What is a Literature Review?
A literature review is a systematic analysis and summary of the published academic writings directly relating to your topic of research. It should provide the reader with background information on your topic, and explain the significance of your research, and how your research relates to the rest of the academic publications on the topic.
This section will guide you on what a literature review is and is not, why you need a literature review, and how you should go about getting started with your literature review.
Be sure to check out the below links with more details on how to evaluate the sources for your literature review as well as the usage of grey literature in your literature review!
Take note that a literature review forms the basis and provides background information about your research - some common mistakes students make is when they write a literature review that fails to meet its purpose.
Your literature review should NOT be an annotated bibliography, where you list and summarize a number of articles or academic works about your research topic. The literature review should identify important academic developments of your topic, and analyze them, so as to situate your own research in this background.
Your literature review should also NOT provide only a biased view, where you only choose articles that support your findings. Remember that a literature review needs to provide a picture of how the academic debate surrounding your research topic as developed, as well as areas that are being debated, so that you can position your research within the context of the wider academic discussion.
Four major steps:
Research is not done in a vacuum or in isolation.
It has to be positioned into the existing scholarly work.
The researcher needs to know what has already been covered in his/her field of research, like:
Purpose of literature review
Literature review is an essential entity in research and is a part of: