how to write a good literature review

how to write a good literature review

How to Write a Good Literature Review

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
how to write a good literature review
Our work is always; • #Top-Quality • #Plagiarism-free
Order Essay

1. Introduction

A literature review is a type of expository essay that analyzes and evaluates a specific topic [1]. Typically, it summarizes the current state of knowledge on the topic. A literature review is also an important part of an academic essay. It is a comprehensive, well-written description of the current knowledge. It allows the reader to know up-to-date information and the validity of your past knowledge, and provides a clearer understanding in a second-hand search and fills the gap to complete or confirm understanding. However, unlike research papers, which establish new arguments and make original contributions, literature reviews organize and present existing research.

Literature reviews are in great demand in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications [1]. For example, compared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively [2]. Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single new paper relevant to their interests. Thus, it is both advantageous and necessary to rely on regular summaries of the recent literature. Although recognition for scientists mainly comes from primary research, timely literature reviews can lead to new synthetic insights and are often widely read [3]. For such summaries to be useful, however, they need to be compiled in a professional way [4].

2. Importance of a Literature Review

A third reason is that you will need to write a literature review for your Masters dissertation/thesis, or a review paper. This will be extensive, and should show that you have acquired a good knowledge of your topic, and that you are aware of gaps and problems in the existing literature. This is crucial for identifying new research opportunities, and for convincing your colleagues and the wider academic community that you understand the importance of your work, and are in a position to articulate this. Persistence is a crucial trait for a researcher, and a literature review is an opportunity to demonstrate this. It is unlikely that you will find everything you need in the first week after you start looking. New papers will appear, old papers will become available in electronic form, and researchers in the rest of the world will have arrived at new insights while working on slightly different problems. By maintaining accurate records of your searches and the papers that you find, you will minimize the amount of irrelevant work, and you will have a good database of the available literature when you come to write up your work. Remember to keep the literature review focused, and to maintain a clear line of argument as you move from one section of the review to the next. Writing a literature review for a research paper is a linear process. I do not mean by this that it is an evolutionary process, but it is consistent and organized, with an eventually broadening range of sources, a patterning of sub-topics and issues, and a broad narrative to explain what the available literature means. In this sense, it captures the essence of a research paper.

3. Steps to Writing an Effective Literature Review

What will help you write a good literature review? A good literature review is comprehensive, critical, and contextualized. That means that its aims are clear, i.e. to situate something and throw light on it. Students often misinterpret the term and write a list of material which is not what is required. To be on the safe side, get your literature review checked by your supervisor or a trusted colleague, making sure that it is well-structured and flows well. A good tip is to use the needs of the reader uppermost in your mind – what do they need to know to understand (1) the context and (2) the critical aspect of your review. A well-structured one helps the reader in their judgment in your later work – your marker has to see the links. A simple way to write a good literature review is to use a series of headings and work through each piece of relevant literature beneath each heading. This tends to work well and ensures that a review does not get lost in the mass of material. Below is a summary of the steps they outline as well as a step-by-step method for writing a literature review.

4. Tips for Writing a Compelling Literature Review

Organize so that readers do not have to jump back, forth, up and down to understand what the text is about. A simple way to do this is to group sources that have similar opinions together, while those who disagree can be put into a separate category (check it with your tutor, but usually ‘for’ and ‘against’ is effective). This will help the reader follow the argument, rather than having to search through the literature trying to identify the author’s stance or the general trend in the field. Then the review matrix can be a table consisting of one row for each major aspect of the research, and columns for resources that share the same research methods. Use the review matrix to organize your notes as you integrate the information from your articles.

Reflect on the purpose of your review. A fundamentally important step that many people never consider. But by developing a comprehensive synthesis of your research, rather than summarizing the work of others, you will add value to your own research. By identifying the issues or controversies in the literature and by discussing your rationale with others (your tutor or colleagues), you will make a positive contribution to your own field.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper has offered a discussion of the issues of reliability and validity in qualitative research in order to provide a useful guide for future discussions on how these two issues can be examined. In assessing the concepts of reliability and validity, certain key questions need to be addressed. The significance of reliability and validity in the research act was examined by considering the different ways in which the truth is defined, and how reality can be apprehended and known. This was viewed as an especially important issue for social science research, where the link between cause and effect is not always clear, and where often the true aim of the research is to discover how to change or influence a given state of affairs. A reconsideration of the views often expressed that qualitative research is ‘inexact’ and that the concepts of reliability and validity take on different meanings in research where there is no operationalizing of variables, led on to the view that there are certain general principles of reliability and validity which should not be blurred, even when we accept that qualitative research requires a different mode of testing them.

Place Your Order
(275 Words)

Approximate Price: $15

Calculate the price of your order

275 Words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total Price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic Level
Number of Pages
Principle features
  • Free cover page and Reference List
  • Plagiarism-free Work
  • 24/7 support
  • Affordable Prices
  • Unlimited Editing
Upon-Request options
  • List of used sources
  • Anytime delivery
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Writer’s sample papers
  • Professional guidance
Paper formatting
  • Double spaced paging
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
  • 275 words/page
  • Font 12 Arial/Times New Roman

•Unique Samples

We offer essay help by crafting highly customized papers for our customers. Our expert essay writers do not take content from their previous work and always strive to guarantee 100% original texts. Furthermore, they carry out extensive investigations and research on the topic. We never craft two identical papers as all our work is unique.

•All Types of Paper

Our capable essay writers can help you rewrite, update, proofread, and write any academic paper. Whether you need help writing a speech, research paper, thesis paper, personal statement, case study, or term paper, essay writing service is ready to help you.

•Strict Deadlines

You can order custom essay writing with the confidence that we will work round the clock to deliver your paper as soon as possible. If you have an urgent order, our custom essay writing company finishes them within a few hours (1 page) to ease your anxiety. Do not be anxious about short deadlines; remember to indicate your deadline when placing your order for a custom essay.

•Free Revisions and Preview

To establish that your online custom essay writer possesses the skill and style you require, ask them to give you a short preview of their work. When the writing expert begins writing your essay, you can use our chat feature to ask for an update or give an opinion on specific text sections.

A Remarkable Student Essay Writing Service

Our essay writing service is designed for students at all academic levels. Whether high school, undergraduate or graduate, or studying for your doctoral qualification or master’s degree, we make it a reality.