Many students will face the challenge of writing a literature review at one point in their academic careers. A literature review is essentially an overview of other major writings on a certain topic. It is usually included in many student theses and papers and the sources may come from journal articles, academic books, government documents, etc. A literature review is usually structured in three parts: it starts with a brief description, a summary, and an evaluation of each source.
Its purpose is to showcase the state of research on a certain topic at that particular point in time. To achieve that it should be able to identify the relation between the sources you chose, find new ways to interpret any gaps in previous research while showing the way to future research.
Tip 1: Relevance
Every source must be in accordance with the topic you chose to present. The more specific a topic is, the easier it is to conduct a wholesome literature review. A literature review is not an annotated bibliography. It requires proper planning and evaluating each source you include. GrabMyEssay review should be able to help you if you feel that you are not able to conduct your literature review properly. Hiring a professional will clarify all those gaps in your mind that seem to be fuzzy about your research and literature.
The first tip for writing a successful literature review is relevance. Try to sort out your sources and if they are relevant or not to your topic by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is my research topic?
- What do I want my literature review to define?
- What kind of publications should I include?
- What type of research am I conducting (quantitative, qualitative, etc.)
- What does this source clarify about my topic?
- How does this paper/article/document stand in relevance to my other sources?
Tip 2: Structure
A literature review is much more complex than a simple showcase of your sources. It needs structure. If you face issues with your literature review, you can try custom research paper writing services to help you out. It’s important to remember that literature review is discursive prose and should be organized as such. Organize your literature into sections to present themes, concepts, or trends. The challenge in writing a literature review is to analyze it according to your angle on your topic. When synthesizing your literature review, ask yourself:
- What is the author’s theoretical orientation?
- How does this material contribute to your research?
- In what aspect does this literature shed light on your topic?
- Is it in accordance or contrary to your argument?
- How does this author present their arguments? Do they appeal to the emotion of the reader, or are their arguments based on concrete data?
- What is the research method of the author whose article you want to include?
Tip 3: Find a Method
Writing a literature review is a lengthy process and could take you more time than your whole paper. Try to implement a method in how you review and analyze your sources. Categorize them into themes and concepts, and then proceed one by one to analyze them.
A simple structure that should be able to help you is the following: First, write the objective of your literature review, then proceed with the overview of your topic, categorize your sources to those in accordance with your position, those that oppose your position and those that offer other insights and arguments. Finally, write a discussion based on your findings on the similarities and differences of each source.
Whether you are writing an annotated bibliography or a literature review, remember to add a section according to context and what arguments you want to showcase. Find a method that you follow every time you come across a piece of material – this method could be a set of questions that will help you clarify if this source is useful for your paper or not. Finally, write a literature review that is properly composed and sheds light on your arguments.