Published on February 22, by Shona McCombes. Revised on November 30, A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methodsand gaps in the existing research.
Writing a literature review involves finding relevant publications such as books and journal articlescritically analyzing them, and explaining what you found. There are five key steps:. Table of contents Why write a literature review?
When you write a thesis, dissertationor research paperyou will have to conduct a literature review to situate your research within existing knowledge. The literature review gives you a chance to:. You might also have to write a literature review as a stand-alone assignment. In this case, the purpose is to evaluate the current state of research and demonstrate your knowledge of scholarly debates around a topic.Spanish courses columbia university pa program
The content will look slightly different in each case, but the process of conducting a literature review follows the same steps. Before you begin searching for literature, you need a clearly defined topic. If you are writing the literature review section of a dissertation or research paper, you will search for literature related to your research problem and questions.
If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search. Unlike a dissertation research question, this question has to be answerable without collecting original data.
You should be able to answer it based only on a review of existing publications. Start by creating a list of keywords related to your research question. You can add to this list if you discover new keywords in the process of your literature search. Use your keywords to begin searching for sources. Some useful databases to search for journals and articles include:. Read the abstract to find out whether an article is relevant to your question.
When you find a useful book or article, you can check the bibliography to find other relevant sources. To identify the most important publications on your topic, take note of recurring citations. If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out.
Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words and awkward phrasing.
The importance of Literature Review in Research Writing
See editing example. Make sure the sources you use are credibleand make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research. You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar — a high citation count means the article has been influential in the field, and should certainly be included in your literature review. The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time.
As you read, you should also begin the writing process. Take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review. It is important to keep track of your sources with citations to avoid plagiarism. It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliographywhere you compile full citation information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process.
Want to check your literature review for plagiarism?Usually, a literature review can be described as an objective, concise, and critical summary of published research literature pertinent to the subject being researched in an article. A literature can be an end in itself an analysis of what is known about a topic or a prologue to and rationale for engaging in primary research. Organize the literature review around key topics of concepts.
Use headings or topic sentences to convey your organizational principle. Use a summary to assist the reader to relate every section to the wider topic and to clarify your argument's movement. Where have we just been and where are we heading to? When writing your literature review, place background information, for example, explanations of a theoretical model or clinical situation, at sections where it will be most helpful for your readers.
For instance, if various researchers have utilized a similar theoretical approach, define that framework before reviewing those studies. Split your literature review into segments with appropriate descriptions, following the guidelines of the documentation system you're using.
Your outline provides the basis for this division since it has already clustered studies together under headings and subheadings. Conclude each section in your review with a summary section or paragraph. The summary's length ought to reflect the length of the section.
Conclude the whole review with a summary that recaps the most important aspects and findings. This final summary is also the section where you'll make major comparisons, convey your opinion or critique the adequacy of research methods and approaches, and identify inconsistencies.
Your critique enables you to end your literature review by posing unanswered questions, proposing approaches upcoming research. If your literature review is an introduction to your study, your critique ought to support the rationale for carrying out the research. You'll then state your research question s and hypothesis. It's clear from the research reviewed that evaluative commentary is widely practiced all through composition programs in universities today.
Together with this, it's also evident that the field of composition studies in regards to the kinds of commentary that students get on their writing is varied and continues to be examined and analyzed to benefit both composition students and the society at large.
Moreover, corrective vs. Assuming that you want to compose a literature review concerning the efficiency of short-term group therapy in lowering depression amongst residents of a nursing home. You've now done research and compiled a list of the areas covered by your research:. The outline moves from general to specific. As you proceed down the outline, you'll deal with the material in rising depth, just as the significance of the information to your project rises.
Look at how the following literature review example apa impacts readability: sentence strength, focus, placement of citation, active vs. Motivation entails various expectations Snappe, ; Krkel, A large study done by Amundson examined the beliefs people entering literacy programs, particularly outcome expectations and self-efficacy regardless of obstacles. Paapeand in a follow-up project Johnsonexamined resistance to motivational efforts or the tendency to overlook information about an issue that's difficult to acknowledge.
A literacy promotion program needs to overcome the inclination to minimize the problem and to assist people to believe. Individuals need to be motivated to make such a decision Smith, ; Jones, ; Brown, Motivation involves at least two types of expectations Snappe, Krakel, One must believe that literacy will positively affect one's life outcome expectations and also one can succeed in the effort to learn new skills regardless of obstacles Amunon, Other research reveals that when the problem isn't easy to acknowledge, people tend to overlook information about, that is, to resist motivational efforts 9Paape, ; Johnson, All these findings suggest that a literacy promotion program needs to overcome the tendency to minimize the problem and to assist people to believe.
