whats a literature review

whats a literature review

Importance of Literature Review in Research

1. Introduction

In the present business climate, with intense competition and an increasing need for new knowledge, researchers are becoming immensely aware of the importance of literature review in enriching their knowledge base to carry on with a research project. In the beginning of any research project, it is worth noting that the researcher needs to gather information which is relevant or related to the topic under study. This involves a comprehensive investigation into the prior researches of the chosen topic. Literature review is a must for this, as this is where the researcher can prove that he is well informed about the topic and make a point by comparing his work with the prior work by others. There is also a need to complete a good literature review that will fit in to the aims and objectives of the study, as this will provide a firm base for a comprehensive research later on. In the fast moving world of today, many researches are abandoned, as there is a feeling among the researchers that someone has done similar research, although this might not be the case in reality. Completing a comprehensive literature review will provide a clear idea to the researcher about the kind of research that has already taken place, what are the areas where further research is required and, the point where there is already enough evidence.

2. Purpose of a Literature Review

A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organized. This means that you will not just simply list your sources and go into detail about each one of them, one at a time. As you read widely but selectively in your topic area, consider instead what themes or issues connect your sources together. Do they present one or different solutions? Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? How well do they present the material and do they portray it according to an appropriate theory? Do they reveal a trend in the field? A raging debate? See if you can use articles you liked as a model. How do they organize the material? Still more, a literature review can serve as an introduction to a study, as preparation for the audience. This varies from one source to another, more from a project to a project. Still it is possible that all of the available research with the specifications of the study may not be that feasible for any of the researcher. Lot of research work especially in social sciences simply serve as an indicator to what has already been done. It is important in this context that the research work undertaken must be innovative in some context. There is no point in replicating an existing study. A good literature review would try to ensure that it makes the best use of information available on a particular subject, by making an attempt to carry out a new interpretation of it. This will definitely be a good sign for the research work undertaken.

3. Steps to Conduct a Literature Review

Understanding the need to collect and examine all available information on a topic, in order to make informed judgments on a topic, this initial step is crucial in weeding out duplicative research and additional or irrelevant studies. The tool that is going to be used is a literature search. This is a well-planned search for all available work relating to the focused topic. This generates large amounts of raw material. This material will then be sorted for relevance and used to create a summary of the available information, this is called a literature review, an element found in just about all scientific research. In the past, this has been done with index cards. In modern times, computer databases and reference software are more commonly used. No matter what method you choose to use, it is important to make sure to keep detailed records of your searches and your findings. This will ensure you can effectively manage your information. Ideally, this search is conducted as soon as the topic is chosen in order to allow for a sufficient amount of time to find and read all available work. If research has already been conducted on a topic, there may be little new information available and it may be a waste of time to do an extensive literature search. As research never goes exactly as planned, it is not uncommon for a researcher to do a literature search at multiple times throughout a study, possibly even altering the study topic based on new information that is found.

4. Benefits of Conducting a Literature Review

– Literature review can be beneficial in: a. Pinpointing what has been done in your field and what has not been done – useful if you have a methodological or are trying to be the first in your field to resolve an issue presented in the literature. b. Distinguishing what issues in your field seem to recur – identifying these can help you anticipate potential problems in your own work. c. Discovering a theory that might be useful in another field. d. Finding experts in your field of study. By knowing these experts it can be beneficial if you run into a particular problem and need a little guidance to get back on track. e. Providing a historical perspective on the field you are studying which can help you further understand your own work. f. Meeting a requirement for the degree being sought. This is self-explanatory; if you are an undergraduate you have to start somewhere, and it can be here. g. Providing the written document produced after the degree is obtained. You never know when some of the information in the literature review might come in handy in the future.

5. Conclusion

Coming back to the more specific of research methodology, in academic context it will strive to create a research theory that is valid and reliable for specifics behaviour using operationalisation from one or more variable into a relationship test that is held true. This is one of the principles of a behavioural science knows of his great debt to natural science has become popular until now.

Due to limitations in this mastery of methodology, then sometimes there are some of scientist that does not understand that the more a knowledge and theory in a science is true, it is getting closer to the empirical reality. This is a challenge in natural science research for understanding of methodology, because methodology can be said as the knowledge of ways to know knowledge and theory in a discipline. And the closer a knowledge with the empirical reality, it will be better for supporting a theory to be used as a guide for an action in a case.

The historical context of the supporting discipline of research methodology, which is a scientific research in natural science that developed vastly after the second world war (Wooton, 1979), has made research methodology important to be understood and learned by scientists. This is because as knowledge cannot be separated from the history where time is always changing, therefore a methodology to get knowledge must also be dynamic and always develop according to the era. And by understanding and learning methodology, it will shape a paradigm in understanding science for scientists itself. This is in line with the paradigm that now almost all of natural scientist is always looking for an analytic knowledge that is objective and true.

In conclusion, in each of the research concepts that have been considered in this paper, the historical development in the talk has been similar. That is, research methodology and literature review in research will be discussed with the same development, and it can be seen at very clearest within the two research concepts.

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