What’s Literature Review in Research and How to Write it?

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The majority of students become confused while conducting research and wonder, “What’s literature review in research?” Be at ease; we are here to assist you with this. You may learn more about what a literature review is in this article, along with the reasons why it needs to be included in a research paper. In addition, we’ll go over the best techniques to craft a captivating review of your findings.

What’s Literature Review in Research?

A literature review is an examination of academic sources that offers a summary of a particular subject. In order to give readers a thorough understanding of what has been said about a topic and by whom, literature reviews compile the most significant and important writings on the subject. The fundamental elements of a literature review are as follows:

  • A brief summary of the work;
  • A list of the article’s main points;
  • A discussion of research gaps;
  • An assessment of the publication’s impact on the subject.

The Purpose of Literature Review

A literature review’s objective is to provide an analysis of publications on the subject under consideration in order to define the reviewer’s own viewpoint within the body of knowledge already available on the subject. A thorough examination of earlier arguments before the one the reviewer will make in his or her own research paper, thesis, or dissertation is given to the reader in a literature review. A literature review, in essence, demonstrates to readers where the reviewer is entering the academic discussion on a certain subject within the context of previous scholarship.

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How to Write a Literature Review?

what's literature in research
Writing a Literature Review

We’ll discuss the writing process of literature in the following three sections:

  • How to prepare a literature review
  • Structure of a literature review
  • A checklist

Now let’s get on with it so that you can have a detailed description of each one of the aforementioned.

How to prepare a literature review

1. Set your goal

Determine what issues the literature review needs to address. What is the goal of your literature review? What are you looking for in the literature? To determine what to concentrate on, review your assignment question and your criteria list.

2. Conduct a thorough literature search

This will help you to find out everything about your topic. Researchers conduct this to see who has already worked in regard to their research topic in the past and to which extent it has already been completed.

3. Which type of literature?

Pick the right background information: Use a mix of authoritative, current, and relevant academic or scholarly sources. Books, journal articles, reports, government records, conference proceedings, and online resources will all be thoroughly reviewed. The most excellent location to look for sources is in the library and Google scholar.

4. How many sources should be explored?

The number of sources you must examine will depend on the purpose of the literature review and how far along in your study you are. At the first-year undergraduate level, it might come from five sources, up to more than fifty for a thesis. Your professor will provide you with guidance on these issues.

5. Take note of your sources’ bibliographical information

Note the title, date, names of the writers, page numbers, and publishers of the publication. You’ll have time later when you know these details.

6. Study the literature thoroughly

  • Read each source critically, focusing more on the arguments than the facts.
  • As you read, make notes, and begin organizing your evaluation around themes and concepts.
  • To determine how the many sources link to one another, think about utilizing a table, matrix, or concept map.

7. Examine the information you have found

You must assess the sources in order for your work to demonstrate the excellent critical analysis. Ask yourself the following inquiries regarding each source you are examining:

  • What are the main concepts and terms?
  • How closely does this article relate to my particular topic?
  • What are the main connections, patterns, and trends?
  • How are the arguments organized by the author?
  • How reliable and trustworthy is this source?
  • What are the sources’ differences and commonalities?
  • Exist any gaps in the literature that calls for more research?

8. Start writing the review

  • Write your thesis statement first. This is a crucial opening statement that will inform your reader about the subject and the main viewpoint or argument you will be making.
  • A literature review must include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, just like essays.

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Structure of a literature review

1. Introduction

Your introduction ought to include an overview of:

  • The purpose of your review and the significance of the subject.
  • The review’s scope, or the parts of the subject that will be covered.
  • The standards by which you chose your literature (e.g. type of sources used, date range).
  • The review’s organizational structure.

2. Body

Each paragraph in the body should address a separate issue connected to your subject. Each paragraph needs to be a synthesis of multiple of your examined readings in order to show how the various sources relate to one another. Each source needs to be carefully analyzed to see how it contributes to your investigating topics.

The body could contain paragraphs on:

  • Historical context
  • Methods 
  • Studies were done in the past on the subject 
  • Mainstream versus alternative opinions
  • Main issues that need to be addressed
  • There should be broad conclusions that are being made.

3. Conclusion

Your summary in the conclusion should include:

  • Key literary points of agreement and disagreement
  • Any gaps or potential research areas
  • Your general viewpoint on the subject.

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A checklist

You need to check if you have:

  • Defined the objectives and parameters?
  • Discovered suitable and reliable (scholarly/academic) literature?
  • Documented the sources’ bibliographical information?
  • Reviewed and discussed your readings?
  • Detected gaps in the research and literature?
  • Examined approaches, ideas, hypotheses, or models?
  • Discussed the various points of view.
  • Composed a thesis statement, a body, and a conclusion?
  • Is spelling and grammar checked?

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