Literature Reviews: Introduction
Comparing the above literature review example paragraphs ought to demonstrate how some rhetorical choices impact readability and clarity. Use headings and topic sentences to inform readers what the subject is and what point the material is contributing to the discussion. Do not just point to the existence of literature on the topic; compose about methods or results in the studies you discuss.If you are a student from another school, you are welcome to peruse the guide, using the links above, but please know that our librarians can only provide general help to non-BU students.
Contact the librarians at your own institution for help in using the resources available to you. A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research.
The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you the author determine the nature of your research.
The literature review acknowledges the work of previous researchers, and in so doing, assures the reader that your work has been well conceived. It is assumed that by mentioning a previous work in the field of study, that the author has read, evaluated, and assimiliated that work into the work at hand.
This landscape informs the reader that the author has indeed assimilated all or the vast majority of previous, significant works in the field into her or his research. The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept eg. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries. Renew Books Online. Suggestion Box. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older.
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If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. Search Website Search. Literature Review What is a literature review, what is its purpose, and how to do it.
What is a literature review? What is its purpose? How to do it! Toggle Dropdown 1. Selecting your topic 2. Setting the topic in context 3. Looking at information sources 4. Using information sources 5. Getting the information 6. Organizing information information management 7. Positioning the literature review 8.Skill summary resume teen resume
Writing the literature review Tips Resources About this guide This research guide was developed for students at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Definition A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. Machi; Brenda T.
Systematic Reviews: the process: Home
M33 3rd floor. Report a problem. Tags: andruss library tutorialreview of literature.There are many types of literature review and the following types of literature review are the most popular in business studies:. Narrative literature review critiques the literature and summarizes the body of a literature. Narrative review also draws conclusions about the topic and identifies gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge. You need to have a sufficiently focused research question to conduct a narrative literature review.
Systematic literature review requires more rigorous and well-defined approach compared to most other types of literature review. Systematic literature review is comprehensive and details the timeframe within which the literature was selected.
Systematic literature review can be divided into two categories: meta-analysis and meta-synthesis.
When you conduct meta-analysis you take findings from several studies on the same subject and analyze these using standardized statistical procedures. In meta-analysis patterns and relationships are detected and conclusions are drawn.
Meta-analysis is associated with deductive research approach.Purchasing a comparison contrast essay
Meta-synthesis, on the other hand, is based on non-statistical techniques. This technique integrates, evaluates and interprets findings of multiple qualitative research studies. Meta-synthesis literature review is conducted usually when following inductive research approach.
Argumentative literature reviewas the name implies, examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature. It should be noted that a potential for bias is a major shortcoming associated with argumentative literature review.
Integrative literature review reviewscritiques, and synthesizes secondary data about research topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated. If your research does not involve primary data collection and data analysis, then using integrative literature review will be your only option.Are you taking advantage of every opportunity in life
Theoretical literature review focuses on a pool of theory that has accumulated in regard to an issue, concept, theory, phenomena. Theoretical literature reviews play an instrumental role in establishing what theories already exist, the relationships between them, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated, and to develop new hypotheses to be tested.
At the earlier parts of the literature review chapter, you need to specify the type of your literature review and provide reasons for your choice. Your choice of a specific type of literature review should be based upon your research area, research problem and research methods.
Also, you can briefly discuss other most popular types of literature review mentioned above.A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated. Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study.
Fink, Arlene. Fourth edition. A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories.
A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem. The analytical features of a literature review might:. The purpose of a literature review is to:. It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers. First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish.
Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies.Mexican american war for kids
Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field.
In composing a literature review, it is important to note that it is often this third layer of knowledge that is cited as "true" even though it often has only a loose relationship to the primary studies and secondary literature reviews.
Given this, while literature reviews are designed to provide an overview and synthesis of pertinent sources you have explored, there are a number of approaches you could adopt depending upon the type of analysis underpinning your study.
Types of Literature Reviews. Argumentative Review This form examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature. The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint. Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e. However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].
Integrative Review Considered a form of research that reviews, critiques, and synthesizes representative literature on a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated.
The body of literature includes all studies that address related or identical hypotheses or research problems. A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication.
This is the most common form of review in the social sciences. Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent. Historical literature reviews focus on examining research throughout a period of time, often starting with the first time an issue, concept, theory, phenomena emerged in the literature, then tracing its evolution within the scholarship of a discipline.
The purpose is to place research in a historical context to show familiarity with state-of-the-art developments and to identify the likely directions for future research.
