What’s A literature review
A literature review is a survey conducted by a researcher before his/her research work or scientific writing work. The survey may be from different sources like books, journal articles, a published thesis, or any existing knowledge related to the research work decided.
Very often if you’re doing surveys, you can find through your literature review you can find good question sets. is a survey conducted by a researcher before his/her research work or scientific writing work. The survey may be from different sources like books, journal articles, a published thesis, or any existing knowledge related to the research work decided.
Very often if you’re doing surveys, you can find through your literature review you can find good question sets. How to write a literature review and most importantly how to do it? Now, before we jump into how to write a literature review, it’s really important to step back and ask what the function is, what is the way of a literature review? If we understand the why then the how becomes a lot simpler, and then what becomes simpler. So let’s talk about some of the most important functions of the literature review.
Function number one, a Literature review is for you to validate that you have a compact understanding of the literature, and the research, and your research questions. So your research is going to be on a topic and the starting point for your discussion is to show that whatever your research question is, whatever the aim of your research is, and you need to prove that you know and what has already been done. So that’s the really first step and maybe it’s the most important function.
Function number two, the second why of a literature review, is for you, from the basis of literature to show that there is a gap. To show that there is a need for your specific research. If you’re doing master’s are you doing Ph.D. research regardless of the level that you’re at there’s some requirement for originality. Generally, universities don’t want you to research something that’s been done a million times. So what the literature review serves to do is for you to go and do the work and to figure out where are the gaps in the literature, where are the gaps in the research, how can I take a unique angle and something new that’s not been done before, how can I take a unique angle in terms of context or terms of a specific country a specific environment, etc. The second function of your literature review and you just reviewing the literature the actual act of reviewing it, is for you to establish that clear need for your research.
Function number third, Now, the third function is not necessarily relevant to everyone, but for those of you who are planning to build a theoretical model or conceptual model, the conceptual framework the literature review is the basis of that. What you would then be doing is taking the various theories the various pieces of research that have been undertaken in the past and building some sort of conceptual model that you would then go on to test and to validate. Perhaps not relevant to everyone but that is an important function if you are doing any sort of quantitative validation testing etc.
Function number fourth, the fourth important function of the literature review is for you to have a foundation or to build a foundation of the methodology. It means by this is when you are reviewing all the literature in your space that is relevant to your research question your research aims, what you’re going to find naturally is you’re going to get exposure to all the various studies that have been done and you’re going to see what methodologies they use. Did they use qualitative, did they use quantitative, if they used quantitative, did they have well-validated, well-tested question sets, did they publish questionnaires, etc. So the literature review allows you to dig into what’s already been done and to build on that.
The point is that a very an important function of the literature review is for you to get some inspiration, to get some insights, and perhaps even some useful practical tools and takeaways to inform your methodology.
So those are the four important functions of the literature review and the first two are really what you need to keep in mind during the literature survey. It’s only a critical recap of what has already been researched on a topic, so no need to panic.
Step for easily formulate a literature review.
- Search for relevant literature on your topic
In this context, literature just means any academic sources like books or journal articles relevant you’re your topic of research. First, you need to search in the right scholarly databases, so something like Google Scholar, JSTOR, science direct. Search by putting your title and title itself should indicate what we are searching, you can search your keywords with boolean operators which help you filter and refine the search results and explain how what we are getting from this search
- Evaluate and select sources of information for literature
Unless your topic is super niche, you probably can’t read everything that’s been written on the topic. Once you’ve got the sources from relevant literature Search, read the abstract to scan whether an article is relevant or not and also scan the references section to find other relevant sources of literature. You should also pay attention to the citation count on Google Scholar. If the count is high, the source is probably important and you should include it and come with an abstract just like a trailer of a movie from where you can get the whole analysis of the work.
- Identify themes, debates, and gaps in literature
As you read all relevant literature, take notes, and pay attention to the connections between different sources. This way, you can organize your literature review’s arguments and structure a lot easier. Here are some things to look for: Trends and patterns, in theory, method, or results. Themes Debates or contradictions Influential studies and research gaps
- Outline your literature review’s structure
You can go about your literature review’s structure in a few ways. It all depends on what you found in the literature and what you want to emphasize. Here are 4 common approaches to structure the literature review.
- Chronological, that means from older to more recent publications.
- Thematic, so organized around several key themes.
- Methodological, you can compare the different research methods being used across studies.
- Theoretical to discuss opposing theories or models.
And finally, get ready for writing a literature Reviewer structure!
Make sure that your literature review structure has an introduction, the main body that summarizes and synthesizes the sources, and a conclusion, similar to other academic texts.
Details of literature review structure
Generally speaking, the introduction of your literature review should clearly state the focus and purpose of the literature review. If you’re writing a literature review for your research paper or dissertation, restate your research question and give a brief overview of what you’ll discuss.
You can emphasize the timeliness of your topic, If you are writing a stand-alone paper, give some background on the topic and its importance, discuss the scope of the literature you will review (for example, the time of your sources), and state your objective.
II) Main Body of Literature Reviewer
For the body of your literature review, you can divide it into subsections and use a subheading for each theme, time, or methodological style.
Keep these 4 tips in your mind as you start your write:
- Summarize and synthesize,
- Analyze and interpret,
- Critically evaluate,
- Use well-structured paragraphs
We will show you how to use these 4 tips with an example paragraph.
Tip number 1: Summarize and synthesize the information
Summarizing means giving an overview of the main points of a source, but it’s also important to synthesize – that means combining several sources to make an overall point, showing the similarities and differences between them.
In this paragraph, you can see how different studies are pieced together to convey a point.
We first summarized the different theories of different authors. Then we synthesized several studies, as highlighted here, which had a similar focus and findings, illustrating a clear trend in the field.
Tip number 2: Analyze and interpret the research, It’s important to add your interpretation and discuss the significance of findings of the literature as a whole.
From this sentence, we analyzed several studies and concluded that the visual and interactive aspects of social media are the most important factor in body image issues.
Tip number 3: Critically evaluate your sources to identify and discuss strengths and weaknesses. This is a critical evaluation of the literature – you contributed your own opinion on how new technology is changing the role of media in body image.
Tip number 4: Write in well-structured paragraphs, To make sure your sentences and paragraphs are cohesive, use transitions and topic sentences to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts.
III) Conclusion of the literature review
Finally, for the conclusion, sum up the main takeaway of your literature review.
If it’s part of your dissertation or thesis, here you should clearly show how your research addresses gaps and contributes to new knowledge.
If it’s a paper, you can summarize the major findings and implications of the literature, and make suggestions for future research.
Now for the final tip, before you go in the future and submit your paper, make sure to proofread and revise it. Apart from typos, you should also pay attention to Informal and subjective language, Repetitive phrasing, Overuse of passive voice, and many more.