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The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It

The importance of a literature review

❶This step consists especially of the wording, structure, grammar and the awkward sounding sentences.

Purpose of Writing a Literature Review in Nursing Research

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What is a review of the literature?

Distilling all sorts of data from experiments done by scientists all around the world into a coherent story turned out to be very satisfying. I look forward to doing it again someday, perhaps in a somewhat more efficient manner. More from the current issue. Take Your Best Shot! Tips for writing your first scientific literature review article. Emily Crawford often retreated to her apartment rooftop in San Francisco to write her review. Photo courtesy of Matthew Perry.

A common mistake in writing a literature review is to get bogged down in flat descriptions of the content of the many books, journals articles and reports that you have been reading. Relate only the directly relevant content, and spend as much time analysing the comparative significance of various sources for your own purposes. It will be necessary to identify, draw out, explain, interpret and evaluate key themes that emerge from the literature you have been studying.

Thematic analysis will not only demonstrate a genuine engagement with the literature, but provide you with a scaffold on which to build the body of your text. Nothing must make it into your literature review which has not been scrutinised, questioned and dissected. A critical approach to all reviewed material is the means to ensuring the elimination of mere description and the proper emphasis on original analysis.

Challenge assumptions, generate arguments and give reasons for your reactions. Beyond the identification of key themes and issues, it will be necessary to reach certain findings in light of your analysis of the relevant literature. Try to draw working conclusions about the current balance of opinion concerning certain controversies, suggest what you believe to be the emergent or future trends in the field, identify deficiencies in current knowledge and relate your own position to that of others.

The need to consult a broad range of material has already been stated, but consider also the validity of the sources you review.

In some subject areas classic texts retain their authority for literally thousands of years; cutting edge scientific research will need to be more mindful of the dangers of consulting obsolete data. Key themes provide a natural structuring principle in a literature review, as do categories based on relevance to research questions, academic position, theoretical paradigm, chronology, and so on.

Part of your analysis of reviewed material will almost certainly involve a consideration of the theoretical underpinning of each source, inherent working assumptions, paradigmatic aims, and so on.

Explicitly articulate the rationale behind the theoretical aspect to your own findings and the position you have reached by the end of the literature review. A standard consideration in any review, but one worth being reminded of nonetheless. How authoritative is the writer? Is the author widely cited? Has later response in the literature provided damning critique of the work in question, or considerable support?

Recent Posts How often should you reference? A great example of a reflective essay How to write a captivating conclusion to your essay How to write a dissertation literature review: How to structure an essay Top 10 essay referencing tips. The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation. Top 10 tips for writing your dissertation literature review. The literature review is usually placed near the beginning of the academic writing in a research paper, essay, research report or thesis.

The aim of a literature review is to critically present the current knowledge around a subject. The word critically is important in this sentence, because a critical point of view on an author's ideas is often favourable in the academic world.

A good literature review would cover areas such as the research objective and the issues or problems involved in the research. It should be a range of ideas and findings around a subject that are contrasted against each other to find their strengths and weaknesses. Any literature review must be directly related to the title, research question and the problems that surround them. It must also highlight areas that are known and unknown.

Critical analysis should also identify areas of controversy throughout the literature. Then all of this information should help to formulate questions that must be answered in your research or in other future research.

A literature review should be organised into themes to ensure that it provides an easily understood text that reviews all of the relevant literature around your research question. So, try to organise your review into themes and highlight any trends or points of controversy that relate to those themes in the same sections. Good luck with your literature review, create a good one and you'll form the basis of great academic writing.

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A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography —see the bottom of the next page), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report.

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However, if you are writing a review in the humanities, history, or social sciences, a survey of the history of the literature may be what is needed, because what is important is how perspectives have changed through the years or within a certain time period.

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Tips to write a literature review. A good literature review would cover areas such as the research objective and the issues or problems involved in a research paper, essay, research report or thesis. Literature review writing guide, structure, examples and tips for writers on Content of this article How to write a literature review Things to avoid Types Structure Final checklist Example 1.

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How to Write a Literature Review. All in all, writing a literature review requires strong knowledge about a particular field of study, so one can recognize valuable and an up-to-date studies. So make sure you master the topic before searching for others’ work. It is key to a successful start. Literature reviews are common elements in academic writing, found in dissertations or theses, but also in journal articles, book introductions, book chapters, and even course exercises. Despite its prevalence in academia, the process of writing a literature review is often daunting to an academic.