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.
Academic Phrases for Writing Literature Review Section of a Research Paper
The Literature Review | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
The literature review should clearly demonstrate that the author has a good knowledge of the research area. Literature review typically occupies one or two passages in the introduction section. A well-written literature review should provide a critical appraisal of previous studies related to the current research area rather than a simple summary of prior works. This is a perfect place to coin your research question and justify the need for such a study. It is also worth pointing out towards the end of the review that your study is unique and there is no direct literature addressing this issue.
How to write a literature review
Part of this may be due to the writing experience that students bring with them to the project. What types of papers have you written before? Book reviews?
The best way to approach your literature review is to break it down into steps. Remember, research is an iterative process, not a linear one. You will revisit steps and revise along the way.