Literature review happens to be a crucial part of a research paper, dissertation or thesis. Almost every student out there needs to prepare a literature review while working for their academic papers. But, most of the students find it difficult to prepare one. Writing a literature review has become a challenging task for students as there are always some new research papers or publications that they have to follow.
Defining literature review
The literature review is that section of a research paper or dissertation where you are required to summarize the information related to existing research of different scholars. If you are to write a literature review, make sure that the topic chosen is relevant enough and written from secondary sources. You have to mention all the scholarly opinions that exist on the topic or subject. Only the relevant academic literature should remain in focus. When you provide ideas, theories or research of the experts together under the same context, they will further help you in illustrating the points and facts you are stating.
The purpose of writing a literature review
The primary purpose behind writing a literature review is to establish your opinion by showing the previous works of eminent researchers and scholars on a particular topic. The earlier works done on your topic would provide support to your extensive research. By doing so, you also become familiar with different theories, ideas and terminologies related to the topic.
How to write a literature review?
If you do not know anything about writing a literature review for your research paper, then you have landed on the right platform. However, you need to have a steady and calm mind to perform systematically further to finish it on time. Follow the below-mentioned steps while working on a literature review-
Write the Introduction
In the starting paragraphs, you need to write about the area of concern in your paper. Make sure that you present all the relevant points and facts of the researchers who have worked on the topic previously. Also, point out some conflicts of theories. If you are writing a scientific theory paper, create a hypothesis and examine it carefully. State the purpose of your writing, when you begin with a self-contained review paper. Be specific enough while defining the goals and objectives of your research paper. Remember the following points while writing an introduction for your literature review-
- Define your topic appropriately.
- State your point of view or opinion regarding the topic. Your opinion needs to be based on previously conducted research of eminent researchers and scholars.
- You need to write down your scope of the literature review, mentioning what’s included and what’s not.
- State how you are organizing your review.
Write the body
Make different sections and sub-sections while writing the body part of your literature review. Each section needs to discuss or evaluate the latest information that is already present in the field. Discuss about the recent findings, trends, perspective of the research, and present state of affairs. Also, comply with the following suggestions-
- Instead of writing descriptively under this section, consider writing critically.
- Try to find a specific area of study where you can focus on your research.
- Add different elements like political background, methodological background, geographical background and literary background.
- The literature review should be more organized as per the common themes and features.
Write the Conclusion
Under this section, you are required to summarize the entire concept of your literature review. Make sure that you throw some light on the relationship between the main issues of your literature review and a larger view of studies like profession, discipline or scientific endeavor. Here are some crucial points that you need to remember-
- Try linking your research with existing research materials.
- Find out those critical gaps and flaws present in your research material.
- Select the major areas of the existing literature and try to sum it up.
- Outline the areas of study that you think can be suggested for future use.
Here are a few more tips on literature review, if you are still confused with the concept-
Do extensive research: Collect information and texts from eminent scholars and researchers that are most relevant to the topic. Try exploring various text materials and facts that speak about the topic of your choice. Develop a central question that suits your approach towards the topic. If you are to present some new information on your topic, it is important for you to conduct research for it.
Develop logical ideas: The Literature review is the best place for you to develop arguments. So, make sure that you learn the earlier concepts brought forth by researchers and experts. Try brainstorming about how you can evolve ideas that have not been introduced before.
Usage of right words/keywords: Add proper words and keywords in your research context. This will further lead you to more relevant research materials. Make sure that the keywords or phrases you use signify the meaning of your topic.
When in need, ask for help: If you face any kind of difficulty or problem while writing your literature review, seek help from your teachers, professors, seniors or older siblings. You can even take help from assignment experts or online dissertation help services.
Learn about the requirements: Make sure that you understand all the needs of your paper before you begin writing with it. Ask your teacher what exactly he/she wants in the paper. You can even ask them about their suggestions regarding the resources from you can collect the information and other research material.