In essence, a literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research. It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic. In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap i. However, your literature review does not need to be inclusive of every article and book that has been written on your topic because that will be too broad. Rather, it should include the key sources related to the main debates, trends and gaps in your research area.
How to Write a Literature Review?
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The library offers a range of helpful services. All of our appointments are free of charge and confidential. The specific purpose and length of the literature review will vary. One way to understand the differences between these two types is to read published literature reviews or the literature review chapter of theses and dissertations in your own subject area. Analyze the structure of their arguments and note the way they address the issues. You might be asked to write another type of literature review called a systematic review. Writers of systematic reviews use clearly defined search parameters to gather literature that will help them answer a focused research question.
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In Person Phone Email Chat. Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources e. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic. A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject.
This handout will explain what literature reviews are and offer insights into the form and construction of literature reviews in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. And a review does not necessarily mean that your reader wants you to give your personal opinion on whether or not you liked these sources. A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period.