Work out what you need to address in the literature review. What are you being asked to do in your literature review? What are you searching the literature to discover? Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on. Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative. An extensive review of relevant material will include — books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources.
The Library would be the best place to search for your sources. The number of sources that you will be required to review will depend on what the literature review is for and how advanced you are in your studies. It could be from five sources at first year undergraduate level to more than fifty for a thesis. Your lecturer will advise you on these details. These details will save you time later. In order for your writing to reflect strong critical analysis, you need to evaluate the sources.
For each source you are reviewing ask yourself these questions:. Each body paragraph should deal with a different theme that is relevant to your topic. You will need to synthesise several of your reviewed readings into each paragraph, so that there is a clear connection between the various sources. You will need to critically analyse each source for how they contribute to the themes you are researching. Connect on social media. Site Index.
Literature review assignments
It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliography, where you compile full citation information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process. You can use our free citation software to quickly create correct and consistent APA citations or MLA format citations.
See an example. Based on your reading and notes, you can look for:. This step will help you work out the structure of your literature review and if applicable show how your own research will contribute to existing knowledge. There are various approaches to organizing the body of a literature review. You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing. Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies — for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically.
The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time. However, if you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field.
Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred. If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access. If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches.
For example:. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research. Like any other academic text, your literature review should have an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion. What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review. If you are writing the literature review as part of your dissertation or thesis, reiterate your central problem or research question and give a brief summary of the scholarly context.
If you are writing a stand-alone paper, give some background on the topic and its importance, discuss the scope of the literature you will review for example, the time period of your sources , and state your objective. What new insight will you draw from the literature?
Depending on the length of your literature review, you might want to divide the body into subsections. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach. The example below is taken from the body of a literature review on the relationship between national identity and nature conservation.
This paragraph discusses how humanities scholars have approached the concept of wilderness. Following Cronon, the racial and class politics of wilderness preservation was a theme taken up by several scholars in the late s and early s, who researched the material effects of conservation politics on indigenous and rural Americans Catton ; Spence ; Jacoby The US National Park system became the dominant paradigm for analyzing relations between conservation, nationhood and nationalism. Recent work has begun to challenge this paradigm and argue for more varied approaches to understanding the socio-political relations between nation and nature.
The example combines the thematic and chronological approaches. This section of the literature review focuses on the theme of wilderness, while the paragraph itself is organized chronologically. In the conclusion, you should summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance.
If the literature review is part of your thesis or dissertation, show how your research addresses gaps and contributes new knowledge, or discuss how you have drawn on existing theories and methods to build a framework for your research. If you are writing a stand-alone paper, you can discuss the overall implications of the literature or make suggestions for future research based on the gaps you have identified. Our quick guide to proofreading offers some useful tips and tricks!enter site
It's clear, to the point and beautiful source of knowledge. Sentence starters for writing about areas of future research PDF.
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Journals are collections of articles which focus on particular topics. These articles are published periodically, such as four times a year. One common purpose of an article is to report on new research.
Importance of a Good Literature Review
For a literature review assignment, journal articles can provide you with up-to-date content on topics you have to write or talk about. To efficiently read journal articles, you need to:. Information on the first page of the article will often help you decide if you should read further. Abstracts are particularly good for quickly deciding if the content matches what you need for your literature review assignment.
Small-Scale Literature Review Assignment
They are usually organised into distinctive parts that provide an overview of the whole article. Journal articles commonly have distinctive parts eg, Abstract, Literature Review, Discussion…. Each part has a clear function, which helps you to find specific information. You may not need to read the whole thing.