You are given a task to write a literature review, but you don’t know how to write. Don’t worry, here in this article you will learn how to write a literature review in just 5 simple steps.
What is a Literature Review?
Indeed, this is an important summary of what has already been researched on a topic and it could be anything from journal articles, books, magazines, or other sources. Literature is one of the significant assignments for students to know about the steps of writing.
Why Literature Review is so important?
1. To search and find out what has been known beforehand about the topic and how other researchers have proceeded to it.
2. To write your readers with a crucial overview of the existing knowledge that you have found.
3. To figure out what’s missing so that you can cooperate with something unique and original.
Writing the literature review might be easier than you think. It’s only a critical recap of what has already been researched on a topic, so no need to panic. In this article, I am going to describe how to write a literature review in 5 simple steps.
How to Write a Literature Review in 5 Easy Steps
1. Search for Related Literature on The Topic
In this text, literature just means any academic sources like journal articles or books about your topic. First, you need to find in the right scholarly databases, so something like Google Scholar, or science direct. Search your keywords to help you filter and cultivate the search results.
2. Check and Select Resources
Unless your topic is an excellent niche, you probably can’t read everything that’s been written on the topic. Once you have gotten the sources from step 1, read the summary to scan whether an article is relevant or not. Also, scan the bibliography to find other related sources. It’s good to pay attention to the citation count on Google Scholar. If the count is high, the source is probably essential and you should include it.
3. Recognize Themes, Debates, and Gaps
As you search and read, take notes, and concentrate on the connections between different sources. This way, you can arrange and your literature review’s arguments and structure a lot easier. Things to consider:
- Tendency and patterns, in theory, method, or consequences
- Discussion, Debates, or contradictions
- Influential studies
4. Draw and Outline Your Literature Review’s Structure
You can proceed to your literature review’s structure in some ways. It all depends on what you searched and found in the literature and what you want to emphasize. Here are 4 common approaches to structure the literature review.
- Chronological (Arranged in order of occurrence from older to more recent publications)
- Thematic (arranged around several key themes)
- Methodological (Compare the different search methods being used across studies)
- Theoretical (Use this to talk opposing theories or models)
5. Writing Introduction
And eventually, start writing your literature. It’s important to make sure your literature review has an introduction, the main body that summarizes and synthesizes the sources, and a conclusion, just like other academic texts.
A good literature review shows your readers that you have an in-depth grasp of your subject; and that you comprehend where your own research fits into and adds to an existing body of agreed knowledge.
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