducting Literature Review

Most often associated with science-oriented literature, such as a thesis, the literature review usually proceeds a research proposal, methodology and results section.Its ultimate goals is to bring the reader up to date with current literature on a topic and forms that basis for another goal, such as the justification for future research in the area.

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The literature review is an integral part of any research project and is undertaken as a means of surveying what research has been conducted previously on a particular topic.

There are many reasons for conducting a literature review, but one of the primary reasons is to establish a base line of what is already known on a topic before exploring the topic any further.

It is an important showcase of your talents of: understanding, interpretation, analysis, clarity of thought, synthesis, and development of argument.

The process of conducting and reporting your literature review can help you clarify your own thoughts about your study.

Literature reviews show that you have examined the breadth of knowledge and can justify your thesis or research questions.

They are also valuable tools for other researchers who need to find a summary of that field of knowledge.Both involve research in order to come to a better understanding of a topic.A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge on a particular topic.Divide the available resources that pertain to your research into categories reflecting their roles in addressing your research question.Possible ways to categorize resources include organization by: Regardless of the division, each category should be accompanied by thorough discussions and explanations of strengths and weaknesses, value to the overall survey, and comparisons with similar sources.Data may be derived from the examination of human subjects, from conducting surveys or assessments, from the study of particular species of plants or animals, from the systematic scientific measurement of any physical phenomena, from nearly anything that can be documented and analyzed.Again, the whole point of launching an original study is to learn something new about a topic.Research typically begins with what is known (the literature review) and progresses into analyzing, through the observation and analysis of data, what is yet to be known through further study.Both the literature survey and the original study are considered academic articles, as opposed to popular articles.This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? 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.


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