What is the importance of writing a literature review?

A literature review provides an overview of the published studies in the same subject area. Start by preparing a list of articles you studied for reference and mention the names of the respective authors and publishing date. Write a summary for each paper based on your evaluation after creating the list. Emphasize the key findings and concepts defined in the related papers for better understanding. The literature review should focus on the relevance and literature gaps in the study.

The literature review is written to:

  • Provide background information
  • Provide research context
  • Address the main problem/question
  • Introduce the topic to the readers
  • Address the trending topics
  • Provide a framework
  • Analyze published papers

What is the purpose of writing a literature review?

You cannot write a literature review if the research has not been done properly. It helps the researchers get familiar with the research that has already been published.

Identify the literature gap: A literature review analyzes the papers published in a subject area. Identifying gaps in literature will help contribute to a specific research area.

Critical analysis: You need to critically analyze each paper carefully for writing a literature review. It will allow you to understand the scope and aim of the subject area.

Credible source: Acquire information from both primary and secondary sources to reach a conclusion and state how each source has contributed to your research.

Research context: Explain how your research fits into the parameters and environment set for the experiment. Defining the context is important, as it will help the target audience develop a basic understanding of your research. Provide background information to explain to the audience what made you choose that specific topic and explore an all-new domain.

Steps involved in writing a literature review 

Choose a topic: Look for the research work that has already been published for your reference after selecting a topic of your interest. Search for relevant topics using keywords.

Analysis of source: You cannot possibly read and analyze every paper written in your subject area. Read the abstracts to determine which articles match with the objectives of your research. Identify relevant sources and key concepts included in the paper. Review the theories, models, methods, and framework of each paper and categorize them.

Plan the structure: Present findings in a clear-cut format. Identify the trends and themes and establish a relationship with your topic. The structure will depend on the type of literature review you are writing.

  • In a narrative review, identify the research gap that is only possible if you have a predefined question.
  • In a chronological review, start by analyzing the patterns and developments that have occurred over time.
  • In a methodological review, you need to compare both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • In an argumentative review, you need to give your analysis and interpretation of the research arguments.
  • In a theoretical review, keep your focus on analyzing the key theories and concepts of research.

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