How to write an effective review of related literature

A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem. That is because the survey nature of the literature review does not allow for in-depth discussion or detailed quotes from the text.

Importance of literature review

More and more cultural studies scholars are accepting popular media as a subject worthy of academic consideration. This slight change in perspective, completely shifted my writing experience. Literature search -- finding materials relevant to the subject being explored. You may also note that studies fall into different categories categories that you see emerging or ones that are already discussed in the literature. However, sometimes you may need to add additional sections that are necessary for your study, but do not fit in the organizational strategy of the body. Narrow the Topic The narrower your topic, the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read in order to obtain a good survey of relevant resources. What were the authors trying to discover? The US National Park system became the dominant paradigm for analyzing relations between conservation, nationhood and nationalism. Make sure the sources you use are credible , and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research. When you are done, print out your excerpts. Examples of a published literature review Literature reviews are often published as scholarly articles, books, and reports. Repeat this for each section of your literature review. Without that established credibility, your research findings are dismissed as nothing but your opinions founded on some basic methodologies.

Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort. I have found it helpful to be as systematic as possible when completing this gargantuan task.

Literature review structure

A raging debate? Step 3: Identify the literature that you will review: Familiarize yourself with online databases see UMD library resource links below for help with this , identifying relevant databases in your field of study. Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Your thesis supervisor may be a great resource. You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar—high citation counts mean the article has been influential in the field. The mere fact of having a system can make the literature review seem much less daunting, so I recommend this system for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a literature review. The Writing Center. Should I summarize, synthesize, or critique sources by discussing a common theme or issue? The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint. Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic. Evaluating sources In assessing each source, consideration should be given to: What is the author's expertise in this particular field of study credentials? I alternated between reading and writing until I had about 40 pages of text. In other words, a complete understanding the research problem requires you to deliberately examine how knowledge and perspectives have changed over time. The Allyn and Bacon Handbook. The critical evaluation of each work should consider: Provenance -- what are the author's credentials?

Redefine your topic if needed: as you search you will quickly find out if the topic that you are reviewing is too broad. At this point consider: Does your study extend current research?

six step process of literature review

Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? What are the key theories, models and methods? Development of the Literature Review Four Stages 1.

Literature review template

Describes the relationship of each source to the others that you have selected Identifies new ways to interpret, and shed light on any gaps in, previous research Points the way forward for further research. The unit of analysis can focus on a theoretical concept or a whole theory or framework. This is called citation tracking and there are a number of sources that can help you identify who has cited whom, particularly scholars from outside of your discipline. In particular, you should be focusing your research on primary sources, not other reviews. Make sure the sources you use are credible , and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research. Is this article helpful? If the same thing is being said, just by different people, then this likely demonstrates that the research problem has hit a conceptual dead end. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field. University of Toronto; Writing a Literature Review. This will save you time.
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Literature Reviews