The literature review frames the core of every research project. In order to carry out research on any topic, the first step you need to take is to read about the existing information, studies and works on the same and form an unbiased understanding of the concepts. This is the precise motivation behind writing a literature review by surveying the existing works on the provided subject to understand it from the perspective of varied researchers. A literature review also gives the reader a precise summary about the past conversations preceding the one the research will make in their research paper, proposition, or thesis. However, it is necessary to understand how to write a literature review to avoid any mistakes. This blog explains the key essentials on framing, structuring and drafting an excellent literature review.
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What is a Literature Review?
A review might be an independent section but is a necessary part of any research project as it meticulously goes through the major works carried out on the research topic. For the most part, a review is written to examine a portion of a published body of information through outline, summary and examination of earlier research studies. The format of a literature review may vary from a research paper to published articles. Crucial segments of a review contain an introduction which is the overview of the research paper on which the literature review is written. In the body segment, every minute details regarding chapter overview, acknowledgement, objectives, specific purpose is written in a systematic form. The conclusion is drafted in a way to review the motive behind the study of the research.
Format of a Literature Review
A literature review must be organized like any other essay, i.e. it should have an introduction, a centre or principle body, and an end. To help you understand the structure of how to write a literature review, we have elaborated its format below:
The introduction of your literature review will familiarize the readers with an overview of different works analysed in context to your chosen topic. Here are the major components you must include while writing the introduction of a literature review:
- Characterize your the aim of your research and the major works you will be covering in your dissertation or literature review.
- Give the major reasons why you have chosen the specific studies, i.e. what purpose they fulfil in connection with your topic.
- Clarify the composition and structure of your review.
- Express the extent of the review, for example, what is incorporated and what is excluded. This way you will be able to create a fine line between the major aspects of your topic in regard to existing literature that you will be covering and those they go beyond the topic and thus will be avoided.
Main Body of Content
After introducing the purpose, content and context of your review, the next step is to draft the main body of content. While exploring the format of how to write a literature review, this is the main section which includes the following:
- Arrange the Review in a uniform order such as chronological, thematical, or any other.
- Give opinion into the connection between your picked theme and the more extensive information available on your topic.
Once you detailed your literature review, wrapping it up in the right manner is also crucial. Here are the major elements you must add to the conclusion while writing a literature review:
- Sum up the research findings you have highlighted through the meticulous assessment of the existing studies.
- Assess the present status of the literature reviewed
- Distinguish critical flaws or loopholes in existing information
- Plot areas for future investigation
- Connect your literature review to existing information and establish the area you aim to expand in through the research thesis or project
How to Write a Literature Review
Now that you are familiar with the format, here is a step-by-step guide to writing a Literature Review:
1. Carry out Extensive Research
Start with exploring the major research works, studies, books or any other works available on your subject. The best way to begin is to create a rundown of references or a list of sources you can found related to your topic. You can use research sites or even find useful literary texts on scholarly.google.com and also get in touch with your supervisor as they can also help you locate the best literature and texts on your topic. You can also use other bibliographical sources to represent your literature review effectively. Bibliographic programming, for example, EndNote, is a valuable apparatus for the following perusing, sorting out references and consequently creating reference records.
2. Study and Explore the Available Literature
Now that you have a complete list of works and literature sources on your research topic, you can start perusing upon the available resources and jot down all the major findings you can locate pertaining to your research topic. Keep a notebook for noting down all the prominent resources you can cite while writing a literature review. As you make notes, ask yourself the accompanying inquiries about every text.
- What is the strategy?
- Is a specific methodology or school followed?
- What proof is utilized to back up the postulation?
3. Write the Literature Review
With the notes that you made throughout the time of studying the available resources on your topic, you can finally sit down to begin writing your literature review. Follow the format mentioned in the previous section or the specific structure that you have been given by the university or your supervisor and accumulate your findings together in a structured manner to create an excellent literature review.
4. Conclude and Proofread
Summarise your literature review by citing all the existing research literature you have studied and the prominent features that you have highlighted. Also, connect your findings with the research topic you will be working on and specify how you will be exploring the subject further. Once completed, proofread and edit the literature review thoroughly to ensure that it is error-free and structurally sound.
Hence, we hope that this blog has cleared all your doubts regarding how to write a literature review. Aspiring to pursue PhD? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to assist you in selecting the right doctoral program and university as per your interests and further guiding you throughout the admission process to ensure that you send a winning application! Sign up for a free session with us today!