Guide to writing a literature review

Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.

Guide to writing a literature review

Bibliography Definition A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.

Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study.

Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper. Importance of a Good Literature Review A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories.

A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem.

The analytical features of a literature review might: Give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations, Trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates, Depending on the situation, evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant research, or Usually in the conclusion of a literature review, identify where gaps exist in how a problem has been researched to date.

The purpose of a literature review is to: Place each work in the context of its contribution to understanding the research problem being studied. Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration.

Identify new ways to interpret prior research. Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature. Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies.

Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort.

guide to writing a literature review

Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research. Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important]. Sage, ; Hart, Chris. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination.

Sage Publications, ; Jesson, Jill.

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Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. Political Science and Politics 39 January A Step-by-Step Guide for Students. Types of Literature Reviews It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers.

First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish. Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies. Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field.

guide to writing a literature review

In composing a literature review, it is important to note that it is often this third layer of knowledge that is cited as "true" even though it often has only a loose relationship to the primary studies and secondary literature reviews. Given this, while literature reviews are designed to provide an overview and synthesis of pertinent sources you have explored, there are a number of approaches you could adopt depending upon the type of analysis underpinning your study.

Types of Literature Reviews Argumentative Review This form examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature. The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint.

Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e. However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below]. Integrative Review Considered a form of research that reviews, critiques, and synthesizes representative literature on a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated.

The body of literature includes all studies that address related or identical hypotheses or research problems. A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication. This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g.

dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work.

The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic. A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another.

It’s usually a bad sign to see every . Doing a literature review Study guide For a printer What is critical writing? 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.

Get Organized: Lists, Outlines, Notecards, metin2sell.com starting to write the paper, take the time to think about and develop a list of points to be made in the paper.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus. (Writing Literature Reviews) "The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic." (Write a Literature Review) A literature review is a vital part of research papers including theses and dissertations.

Doing a literature review — University of Leicester