A literature review is a secondary source conducted from the study of original or primary source and survey of books, scholarship articles, journals, theses, dissertations and other related resources. It is not researching on a topic but it is a review of others’ existing works or researches on the topic you are interested to do the research on. It is usually conducted for academic-oriented work such as a university’s thesis and dissertation.
It is advantageous to do the literature review, especially when you are working on your thesis.
The main purposes of literature review are to:
1. Review individuals’ works to see the areas that has been researched on
2. Increase more knowledge in the field
3. Pick up any idea or work that contributes to the area you will be working on and insert it into your work to support your argument and/or help readers understand more on the topic
4. Find the gaps in others’ works related to the topic to see if there is any area that other researchers have not conducted a research on
5. Avoid unnecessary repeating research on the same topic as other researchers
6. Bring an up-to-date details on the topic to the reader
7. Give ideas for future researches needed in the area, analyse, identify
There are four steps in conducting a literature review.
1. Define your topic
You should know the topic you will be researching on and should be able to define it.
2. Search for literature to review
You can find relevant resources such as books, journals, theses, reports, papers, monograms and articles from libraries, databases, internet and other resources.
3. Analyse and evaluate
You have to analyse and evaluate the resources you have found to see their strengths and weakness and if they contribute to your research. You may class them into catergories
4. Start writing literature review!
Literature review is like a self-contained review writing on a subject. Like other kinds of academic writing, literature review consists of Introduction, Body of the review and Conclusion.
In the introduction, there should be a definition on the topic, introduction of what will be discussed in the literature review and indication of what the research will help filling any gaps found on a topic.
The body of a literature review should include categories of resources reviewed, a summary and a discussion of each source and how they contribute to a topic, analysis of gaps indicated and how your research will help fulfilling those gaps.
For the conclusion, it should be a summary of what has been discussed and an evaluation of which sources are significantly contributed to a topic and help developing reader’s understanding on a topic.
As it is an academic writing, the complete literature review should be submitted to professional academic editor for editing so that your literature review will be of the highest standard.