Writing a literature review for research

Kim teaches at Murray State College.

Writing a literature review for research

writing a literature review for research

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.

Learn how to write a strong literature review with this course designed for research students, at any level, in any discipline. Research Literature Review Sample Our Literature Review Example Writing a literature review encompasses many different responsibilities and challenges that you need to tackle effectively, and the main problem that people often have with this is simply figuring out how to get started, how to write literature review and what to analyze about the 5/5. 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.

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.

Importance of a Good Literature Review

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. 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. 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.

Step-by-step guide

Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field.

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.Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources Writing a Literature Review & Using a Synthesis Matrix How to use a matrix to summarize and synthesize research.

Guidelines for Writing a Literature Review – The following resource offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide to process of writing a literature review and includes additional links for .

The main focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument, and a research paper is likely to contain a literature review as one of its parts. In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute.

writing a literature review for research

An “express method” of writing a literature review for a research paper is as follows: first, write a one paragraph description of each article that you read. Second, choose how you will order all the paragraphs and combine them in one document. While a summary of the what you have read is contained within the literature review, it goes well beyond merely summarizing professional literature.

It focuses on a specific topic of interest to you and includes a critical analysis of the relationship among different works, and relating this research to your work. 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.

Guidelines for writing a literature review