1.04 Crafting a literature review
Exactly what is a literature review?
The purpose of a literature review would be to show your readers (your tutor) you have read, and also have a good grasp of, the primary printed work concerning a specific subject or question inside your field. The work might be in almost any format, including online sources. It might be another assignment, or among the opening parts of a study, dissertation or thesis. Within the latter cases particularly, review is going to be led from your research objective or through the issue or thesis you’re quarrelling and can supply the framework for the further work.
It is crucial to notice that the review shouldn’t be just a description of the items others have printed by means of some summaries, but must take the type of a vital discussion, showing insight as well as an understanding of differing arguments, theories and approaches. It ought to be a synthesis and research into the relevant printed work, linked whatsoever occasions for your own purpose and rationale.
Based on Caulley (1992) of los angeles Trobe College, the literature review should:
• assess different authors’ thoughts about a problem
• group authors who draw similar conclusions
• criticise facets of methodology
• note areas by which authors have been in disagreement
• highlight exemplary studies
• highlight gaps in research
• show the way your study pertains to previous studies
• show the way your study pertains to the literature generally
• conclude by summarising exactly what the literature states
The needs from the review are:
• to define and limit the issue you’re focusing on
• to place study within an historic perspective
• to prevent unnecessary duplication
• to judge promising research methods
• to relate your findings to previous understanding and suggest further research
A great literature review, therefore, is crucial of the items continues to be written, identifies regions of debate, raises questions and identifies areas which require further research.
Structure from the literature review
The general structure of the review will be based largely by yourself thesis or research area. What you will have to do would be to group together and assess the different opinions of various authors on certain topics. What you mustn’t do is simply describe what one author states, after which will continue to provide a general summary of another author, after which another, and so forth. Your structure ought to be determined rather by subject areas, questionable issues or by inquiries to which you will find different approaches and theories. Within all these sections, you would discuss exactly what the different literature argues, remembering to link this for your own purpose.
Linking test is important. If you’re grouping together authors concentrating on the same opinions, you would employ phrases or words for example:
similarly, additionally, also, again
More to the point, if there’s disagreement, you have to indicate clearly that you’re conscious of this through linkers for example:
however, however, on the other hand, nonetheless
In the finish from the review you need to include a listing of exactly what the literature implies, which again links for your hypothesis or primary question.
You need to determine what you ought to read. Oftentimes you’ll be given a booklist or directed towards regions of helpful printed work. Make certain you utilize this help. With dissertations, especially theses, it will likely be more lower to you in deciding. It’s important, therefore, to choose the parameters of the research. Exactly what are your objectives and just what must you discover? Inside your review, are you currently searching at problems with theory, methodology, policy, quantitive research, or what? Before you begin studying it might be helpful to compile a summary of the primary areas and questions involved, after which read with the objective of learning about or answering these. Unless of course something pops up that is particularly significant, stay with their list, because it is super easy to obtain sidetracked, particularly on the web.
A great literature review requires a obvious type of argument. You thus want to use the critical notes and comments you’ve made although doing all of your studying to convey an instructional opinion. Make certain that:
• you incorporate a obvious, short introduction which provides an overview from the review, such as the primary topics covered and also the order from the arguments, having a brief rationale with this.
• there’s always a obvious outcomes of your personal arguments and also the evidence uncovered inside your studying. Incorporate a short summary in the finish of every section.
Use quotes if appropriate.
• you usually acknowledge opinions that do not accept your thesis. Should you ignore opposing viewpoints, your argument would really be less strong.
Your review should be designed in a proper, academic style. Keep the writing obvious and concise, staying away from colloquialisms and private language. It is best to try to be objective and sincere of others’ opinions this isn’t the area for emotive language or strong personal opinions. Should you thought something was rubbish, use words for example sporadic, missing in a few areas or according to false assumptions! (See Guide 1.21)
When presenting someone’s opinion, avoid using states, but rather a suitable verb which more precisely reflects this point of view, for example argues, claims or states. Make use of the present tense for general opinions and theories, or even the past when talking about specific research or experiments:
Although Trescothick (2001) argues that attack is the greatest type of defence, Boycott (1969) claims that.
