How to Write a Literature Review
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Great Tips: How to Write a Literature Review

A literature review generally implies surveys of several scholarly sources as a way of overviewing a topic. Students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in different disciplines ought to be able to create an outstanding one.

You can write the text as a standalone project or part of a larger assignment. Students write the review to recognize gaps in the existent research, which can inform their future research decisions.

You can consider reading through a literature review example online to see how it’s achieved.

When you have been asked to write a review, many sources can help in the following areas:

  • Describing the goal of the review;
  • Suggesting strategies;
  • Identifying common mistakes in the review.

However, there’s a shortage of information on how students can plan and write reviews. Students send us inquiries, searching for it. We have created this simple and comprehensive guide.

The stepwise literature review tactic is intended to help those who don’t know how to finalize this important but rather complicated project.

Defining Concepts: What Is Entailed in a Literature Review

There are many definitions of the concept. A literature review essentially means a critical survey of relevant scholarly sources, offering a synopsis of a specific subject or topic.

Here are 3 main components of any literature review example:

  • A search for relevant and credible material on a topic;
  • An assessment of the sources;
  • A well-planned and organized written account of the review offering critique and overview.

What Is the Goal of the Review?

Before we look at how to write a literature review, let us explore the goal of the task.

The assignment is meant to allow students to show their comprehension of a topic area.

The project is also an opportunity to validate the method you have selected for your study. As part of the review, you will assess and discuss past approaches used by other scholars and place your research in the context.

Looking for Relevant Literature

How to write a literature review?

The first step is scanning for the texts to examine. Of course, even before you can sit down to begin gathering sources, you should choose a narrow and concise topic.

If you have been asked to write a review as a standalone project, choose a topic interesting to you and pertinent to your subject.

If you are to write the review as a component of a larger project, your hunt for sources will be informed by your research queries and goals.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you search for credible sources:

List the Main Keywords to Aid Your Search

So, how to write a literature review?

Get started by coming up with a listing of important phrases and words associated with your topic area. Keywords make finding credible and relevant sources online simpler and faster. Of course, you can enlarge that list as you find more words during your search.

Explore Trustworthy Sources

What is a literature review source, and how to find it?

Once you have gathered useful keywords linking to your research area, you can start finding sources. Joining words like ‘and’ and ‘or’ can help if you need to concentrate your search. It especially helps when the searches generate too many general sources. As you find sources, go through abstracts to judge whether the pieces are ideal for your topic.

Assessing and Picking Sources

The second step when you want to write is assessing and choosing sources according to your search.

Of course, there may be no time to read through all the articles you encounter. However, you will need to assess those sources that are most linked to your study objectives.

Consider the following:

  • The problem or issue the source tackles;
  • The primary concepts and their definition in the article;
  • The theoretical frameworks and methodologies used.

What is a literature review, and what critique sources to incorporate?

Ensure they are relevant and credible. Also, consider checking the number of times a source has been cited in other studies with the help of Google Scholar.

Sources that have several citations are more recognized in a subject area. They are often seen as more authoritative in the field. These will be critical when you sit to write your paper.

Take Keen Notes and Cite All Sources

A key element of the effective review of sources is a citation. As you go through the sources, note down anything that will help you to write your paper. The notes you take when reading will be incorporated into your paper. To facilitate citation and avoid plagiarism, indicate all relevant details for reference.

Pinpointing the Main Discussions, Arguments, and Gaps

When reading and analyzing resources for your review, start thinking about how you will organize your text.

Look for associations between the various sources, including:

  • Common or recurring themes;
  • Contradictions and important debates;
  • Influential publications;
  • Notable gaps in the literature.

Planning the Structure of the Appraisal

Like every other project, the literature review structure is very important to end up with logical and coherent text. Create a strategy of how you intend to approach the process. An outline indicates the major sections of your paper.

Here are some sample strategies for outlining literature reviews:

Arrange Chronologically

Don’t know how to do a literature review fast and effectively?

The simplest way to arrange your review is by looking at how the discussion on the matter has developed over time. Don’t just list sources chronologically. Instead, examine the patterns of the main arguments that had dominated direction at different stages.

Organize Thematically

You could also systematize your review according to themes. Sources that examine a specific theme can be analyzed together in a subsection before proceeding to the next one.

Structure Methodologically

Another strategy is to arrange your sources according to the methods used. Of course, as you compare the methods, always remember the findings and the deductions. For instance, compare qualitative findings with quantitative ones.

Organize Theoretically

For any research undertaking, the review of key studies and articles is often the basis of the conceptual framework. Use this section of your project to explore various paradigms and perceptions and define some key concepts. For instance, you can argue for the applicability of a certain conceptual framework.

Drafting the Review Fast

How to write a literature review in the UK?

Although preparation is important, you still need to create time to write your review. Start as early as you can, making sure your text is logical and coherent.

Of course, what is contained in your review will be contingent on your research query and objectives.

Your text must have these parts:

An Interesting Introduction

The introduction you write ought to indicate the reason for your review and identify the focus. For a dissertation review, start by restating the overall research issue and summarize the context of literary analysis.

If your review is a standalone project, offer some background information on the subject and its significance.

Body Paragraphs

Regarding how to write a literature review, your body paragraphs will be contingent on the extent of your review.

However, make sure to write only 1 main idea for every paragraph. Also, it may be necessary to divide this section of your work into subsections. Make certain to cite all your sources as you write.

A Concise Conclusion

Every review of literature you write should have a concise conclusion. Here, write your main discoveries from the sources and highlight their importance. Consider how the sources work to address the gaps and the overall inferences.

Writing Exceptional Literature Reviews: FAQ

Many people who don’t know how to write a literature review in the UK come to us with questions.

Here are answers to some commonly asked ones:

Where Is the Review of Literature Written in a Dissertation?

In an academic dissertation, a review comes close to the beginning, just after the introductory section.

Why Write a Literature Review?

Students write literature reviews for various reasons. The evaluation of sources allows you to justify your study and identify existing knowledge gaps. You also define the scope and limits of the research undertaking.

What Are 3 Goals of Literature Reviews?

Some notable benefits include demonstrating your comprehension of the chosen topic and placing the study in its context. You can also write a review to develop methodology and conceptual frameworks. Besides, you’ll write it to demonstrate how your project addresses a research gap.

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