How To Begin A Literature Review

It should be obvious fairly quickly if your initial focus is too broad—your searches will show results that are too varied in scope.

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Many schools provide resources with more specifics on how to structure a literature review, so be sure to research any resources yours may offer.

The best way to approach your literature review is to break it down into steps.

Take good notes on each source that will help you group them together later by common themes or contradictions. Keep track of your searches and results When composing a literature review, staying organized can help expedite your research and writing processes.

Make notes about what terms you’ve successfully used to search specific databases.

Remember, research is an iterative process, not a linear one. Get started with the handout below that provides an excellent overview.

Then move on to the specific steps recommended on this page. Smarthinking is an online tutoring service available through a link in Moodle.Include the following content in your Literature Review: Your transitions between ideas analyze, synthesize, and assess these outside perspectives, and do not simply summarize or translate them.Your attitude towards works that you present, either in support or against your topic, through the use of reporting verbs which allow the writer to convey clearly whether the claims in the outside work are to be taken as accepted or not.Note that your goal is more than just recapping what others have said; you’re also looking at how it all fits together and relates to the specific research question you want to address.This will help you identify differences, gaps in the research, and unanswered questions.You can use the references cited in those studies to find related sources to add to your list. Analyze your research findings The term “literature review” describes both the paper you’re writing and the process of creating it.The purpose is to review the existing research that relates to your topic, and to then synthesize what others have written on it.However, there will likely be a few items you really want to review, but can’t access as quickly.The faster you can identify the sources you need to request through holds or interlibrary loans, the more likely you’ll be able to access and review them with enough time to include them in your literature review.Ensure sources and references are current and relevant, cited appropriately according to your discipline.Present terminology and viewpoints on the topic in an unbiased and comprehensive manner.


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