literature review introduction example

literature review introduction example

The Importance of Literature Reviews in Academic Research

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1. Introduction to Literature Reviews

Literature review is widely considered by academics and researchers to be the most important part of your research/production. Some universities are now offering their students training and modules on conducting a proper literature review, understanding the importance of it to their own research. It’s because the literature review allows you to engage in the scholarly conversation and contribute to it within your own work. It brings a wide range of knowledge and frames the problem within which your work will be conducted. This allows you to position and problematize your own research/production in a unique manner. One beloved author on the subject of the literature review said that (paraphrase) “the literature review is an argument with many voices in dialogue.” This is a good way of looking at the literature review itself – it is not just a summarization of the existing research, but taking a summary of the existing research and evaluating it. This is also how you contribute, as you are taking the resources from others while making a statement that their information is in some way inadequate. This is not to denounce the existing research, but to suggest that you can do better. This is all done through the evaluation of data, objective reasoning, and persuasive argument.

2. Benefits of Conducting Literature Reviews

Making references to other studies is, in itself, an important process which is beneficial to both the original researcher and the reader. Building on research done by others through citation is a way to strengthen a specific point in science. It shows that the point you are making is supported by data and is not just an insignificant claim. This has the benefit of increasing the likelihood of funding as well as not being criticized for a lack of evidence. This is a significant practice in medicine and it is also very relevant to present-day psychology. It is also necessary to critically evaluate your resources; with such a large amount of information readily available today, it’s imperative that with the review of scientific papers, you become an active evaluator of what you are reading – not just a consumer.

Writing literature reviews has continued to be one of the most essential contributions to scientific advancement. A good literature review should avoid a simple summary of information or general explanations, and it should take the reader through other researchers’ experimental processes and results. Thus, it should present it in a style that creates a clearer understanding of the research done, as well as compares changes in statistical interruptions. This is what makes psychology a science. This, in turn, has sparked a transition in research from a dull recitation of detached facts to a clearer application of the results.

3. Steps to Conduct an Effective Literature Review

Step two involves reading articles. This step is crucial to your understanding of the topic. If you do not comprehend your topic or the articles that you are reading, then your power to critique the article in relevance to your topic is hindered. Now that you have it, this may be the point of time that you really wished you chose a different topic, being that reading a lot of articles on the same topic can be somewhat tedious. Don’t feel the need to read every article from start to finish and don’t feel like you must understand it all. Keep a folder with critical articles and notes and persist to build your comprehension of the topic. Build a clarifying conceptual and modify according to the new information you have acquired.

Step one is to begin collecting articles. Begin with the ITT Tech Virtual Library. You will likely be less frustrated conducting the literature review if your library’s resources help narrow your search from the beginning. Otherwise, ask the librarian to guide you towards resources. If you have difficulties finding resources then try consulting with others on the topic. Searching the internet may be easy and help find many articles, but the library will have the ability to help distinguish reputable sources from not. Email articles to yourself or notes on where to find the article along with photocopying articles, never hurts. Always get more articles than you need.

Looking to conduct an effective literature review? A literature review is completely different compared to annotating articles. The goal of the literature review is to learn what is already published about your topic and what other scholars/educators are saying about the topic, critique the scholar, and then build a blueprint of your work. On the other hand, the purpose of annotating articles is to familiarize you with the content and theories within your identified area of interest. For this particular assignment, you will be using the same articles for both your annotation and literature review here.

4. Common Challenges in Literature Reviews

In a recent article, Sonja Foss and William Walters (1992) astutely observed that one of the problems of doing qualitative research in the professional field is that it imposes a set of standards that is antithetical to the assumptions that underlie their research approaches. They further argue that the research efforts of these propositional scholars would be better supported if would-be consumers of research products were better able to differentiate the good from the weak in terms of the results of the various research approaches, and if standards of quality and usefulness for each type of research report were better established. Although this criticism is not specific to literature reviews, the implications for this field are very pertinent. During research or professional projects in the earlier TD & R era, it is often the case that funding has been found to hire consultants to gather information in the most expedient way possible. Despite a substantial increase in the number of funded research studies and a multiplication of the types of investigations and researchers in the parks and recreation field, academic programs in this area have not expanded at a rate commensurate to the professional field. This has resulted in an increasingly common option for hiring outside researchers and research assistants to conduct any type of investigation and at any level. With the exception of the most formal process evaluations and experimental studies, it is likely that several of the investigations in the park and recreation research field would be best studied in the way demonstrated by the cases of Hagy and DiStefano (1974) and Edsall and Coakley (1993).

5. Conclusion

It is clear to see that despite its faults and varying opinions about what they entail, literature reviews are a stand-alone piece of academic work and an essential component of every academic research endeavour. As such, we can say that reviews are their own type of research method. The skills that students develop as they go about it, learning how to search databases, critically appraise information sources, synthesise what is known and move towards what is unknown, are all competencies required of a skilled researcher in any discipline. The knowledge that a thorough review will provide a good platform for a study to launch from will ensure no repetition of others’ work, means that there should always be a place for the literature review in the academic research enterprise. The body of works presented in this paper have served the demeanor of a literature review discussing the advantages and disadvantages of literature reviews! Whilst our writing may not be as groundbreaking, we feel that our no frills approach which allows the clarity of the issue to shine through, adds strength to the argument that reviews do indeed have a place in literature!

In conclusion, the overall importance of literature reviews to academic research can be summarised in the statement that they are an integral component of academic research methodology. They are a vital part of the research process and assist in establishing a theoretical framework and supporting or developing research questions. The information contained within the review will then enable the selection of a suitable research methodology and design in order to go about answering the questions and testing the hypothesis. The literature review will also identify where there have been gaps or inconsistencies and provide possible explanations and solutions. This serves to provide the transition between what the current knowledge is and what the present study aims to establish. The discussion above has tried to show the link between the literature review and other stages of academic research. It has highlighted the significance of undertaking reviews from both a general sense of adding to the overall knowledge base and also from a more specific angle of how it helps one particular piece of research.

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