Inside a field study transported out among the destitute of Sydney, Warne (1999) discovered that.
And don’t forget whatsoever occasions to prevent plagiarising your sources. Always separate your source opinions out of your own hypothesis. ensuring you consistently reference the literature you’re talking about. When doing your studying and making notes, it may be a concept to make use of different colours to differentiate involving the ideas and individuals of others. (See Guide 1.13).
This is a final listing, thanks to the College of Melbourne:
Choice of Sources
Have you ever indicated the objective of review?
Would be the parameters from the review reasonable?
Why have you include a few of the literature and exclude others?
Which years have you exclude?
Have you ever emphasised recent developments?
Have you ever focussed on primary sources with simply selective utilization of secondary sources?
May be the literature you’ve selected relevant?
Is the bibliographic data complete?
Critical Look at the Literature
Have you ever organised your material based on issues?
What is the logic to how you organised the fabric?
Does the quantity of detail incorporated with an issue connect with its importance?
Are you currently sufficiently critical of design and methodological issues?
Have you ever indicated when outcome was conflicting or inconclusive and discussed possible reasons?
Have you ever indicated the relevance of every mention of the your quest?
Has your summary of the present literature led to the reader’s knowledge of the issues?
Does the style of your quest reflect the methodological implications from the literature review?
The literature review is going to be judged poor your completed research.
Review must further the reader’s knowledge of the issue and whether it possesses a rationale for the research.
Links to help sources on writing dissertations
Exactly what is a overview of literature?
The format of overview of literature can vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment.
An evaluation can be a self-contained unit — an finish by itself — or perhaps a preface to and rationale for participating in primary research. An evaluation is really a needed a part of grant and research proposals and frequently an instalment in theses and dissertations.
Generally, the objective of an evaluation would be to evaluate critically a segment of the printed body of understanding through summary, classification, and comparison of prior scientific studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.
Writing the introduction
Within the introduction, you need to:
- Define or find out the general subject, issue, or section of concern, thus supplying a suitable context for reviewing the literature.
- Explain overall trends with what continues to be printed concerning the subject or conflicts theoretically, methodology, evidence, and conclusions or gaps in research and scholarship or perhaps a single problem or new outlook during immediate interest.
- Establish the writer’s reason (perspective) for reviewing the literature explain the factors for use in analyzing and evaluating literature and also the organization from the review (sequence) and, at the appropriate interval, condition why certain literature is or perhaps is not incorporated (scope).
Writing your body
In your body, you need to:
- Group scientific studies and other kinds of literature (reviews, theoretical articles, situation studies, etc.) based on common denominators for example qualitative versus quantitative approaches, conclusions of authors, specific purpose or objective, chronology, etc.
- Summarize individual studies or articles with just as much or very little detail as each merits based on its comparative importance within the literature, remembering that space (length) denotes significance.
- Supply the readers with strong umbrella sentences at beginnings of sentences, signposts throughout, and brief what exactly summary sentences at intermediate points during review to assist in understanding comparisons and analyses.
Writing the final outcome
Within the conclusion, you need to:
- Summarize major contributions of great studies and articles towards the body of understanding under review, maintaining the main focus established within the introduction.
- Assess the current condition from the art for your system of understanding reviewed, mentioning major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies theoretically and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.
- Conclude by supplying some understanding of the connection between your central subject from the literature review along with a bigger section of study like a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or perhaps a profession.
To understand more about literature reviews, check out our workshop on Writing Literature Reviews of Printed Research.
Last updated: August 29, 2014
Feedback, questions or ease of access issues
2014 Board of Regents from the College of Wisconsin System