Literature review as a writing research method

Want to learn what a literature review is and how you can use it as a research method? This is what we are here for. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about writing the perfect literature review.

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Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is a literature review?

Well, simply put, a literature review is the survey and reading of the sources and data available on a specific topic. It gives an overview of the existing knowledge and helps you understand how much work has been done in the field before your research. 

By learning this, you can identify the gaps in the existing work and research and give a direction to your own work and research. When you are writing literature reviews, you need to find relevant sources such as books, journals, articles, relevant literature, etc., and then critically analyze them. Once you have done that, you can critically analyze the data that you found.

An excellent literature review does not only summarize the sources. On the contrary, it analyzes and critically evaluates the findings to present a clear picture of the current state of information available on the subject. It lays down the basis for future research in an enticing and alluring manner.

How to write a great literature review

To write a great literature review, you have started from the beginning. If you are writing a literature review as a section of a research paper, you will look for data relevant to the research question. Even if the literature review is a stand-alone task, you will have to begin with the collection of data.

Search the relevant sources such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, etc., and collect relevant details. Once you have selected the publications, studies, and data, go through them thoroughly and highlight the relevant details. Keep track of your sources and take the help of online citation generators to quickly create citations and bibliography without wasting time. 

Next thing is to organize the literature review and give structure to your arguments. There are online professional services such as Paperell that will help you structure your literature review. Wondering how to structure the work as I write my literature review? The simplest way is to create a chronological order and list things according to their time of occurrence. 

If you have discovered some recurring themes in the research work, you can organize and structure your systematic review around that as well.

Why should you write a literature review

Whenever you write a research paper, thesis, or dissertation, you need to write a literature review. Wondering what is the need for an excellent literature review? Well, to find the place of your research amongst the existing knowledge, you need to write a literature review.

A good literature review demonstrates your familiarity with the scholarly context of the topic. Moreover, it helps to develop a methodology and theoretical framework for your research work. You will be able to position yourself and your work in relation to the other theorists and researchers. 

With the help of your literature review, you can show the readers how your research will address the gap in the existing knowledge or will contribute to the existing debate. If you have to write a literature review as a stand-alone task instead of as a part of your research papers, dissertations, etc. you can do that as well.

In this case, you will have to evaluate the existing state of research. Moreover, you will also have to demonstrate your knowledge of the debates that exist around a particular topic. In both cases, the literature review will look slightly different but will have the same function.

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Final Word

Whether you are writing the literature review as a standalone assignment or as a part of your research, it holds a lot of importance. A quality, well-rounded literature review tells your readers that you have excellent research and writing skills. This will end up with you getting good grades as well as praise and appreciation from your teachers and peers!

Happy Research Writing, Folks!

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