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Writing the Literature Review

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Literature review is a report of works on a certain topic published by researchers and scholars. Literature review is usually an introductory part of an essay, research report, or thesis. Do you know what the main aim of writing a literature review is? You should inform a reader on the ideas expressed on a topic you are writing about, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses established in various works. Take into consideration that writing a literature review is not a summarizing or description of the existing materials. A guiding concept in the form of your argumentative thesis or research objective is what a literature review is about. The purpose of writing a literature review is giving you the ability to show your skills in critical appraisal after information seeking.

What should a literature review look like? It should be well-written and correspond to research question you are investigating. It should present a summary of synthesized results; highlight areas that make researches argue upon and show what is to be identified during further research.

While writing a literature review, answer some useful questions.

    1. What is the topic or issue that a literature review should contribute to?
    2. What is a type of your literature review? Are you carrying out a quantitative or qualitative research?
    3. What type of publications is used? What is the sphere a literature review should be written in?
    4. Have you done your best while doing an information seeking? Do you have all relevant material? Is the number of works enough to write a literature review of the necessary length?
    5. Have you critically analyzed the literature that is in your hands? Have I summarized the concepts or assessed them?
    6. Will your literature review be useful for the reader? Can your literature review be considered appropriate?

      Make sure you know answers to questions about each book/article of your literature review.

      1. Has the author clearly defined an issue you are investigating?
      2. What are the author’s point of view, research orientation, and theoretical framework?
      3. Do you see the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives?
      4. Do you consider that the measurements and components of the study are valid?
      5. What is the tone of the language?
      6. What is the structure of the argument?
      7. Is this book/article useful for the specific thesis or question that you are developing?

      There is no need in starting each paragraph with names of researchers. Divide your literature review into sections that highlight themes or define trends and relevant theory. Your purpose is not presenting the list of materials, but evaluating it according to certain concepts. Remember that a literature review refers to a piece of discursive prose.

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