A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated. Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study. Fink, Arlene. Fourth edition. A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. 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.
Literature Review - Academic writing - Skills Guide - LibGuides at University of Derby
Literature reviews may be written as separate assignments or as a section within a longer paper or thesis chapter. Writing a literature review requires you to demonstrate many essential academic skills: to perform research, to read carefully, to analyze and synthesize theories and findings, and to make an organized argument about the body of research on a topic. Furthermore, by assigning a literature review, your instructor expects that you will develop detailed knowledge about an important topic and you will recognize the dynamic nature of scholarship within a particular field of study. In a literature review, you must survey a range of sources on a particular topic and analyze how scholars have examined and explained this particular topic. You must present a focused and organized argument about the state of knowledge on this topic, considering how research has progressed, evaluating debates, and identifying unanswered questions.
Writing Literature Reviews
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Telling a Research Story: Writing a Literature Review is concerned with the writing of a literature review and is not designed to address any of the preliminary processes leading up to the actual writing of the literature review. This volume represents a revision and expansion of the material on writing literature reviews that appeared in English in Today's Research World. This volume progresses from general to specific issues in the writing of literature reviews. It opens with some orientations that raise awareness of the issues that surround the telling of a research story.