Methodological Review A review does not always focus on what someone said [findings], but how they came about saying what they say [method of analysis]. Reviewing methods of analysis provides a framework of understanding at different levels [i. This approach helps highlight ethical issues which you should be aware of and consider as you go through your own study.
Systematic Review This form consists of an overview of existing evidence pertinent to a clearly formulated research question, which uses pre-specified and standardized methods to identify and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect, report, and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review.
The goal is to deliberately document, critically evaluate, and summarize scientifically all of the research about a clearly defined research problem. Typically it focuses on a very specific empirical question, often posed in a cause-and-effect form, such as "To what extent does A contribute to B? Theoretical Review The purpose of this form is to examine the corpus of theory that has accumulated in regard to an issue, concept, theory, phenomena.
The theoretical literature review helps to establish what theories already exist, the relationships between them, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated, and to develop new hypotheses to be tested.
Often this form is used to help establish a lack of appropriate theories or reveal that current theories are inadequate for explaining new or emerging research problems. The unit of analysis can focus on a theoretical concept or a whole theory or framework. Baumeister, Roy F. Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. Thinking About Your Literature Review.A systematic review attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.
Add us to your author team and we will design and manage complex, thorough searches in multiple databases. We will also provide you with:. Time : On average, systematic reviews require 18 months of preparation. A team: A systematic review can't be done alone! You need to work with subject experts to clarify issues related to the topic; librarians to develop comprehensive search strategies and identify appropriate databases; reviewers to screen abstracts and read the full text; a statistician who can assist with data analysis if you are doing a meta-analysis ; and a project leader to coordinate and write the final report.
A clearly defined question : Clarify the key question s of you systematic review and the rationale for each question. Use the PICO framework to identify key concepts of the question.
A written protocol : You need to write a protocol outlining the study methodology. Need help writing a protocol? See the University of Warwick's protocol template. A registered protocol : After you write the protocol, you should register it with a review registry. Registration is free and open to anyone undertaking systematic reviews. Some journals also publish systematic review protocols.
Comprehensive literature searches : First, identify systematic reviews that may address your key questions. Then, identify appropriate databases and conduct comprehensive and detailed literature searches that can be documented and duplicated. Citation management: You should have working knowledge of EndNote to help manage citations retrieved from literature searches.
Follow reporting guidelines : Use appropriate guidelines for reporting your review for publication. For more information about the nuances of conducting systematic reviews, contact your Medical Center Librarian! Librarians are available remotely Building access is restricted. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.
If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. Duke NetID Login Building Access: Restricted Library Hours. Systematic Reviews: the process: Home. What is a Systematic Review? How can the Library help? To get started: review our policies look over and complete our literature search planning form email us to set up a consultation attach the planning form to the email. What does it take to do a systematic review?
These writing exercises prepared you to take on the task of writing a formal literature review, which you may have done as an undergraduate. A literature review, or lit review, is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Often, a lit review is embedded as part of a larger essay or thesis or dissertation or it may stand on its own. Your purpose is to:.
As a piece of writing, the lit review must be defined by a guiding concept - your research objective or the problem or issues you are discussing. What the lit review is NOT is just a descriptive list of material you have found on your topic. A lit review is a piece of discursive fluid, expansive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another.
Organize your lit review into logical sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.
Systematic Reviews & Other Review Types
You will need the PowerPoint program loaded on your computer to open the file. If you open the file and the notes are not at the bottom of the slide, you might want to click on the VIEW tab and then on Notes Page icon in the Presentation Views box.
This will put the slide and the notes all on one page for easier viewing. Read, Read, Read some more. In the beginning you will need to read quite broadly on the topic or issue you are going to research so that you will have an in-depth understanding of your topic and its field. By reading broadly you will be able to identify gaps in the research, which may provide you with a niche for your own research. Extensive reading will also give you the background to prove how your research will extend or enhance the studies already done.
Your lit review must accomplish four 4 essential tasks:. To help you accomplish these tasks, here are a series of questions to ask. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.Conducting a Systematic Literature Review
If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. Definition We have all been writing essays, critiques and literature reviews since junior high. Please note that an access code to supplemental content such as Appendix C: Data Visualization is not included with the eBook purchase. To access this content please purchase an access code at www. Terry ISBN: Clinical Research for the Doctor of Nursing Practice is a user-friendly guide that offers DNP students a step-by-step method to implement clinically-based research.
Designed specifically for DNP courses, it introduces a new, streamlined approach to research.
It guides graduate students through the steps needed to complete a clinical research project by emphasizing crucial information and eliminating extraneous material. Starting the Review Read, Read, Read some more.
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