A literature review is a fundamental part of a research paper that requires a comprehensive analysis of previously established ideas, concepts and theories in a specific field of interest. It’s a process that involves extensive research of multiple sources so that the readers could get an idea of useful methodologies and approaches to conduct their own study on a particular topic.
If you believe that writing literature reviews is merely about paraphrasing or summarising different research papers, then you’re wrong! In fact, the process requires a thorough analysis of concepts and understanding you get after reading those papers. Moreover, the literature review must include an in-depth analysis of the theories you think would be required in your own research process.
A well-written literature review allows readers to integrate in-depth insight into the concepts that helped you build your research. However, it should not only be based on the findings, but must also indicate the relevancy of the specific information in your research process.
The researchers are required to explore the “why” element of their chosen material for building a constructive theoretical framework. What exactly does it mean? Well, a literature review is centralised on the information and knowledge you gather from multiple sources. However, your readers are more interested to know why only this specific information helped you in directing your arguments.
Why did the concept inspire you to carry out research? And more specifically, why were the concepts important for the establishment of your findings? You must answer all these questions in accordance with the chosen material while outlining the literature review.
For your assistance like assignment writing service, we have listed down some useful tips for constructing a well-outlined literature review.
Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include:
- Has the scholar formulated a intricacy/issue?
- Is it clearly distinguished? Is its consequence (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established?
- Could the puzzle have been addressed more efficiently from another panorama?
- What is the author’s study orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, union)?
- What is the author’s intellectual structure (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)?
- What is the correlation between the intellectual and research prospects?
- Has the author assessed the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author cover writing taking positions she or he does not agree with?
- In a examination study, how good are the primary elements of the study design (e.g., population, intervention, outcome)? How accurate and valid are the dimensions? Is the study of the data correct and relevant to the research question? Are the judgments validly based upon the data and analysis?
- In substance written for a popular readership, does the writer use appeals to sentiment, one-sided examples, or rhetorically-charged language and tone? Is there an actual basis to the reasoning, or is the author merely “proving” what he or she already believes?
- How does the author structure the argument? Can you “deconstruct” the flow of the discussion to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)?
- In what ways does this book or commodity provide to our recognition of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the concentrations and limitations?
- How does this book or report relate to the specific thesis or question I am receiving?
Define the research objective
Before delving further into it, you must identify which characteristics would be required in your literature review and what areas need focus! For Example, if your research is based on approaches used in different research processes, then your analysis should be centralised on research methodologies and approaches used in your chosen papers.
There are plenty of research pieces available on the internet that incorporate various aspects of the same topic. For instance, the PEST and SWOT analysis of a particular topic contain a similar analysis and somewhat similar points.
Choose the most relevant research papers
Adding every literature with a similar keyword of your topic without checking the relevancy is a bad approach! Therefore, you should choose articles that most resemble your main objective of the research, and for that matter, you need to carry out extensive research!
Survey through the ocean of content available on the internet and choose the best ones out of them for analysis. Make sure if the selected articles are written by authentic authors and published in legitimate research journals. The key is to assess whether the gathered information is relevant or beneficial for your own findings or not!
Outline the summary
After the selection of the articles for the literature review, the next step is to read them thoroughly! Read them with utmost concentration so that you won’t miss any important point. Identify which point or characteristics would be more relevant to your research topic. Collect all the important points and make sure you won’t miss out any aspect that takes away the entire essence of the research paper.
Write down the gist of each of the selected papers in your own words. Memorise the content and write in such a way as if you’re explaining it to your friend so that you don’t fall into the trap of plagiarism. Use hypotheses and findings to construct your own arguments. It’s better if you write an analysis of each paper under separate headings and paragraphs.
Don’t Ever Try to Fake It
Only incorporate the material that you really read – cutting and pasting someone else’s literature will come back to bite you following – especially if you have to do an oral argument and someone asks for your opinions on a particular article or research.
Remember that just having read a thesis or discussion paper doesn’t count – you must critique it – what worked, what didn’t, what would you do conversely
References are the most crucial aspect of making your work authentic! Why would someone believe that climate change is one of the reasons for the rising diseases in the region? Unless you don’t prove the statement with legitimate references from a well-researched source, readers would have a hard time believing in your written information! It’s important to add references within your text to make your work more reliable and authentic. Make sure to add references taken from legitimate sources such as Google Scholar, Sci-Hub, etc.
Be considerate about the referencing style and follow the same format throughout the research paper. You should strictly follow the citation format as mentioned by your instructor. Moreover, we recommend you to add only those references that are not older than five years. It will make sure that your research is up-to-date and relevant to the current time.
To ensure the smooth process of writing a literature review, make sure to follow the above-mentioned steps correctly in the appropriate order. Because there are several small options which can ruin your writings. First ask yourself the questions mentioned above and then go with the answers you get. Writing literature reviews can be challenging, but with the correct plan and proper outline, you can easily save yourself from falling into the complicated mess of data collection and analysis. Good luck for your future endeavours!
Callum Bryne is a professional blogger and academic writer tends to facilitate students with assignment writing in the UK, Callum enjoys reading and writing about creativity and has helped many industries to enhance their interaction with employees and other stakeholders.