literature review apa

literature review apa

The Importance of Literature Review in APA Format

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1. Introduction

Writing a literature review is an essential thing before writing your dissertation. It helps you to understand the background of your research and how you can explain it to your readers. You will also find out whether your research has been done by other people or not. If it has been done, in a literature review you can explain the differences of your research with other people. And if it has not been done, that is a good chance for you to prove that your research is worth being done. Although this is a time-consuming assignment, it is not something to be ignored. If you carefully determine what has been written before and your anticipated new contribution to the literature, then the process can become an integral part of your research project. The success of your literature review will have direct effects on your overall research paper. This assignment will develop your analysis on previous research papers, your critical thinking, and mainly your writing and how you can compile your works and ideas into a piece of writing. It also really helps you in developing your thesis statement, which should be well-defined. Remember that a literature review is the one place in your research paper where you will get the chance to insert your personal opinions. In the conclusion of your assignment, you will have the chance to discuss your evaluation and analysis with your colleagues. Shaping and crafting a literature review helps you to develop the tools and the habits of efficient readers. The success of your literature review and the resulting research relies on the work you do before you actually begin writing it. Duration and effort on your literature review will ensure the success of your research project.

2. Understanding Literature Review in APA

The original research has its own importance but a very limited one. The basic reason is that the originality of the research is first solely tested on the person who has written it. Secondly, it is tested as an incremental advancement to the present knowledge. And third comes the turn of the poor to the results of the research; they are always dubious. Original research often leads to confusion. And the result of all this is a slight advancement in knowledge. When it comes to education, it becomes more important. The biggest example is the Quran. It is a code of life for a Muslim and all of the Muslims must have gone through the translation of each of its verses. What Imam Ghazali has done is a very impressive work. He has written a book called “Al-yu Aed” (The Reviving) in which he has given the translation of Quran’s each and every verse along with the sayings of the Prophet and how we should act on it. He ends with the answer to a single question, “What have I done today?” and that includes the analysis of the present day’s actions with reference to the Quran and Sunnah (ways of the Prophet). If he gets a no, he notes the point and the cause. This is a very impressive example of literature review. Important surely it is, but the literature review has its pitfalls. If it is just a pile of work based on others’ work, it is pure wastage. The most common problematic case is a student assigned the task of reviewing a particular topic for his assignment and the result is he has a sheet in front of him and a copied matter which he has to write again because he is not able to take it to his memory, but that copied material is always just a copy. This student will never produce a document that is useful to him. He will regret the loss of his time. This is because the writing work was too much rapid than the understanding. A rushed literature review always leads to this situation. And if the review is not tied to the result of the present day, there it is bound to be minimum.

3. Benefits of Conducting a Literature Review

A comprehensive overview of the literature is imperative for the advancement of knowledge. A well-structured review provides insights about the basic knowledge related to the field, issues and problems associated, latest developments, and the future directions where the field is heading. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available or a set of summaries. A literature review needs to be analytical and should provide a critical discussion of the material reviewed. It is not a chronological catalog of all of the sources, but an evaluation, integrating the previous research together, and also explaining how it informs the research conducted. This can be a concept map or a critical discussion, but it is important to have a visual plan or a framework which will guide the research to provide a comprehensive review of the subject. It is also important to identify the main elements of the literature that need to be included while discussing the topic. This is intricate work that requires in-depth knowledge, so it is not surprising that it is often the part most often avoided. Without the review, it is difficult to track the progress or regression of the field. A mediocre review might not come up with a concrete list of issues, but by discussing the previous research it should hint at some ideas, concepts, and hypotheses. This will then lead on naturally to the problems, objectives, and the proposed methodology of the main research.

4. Steps to Conduct a Literature Review in APA

2. Analyze the literature In order to analyze the literature you have found, you must first critically read and understand each article. On your “Literature Review” file, create a list of goals you want to accomplish. Then, re-read each article. At the end of each article’s analysis, you will want to summarize it. After each summary, there are a few questions you should ask. The first question is “Does this article pertain to my research question?”. If it does, rate this article as “Very Important”. The next question is “Is this article worth continuing to be analyzed?”. If it is still is, and the article seems like it has a lot of valuable information, rate it as “Can’t miss”. If your answer is no, it probably means that you already understand what the article is about and it does not contain information which is very new or interesting. In this case, rate the article as something lower. Using this method, you can get an idea of how much very important and can’t miss articles you have. After doing this, you will also want to identify any key concepts. To do this, highlight, underline, or copy and paste each very important and can’t miss article. Then, read through them again and find all the information which seems important.

1. Search for relevant literature Before you begin searching for literature, you need a clearly defined topic. If you are writing the literature review section of a dissertation or research paper, you will search for literature related to your research problem and questions. If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search. Step one is the most straightforward. You need to find the literature related to your topic and review it. Let’s say we are going to do a review on “The effects of social media on self-esteem”. First, you need to find 5-10 articles which are related to your topic. You will know you have found the most recent and up-to-date articles if there seems to be a lack of literature on your topic. At that point, you will either adapt your research question or expand your research question in order to find more recent literature. Once you have the article, there is a very simple way to organize and keep track of them. Create a database for the articles using APA format. A good way to do this is to first create an ordinary Word or RTF file and then save it as “Literature Review”. Then, start typing the reference for each article using your APA format.

There are five key steps to conducting a literature review:

5. Conclusion

A good literature review involves everything a writer has learnt about the specific topic, as shown in the figure below. This figure provides a usual technique on how to write a literature review, which is very helpful for researchers who are beginners in writing a dissertation. Initially, brainstorming on the research topic is required. After a research problem is selected, a writer can go to any library resources and find about the topic. Taking notes and not copying anything is very important to jot down the writer’s ideas about the topic. This allows the writer to compare their opinions with other researchers’ opinions. Then, organize the gathered materials into categories, and compare them to each other which can formulate a writer’s opinion. Finally, a writer can start writing a literature review using the comparisons and his/her own opinions. This technique enables a writer to avoid duplicating what has been written in a particular resource of information and to know about mistakes done by other researchers.

All in all, writing a literature review requires strong knowledge about a particular field of study. It does not only help a writer recognize his/her own standpoint about the topic but also to provide evidence that can provide the knowledge to other researchers. It is important to be able to explain what is already known about a certain topic and what have been done, so far, in a research. Carrying out a comprehensive literature review enables a writer to find out about the major theories and models related to the topic.

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