what are literature reviews

what are literature reviews

Understanding the Significance of Literature Reviews in Research

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1. Introduction to Literature Reviews

It is also worth pointing out that all students, undertaking either a post-graduate degree or even an undergraduate degree, need to write regular literature reviews. That is of course when the horror begins. The most commonly written literature reviews are APA literature reviews, whose major purpose is to provide a critique of what has been published. That is why these college students usually have no experience in conducting and writing comprehensive literature reviews. If you are one, then you know how stressful this fact often is. However, during the last years of course, the significance of academic writing is again put under question. But before you feel too bad, remember both your professors and which literature review type you are writing.

As an area of research, a literature review is something all students encounter sooner or later. Essentially, it represents a survey of scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference abstracts, or any other written material. Like many other types of research, it is an often-undertaken and often-underappreciated part of the research process. However, no matter how misconceived a literature review might be, it is still the most important route for finding out what is already known about a given topic before asking the “new question”. It is the most important question that every step of the research process is designed to answer. Before you begin your literature review, one obvious question comes to mind: how many references should I include? The answer is not simple, but depending on your academic level of study, contents of the research, duration, and academic level of study, your recommended number of references will vary.

2. Purpose and Importance of Literature Reviews

The review need not be exhaustive; the objective is not to list as many relevant books, articles, reports as possible. The idea of the review should be to interpret the literature in terms of what is known and what is not known. You interpret the literature in the light of the research questions you have posed. In the case of a postgraduate’s review, the purpose is to reflect that the student is able to determine key theories, concepts, and models associated with the subject topic or problem. You will also develop and use the language associated with your area. The review enables you to have an understanding and working knowledge of the topic and be able to show why your research will add to the body of existing knowledge.

At postgraduate level, literature reviews can be incorporated into an article, a research report or thesis. At undergraduate level, literature reviews can be a separate stand-alone assessment. The literature review is generally in the format of a standard essay made up of three components: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It is not a list like an annotated bibliography in which a summary of each source is listed one by one. At postgraduate level, literature reviews can be incorporated into an article, a research report, or thesis. At undergraduate level, literature reviews can be a separate stand-alone assessment.

3. Types of Literature Reviews

One more reason why one should regard literature review as significant is because it can be linked to the methodology followed by the researchers. There are several kinds of literature reviews here under consideration; however, the following are the kinds that hold light and are possibly the easiest kinds of surveys to undertake. This kind of survey is written while keeping the research question in mind or will prove to be beneficial if your research question is not baked properly. The report will not have a lot of complications when it comes to bringing different kinds of literature together. It may also be filled with structures or techniques that are regular content, if the structure is guide-oriented. This structure will help you set right your objectives easily and quickly as well.

The importance and significance of a literature review cannot be undermined by the writer and researchers. It is a significant component of a thesis or a dissertation that is the device allowing you for further research and outlining the intellectual methods. The nature of the literature review increases significantly when it comes down to explorative research. Here, it is significant that the literature review itself provides solid ground and basis for the research. This is because the nature of this kind of research that is disruptive and innovative in nature, keeping in mind the methodology is also different, as this mode of study occurs at the basic level of knowledge generation itself.

4. Strategies for Conducting a Literature Review

2. Research your academic organization agreements to gain free entry to journals. If you would like to read articles in paid access journals, check if you qualify for free access through your academic institution or publisher-membership agreements. Many nations have consortiums that pay subscriptions to publish content encrypted in specific databases and portals. Others enable their authors or others to digitally store content published in paid journals for “green access,” which implies that you can upload a final manuscript, such as an acknowledged report after publication. Obtain pertinent details from the library and review it to ensure that you are compliant with the necessary criteria. If the content you require is still encrypted, refer the author. They may disclose an unresolved edition of their story on their websites or repositories, either described or encore, or agree to express a copy after being delivered a preprint version of a third publication. If you submit an inquiry, take care to follow academic norms and be polite.

1. Use a citation management system to ensure that bypassers are not forgotten. Citation management systems are useful to organize citations, retrieve articles, and prepare a review. Use bibliographies and reference lists to identify additional sources. It is easier to avoid overlooking essential articles when the search is continuously updated because the task of revisiting the work of particular authors is included in such systems. A divergence of attitudes may appear obscure reproduced using the citation function of search tools or academic databases. Researchers can fine-tune a search logs that are applied to acquire extinction policies for the research, such as when the search was completed and how terms have been used, to allow encouragement and increase the transparency of research methods. This method additionally helps researchers in evaluating the search.

5. Best Practices and Common Pitfalls in Literature Reviews

Firstly, it is important to discuss what needs to be avoided in creating a literature review. The author’s personal viewpoint cannot and should not determine what is ‘right’. The task is to report the findings of previous researchers rather than to make claims. The literature review must not be hasty. Minimum standards of excellence exist in producing a literature review, for example, the number of scholarly sources that it integrates is important as is correct citation of sources. Data should not be damned with sparse citation. The decision to exclude studies from a review is a crucial one. A literature review must not become divorced from the aim of the author’s paper. The point of the literature review should reflect the point of the paper as a whole. Its methodological quality matters. It has to be much more than a summary of what others have commented on in your sub-discipline. Writing needs to be at a high standard, given minimum acceptable levels of language are higher in the literature review as information written needs to be accurate.

When dealing with a review of the literature, whether for academia or for policy products, there is an extensive array of best practices that need to be embedded into the conduct of the review. By the same token, there are some common pitfalls that the would-be author of a review must be particularly careful to avoid. It is important to recognize that performing a literature review does not simply come down to identifying all of the literature related to a topic and then summarizing it. A literature review needs to create focal points that examine, compare, and clarify in one location the main debates, claims, and results from the key research that should inform what the literature review author argues. The best literature reviews are more than merely summaries of all of the literature on the topic of concern. These working papers touch on the issue of focal points in literature reviews. They will be built on in the remainder of the Insight Series.

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