Your literature review is much more than a routine assignment: it's a contribution to the future of your field). Usually you will have the option of grouping items into sectionsthis helps you indicate comparisons and relationships. Please contact Britt McGowan at for inclusion in this guide. Organizational systems such as the literature grid are essential for keeping track of your readings. Justifying your own research. How does the author structure the argument? Literature reviews do more than list the sources youve consulted: they summarize and critically evaluate those sources.
The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research. . How good was my information seeking? If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. Theater or book reviews literature reviews steer clear of opinion statements. Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established? Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? So, why should you spend so much time reviewing and writing about research thats already been published? When compiling multiple sources, a tendency can be to summarize each source and then compare and contrast the sources at the end. 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. Then, also using these sources, you can demonstrate the need for future research, specifically, your future research.
Or, you might discover that the prevailing ideas about your research question have shifted dramatically several times over the last hundred years. Can you deconstruct the flow of the argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)? The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (eg. Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful? A literature review can be lengthy and dense, so you will want to make your text appealing to your reader. Literature Review served as a framework for this guide. As you read, be on the lookout for any patterns or trends that emerge among your sources. What is the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives?
Once you begin the writing process, youll be able to refer back to your literature grid each time you want to add information about a particular source. Organize by topic or theme rather than by author. Just like in an annotated bibliography, you will want to paraphrase all of the material you present in a literature review. Andruss Library, copyright Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg.389.4000. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research. . 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, or thesis.
What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. What is the scope of my literature review? This landscape informs the reader that the author has indeed assimilated all (or the vast majority of) previous, significant works in the field into her or his research. Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis? However, there are some actions to keep in mind when constructing a literature review: Include an introduction and conclusion. My Accounts, study Spaces, computers, off-Campus Access, definition. You may be able to write a paragraph or so to introduce the focus of each section. Authors use this review of literature to create a foundation and justification for their research or to demonstrate knowledge on the current state of a field. 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.
If you find yourself sorting through thousands of results every time you conduct a database search, you may need to further refine your topic. It is assumed that by mentioning a previous work in the field of study, that the author has read, evaluated, and assimiliated that work into the work at hand. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries.( recommended Reading, acknowledgements, many thanks to Kate Houston and Libbie Blanchard of CQ University Libraries, (Queensland, Australia) whose LibGuide on the. Writing a literature review is a time-consuming process that requires extensive research and critical analysis. Headings in a literature review can also help you as the writer organize your material by theme and note any layers, or subtopics, within the field. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: Has the author formulated a problem/issue? Writing a literature review is a rigorous process, requiring a thorough evaluation of the quality and findings of each source discussed. First, literature reviews are not bibliographies. By summarizing the existing research on your research question, a literature review reveals points of consensus and points of disagreement, as well as the gaps and open questions that remain.
As a student or academic, you might produce a literature review as a standalone paper or as a portion of a larger research project. Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? A bibliography is a list of resources consulted when researching a particular topic. What type of literature review am I conducting? All academic writing is part of one never-ending conversation: an ongoing dialogue among scholars and researchers across continents, centuries, and subject areas.
A literature review creates a "landscape" for the reader, giving her or him a full understanding of the developments in the field. . Its usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. What are the strengths and limitations? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. Choose a topic with a narrow focus, and be open to adjusting it as the research process unfolds. All disciplines welcome and encouraged.