What discipline am I working in e. Usually you will have the option of grouping items into sections—this helps you indicate comparisons and relationships.
Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis?
Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define?
How good was my information seeking? Is the analysis of the data accurate and relevant to the research question? What is the scope of my literature review? In material written for a popular readership, does the author use appeals to emotion, one-sided examples, or rhetorically-charged language and tone?
Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful? How accurate and valid are the measurements? Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective?
What type of literature review am I conducting? What are the strengths and limitations? A literature review must do these things be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known identify areas of controversy in the literature formulate questions that need further research Ask yourself questions like these: Use an overall introduction and conclusion to state the scope of your coverage and to formulate the question, problem, or concept your chosen material illuminates.
A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question If you are writing an annotated bibliography, you may need to summarize each item briefly, but should still follow through themes and concepts and do some critical assessment of material.
In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design e. Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept e. You may be able to write a paragraph or so to introduce the focus of each section.
Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective?
Is it clearly defined? A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. What types of publications am I using e.
How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing? What is the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives? It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas information seeking: Am I looking at issues of theory?
Is its significance scope, severity, relevance clearly established? In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: How does the author structure the argument?
Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography—see the bottom of the next pagebut more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis.
Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them?A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.
Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography —see the bottom of the next page), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report.
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Conducting research literature reviews: from the internet to paper Responsibility Arlene Fink, University of California at Los Angeles, the Langley Research Institute.
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