literature review definition

literature review definition

The Importance of Literature Review in Research

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1. Introduction

A PhD literature review should adhere to the aforementioned approach. It should present a strong argument that demonstrates the relevance of previous research to your own study. It should show how previous research informs and guides your research. This argument should be well-rounded and supported by evidence. Each piece of research that you cite to justify your approach should be connected to your work in an engaging manner. While it is acceptable to provide a concise overview of previous research, this is often just the first step in a comprehensive literature review, which is necessary for PhD students.

A literature review should not simply be a descriptive list of previous research. It should go beyond that and critically analyze the impact of each study on your own research. Merely listing and summarizing previous research is not very useful. Instead, you should evaluate and consider how each study relates to your own work.

Literature review can be a crucial aspect in the development of research. It involves a comprehensive evaluation of existing literature on a specific phenomenon or issue. However, students often struggle to determine where to begin when writing a literature review. The initial stage can be overwhelming and may require some exploratory research before finding a focus. This can be challenging for individuals who prefer structure, as it can lead to uncertainty and inefficient use of time.

2. Purpose of a Literature Review

A common mistake in writing a literature review is to get bogged down in flat descriptions of the content of the many books, journal articles, and reports that you have been reading. Relating what has been read on a particular topic to the research is an important part of making a literature review relevant. In the above example, the review is exploring a link between the Tet Offensive and the collapse of Lyndon Johnson’s public support. A good literature review will strongly express the findings of your research into the reader’s mind. The review is described by the type of field searching and the criteria in which the prior resources will be found and it is prepared and of the standard and reproducibility of the written material. This is what is known as refereeing and it is required in many research projects, including for a thesis.

The above questions can be distilled into a purpose of a literature review. The findings of the literature review must then be synthesized into an argument that builds the case for the research being undertaken. In many degree programs, the synthesis is an integral part of your research training so the findings of your review can (and probably should) be expressed in a report you will have to write from your thesis. This will have the effect of joining the findings of your review smoothly with the research that you propose to do. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. This is because you are encouraged to research to further your own research in the particular field to see if there has been or how much has been done on a particular thing.

Literature reviews form a central component of research reports and technical articles for an important reason: the research you report has to answer the questions that your literature review raises! It is generally best to do this by doing a new piece of research, writing a paper that answers the questions that the literature review uncovers, and in a way that is easiest to defend by also defending your research from the literature reviewed, rather than proving the literature review wrong and the new research right. If the literature review is flawed, the remainder of the dissertation may also be viewed as flawed and quite possibly be discredited as a result. It sets the context of the research and provides the reader with a first impression of what is to follow. This can clearly give us the answer to the second of our problems, that the resources we have will have to be saved in some way, to give the background of the saved data as it is intended and for future users to not waste time trying to uncover the data that the old users have already done.

See page 7-12. 2. Purpose of a Literature Review

3. Steps to Conduct a Literature Review

Step 3: Search the literature The next step is to use internet sources (Google Scholar, JSTOR, specific journal sites) to gather relevant sources to support your review. On discovering a useful article, a good tip is to check the reference list; this should generate a wealth of sources. Make a clear and accurate record of the source publication details to aid swift referencing.

Step 2: Define the scope of the review You must never underestimate the importance of focusing on your subject. A common mistake in writing a literature review is to get bogged down in flat descriptions of the content of the many books, journal articles and reports that you have been reading. Relate only that which is relevant to your research. You will need to discuss the top research that is relevant to your topic has been conducted; the research that is most influential or what research has been the most ground-breaking.

Step 1: Review APA guidelines On the direction of your supervisor, consult the appropriate style of referencing for your discipline (usually APA) and review all the guidelines in detail. Your references and citation must be executed with accuracy and consistency.

Outlined below are some simple steps to writing a literature review. Whether you take your review in the direction of answering a hypothesis or you are examining the subject comprehensively, these steps are a useful guidance. The precise requirement for your review will vary according to the requirements of your assignment and discipline, so ask your supervisor’s advice.

4. Benefits of Literature Review

The purpose of the literature review can be better understood by considering the start of an investigation, where the definition of the research question is often informed by an initial superficial survey of what is already known or believed about the topic. This is conducted to restrict unnecessary duplication of efforts, to provide an insight to the researcher of what is already known and thus helps to build a strong theoretical background for the study. By doing a review of literature, it will help to filter every information and only include those relevant to the research, thus providing a clear picture about what the research will contribute to. This is essential to the quality and credibility of the research. By doing a review of what has been done on a topic, it becomes easier to identify clearly what the research is trying to do and to identify what the gap in the current knowledge. This is beneficial to the researcher as it will help the researcher to set a limitation to the study and by focusing on the gap the research is then able to come to a better result. With this, it can definitely save time spent in trial and error when a research is trying to do something that has been done before or to prove a theory that is already accepted. Time can also be saved when looking for methods to solve a problem when we can learn from the failure or success of others who have encountered the same problems. The review of the literature will help the researcher to become more critical and aware that everything written or done is free from any bias or hidden agenda. By being aware of the work of others, there is no chance of repeating what has been done before, and it can provide an assurance that a research is conducted sincerely to benefit the betterment of society. It is important to learn from others’ success and more importantly to learn from others’ mistakes so that it can be avoided. This will help to ensure that a particular research is conducted ethically and it will give an ease of mind for the researcher. Though it is often an overlooked task, literature review is actually an important procedure for all research and should be done with profoundness.

5. Conclusion

With the rapid growth of multimedia sources in information, it is also inevitable that there will often be information that is most effectively reviewed using different methods of analysis, such as those from a qualitative or meta-synthesis research reviewing their evidence. These are issues that will continue to be addressed in a changing research environment and should be of interest in another discussion on how best to teach and use a literature review method, and if the current understanding of literature review should be changed.

An evidence-based literature review carried out for the purpose of medical research will have information that is considered the most credible, but there may only be limited access to print copies of the journals in which this information is contained. In this situation, there will often be the need to change the traditional approach to a literature review and employ specific search and acquisition methods. A discussion of what needs exactly to be searched and evaluated could be helpful to those who have never used or formulated a literature review in this sense.

In conclusion, the emphasis on the process of literature review, the effective use of library resources, and the skills of critical evaluation can all be integrated throughout the education of professional and research students, effectively improving their research and writing. While it is clear that literature review is an important aspect of research, the limitations of a traditional literature review should be acknowledged. The coming of the internet has made an abundance of information easily accessible to all. Though there is high-quality information that was once available only in the form of printed material, there are informational sources that are outdated or inaccurate. This confuses the issue of what is worthy of being included in a final literature review and what does not merit an analysis due to lack of credibility.

The present essay has acknowledged that the literature review is an essential and integral part of research today. The need for a high-quality literature review has increased, as the amount of published research has grown exponentially. The emphasis on the process of literature review, searching and evaluating the literature, resulting in a final literature review, is something that all students should adopt. In an age where information is the most valuable commodity, research is only as good as the information it is based on. This essay has shown the importance of literature review, its evidence that no research is complete without a final product of a literature review. It has also discussed the ways in which a teacher can use a literature review assignment as a scaffold for their students to learn the process of research and critical evaluation. This should lead to the adoption of literature review activities in the classroom, particularly at the upper levels.

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