A literature review is a writing style that makes the reader understands a particular point or a topic in a field. This style of writing includes thesis, assignments, introductory, reports case writings and much more.
Literature reviews are based on a particular research. This research is given a certain description according to the factual details of your research. These descriptions are written in a form of summaries that have a critical discussion over the major points of your research. These summaries also contain arguments and analysis relevant to your research.
A perfect and a professional literature review is the one that discusses factual details, controversies, arguments, raises questions, and identifies areas that encourage for further research.
Now let’s move to understanding the basics of writing a literature review.
What a literature review should have?
According to the guidelines of La Trobe University, a literature review should have these basic things:
1- Comparison and contrast of the views of different authors.
2- Discussion and views of group authors who come to similar conclusions.
3- Have a brief discussion on different methodologies of the research.
4- Include necessary and relevant examples.
5- Pinpoint the areas where the author has discussed, differentiated or argumentative views.
6- Highlight the gaps in the research.
7- Compare your research with the literature review.
8- Be limited and precise to the specific area of discussion.
9- Discuss your study in a historical perspective.
10- Do not duplicate the content. Try to summarize it in your own words with factual understanding.
11- To evaluate promising research.
12- To relate your findings to previous knowledge and suggest future research.
According to writing.utoronto.ca, a literature review must have the following structure:
Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas
The ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books.
The ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.
A literature review must do these things
1- Be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
2- Synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
3- Identify areas of controversy in the literature
4- Formulate questions that need further research
Every literature review has a particular style of writing and a structure. This structure depends on your thesis and research area.
Best literature reviews are those that describe general opinions of different authors. As a writer, you must understand the description of different authors on the relevant topic you have chosen. To make your literature review strong, start the review by explaining the point of view of one author, then move on to another and so on.
Try to include more and more controversial and highlighted discussions of the authors instead of including unnecessary details. Maintain a pace of questions and claims in your review.
Another important point of writing a literature review is to include connecting words or phrases that could hold your arguments from one author to another. For example, however, nevertheless, on the other hand, etc.
Moving on to the last part of your literature review, it should carry a hypothesis, a point of discussion and a claim that summarizes your research understanding in the end.
By following the above-mentioned points, any writer would be able to note down the best and meaningful literature review for the readers that could be helpful for future research as well.
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