Writing A Literature Review Step By Step

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And depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant.

The main focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument, and a research paper is likely to contain a literature review as one of its parts.

And don’t forget to tap into your professor’s (or other professors’) knowledge in the field.

Ask your professor questions such as: “If you had to read only one book from the 90’s on topic X, what would it be?

A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.

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.If your assignment is not very specific, seek clarification from your instructor: Look for other literature reviews in your area of interest or in the discipline and read them to get a sense of the types of themes you might want to look for in your own research or ways to organize your final review.You can simply put the word “review” in your search engine along with your other topic terms to find articles of this type on the Internet or in an electronic database.The bibliography or reference section of sources you’ve already read are also excellent entry points into your own research.There are hundreds or even thousands of articles and books on most areas of study.In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute.The focus of a literature review, however, is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others without adding new contributions.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. A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. You dust off a novel and a book of poetry, settle down in your chair, and get ready to issue a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” as you leaf through the pages. 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.For professionals, they are useful reports that keep them up to date with what is current in the field.For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field.


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