Literature Review

Literature Review

Lesson 2 – Procedure in Review Literature

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.  In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader the knowledge and ideas that have been established on a topic, and their strengths and weaknesses. The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept like your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, but the literature review must be, organized around and related directly to the thesis or research questions you are developing.

Reasons for Literature review

  • To understand various aspects and slope of the research thoroughly
  • To study the researches which have been done before the current research
  • To decide better hypothesis, objectives, methodology of the research
  • To have a proof on the part of the investigator to show that the investigator knows what type of study is done in a similar study
  • To have proper guideline to implement the current work
  • To have appropriate guideline to complete the present research
  • To provide a vast outlook regarding the subject
  • To avoid repetition of the researches done in the past
  • To broaden the researchers horizon of knowledge
  • To find out the novelty of the present research

When you review literature, use conjunctions like posited, discussed, noted, observed, opined, showed, indicated etc.

Do not use emotional words like regrettably, unfortunately, ironically, etc.

  Follow the following procedures in your literature review
  1. Choose your research area

Before you begin to search for articles or books, decide beforehand the areas you are going to research on. Make sure that you can get articles and books in those areas, even if you come across fascinating books in other areas.

  1. Search relevant literature

Conduct a comprehensive bibliographic search of books and articles of your topic. Read the abstracts online and download and/or print those articles that pertain to your area of study. Find books in the library that are relevant and check them out. Set a specific time frame for how long you will search.

  1. Find relevant excerpts in your books and articles

Peruse the contents of each book and article and look specifically for these:

  • Title and location of the study
  • Claims, conclusions, and findings about the constructs you are investigating
  • Definitions of terms
  • Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project
  • Gaps you notice in the literature
  • Disagreement about the constructs you are investigating

When you find any of these, type or photocopy the relevant excerpt. Don’t summarize, as summarizing takes longer than simply photocopying the excerpt. Make sure to note the name of the author and the page number following each excerpt. Do this for each article and book that you have in your stack of literature.

  1. Organize the literature

Now, sort the photocopies into similar topics. Use stapling machine to staple them separately. Do your best to organise this.

  1. Use relevant style to reference the authors

As you photocopy all relevant materials, remember to write the author’s name, date, title of paper, location and publisher. In science education, an institution may decide to use the APA format. Learn about this.

  1. Write your review

Decide on any part start. But you need to see how researchers are organising their study to guide you. You can learn a lot from people. Don’t forget to include the citations as you write, so as not to lose track of who said what.

Further more, when you review literature, use conjunctions like posited, discussed, noted, observed, opined, showed, indicated etc.

Do not use emotional words like regrettably, unfortunately, ironically, etc.

         Make your review a critique

      1. Criticize the research sample and population and check if inadequate
      2. Criticize the objectives of the study if not as relevant
      3. Analyse the data collection method
      4. Check the adequacy of the instrument
      5. Criticize the statistical analysis and bring out the fault
      6. Check whether the researcher is bias toward gender or a group.

Once these steps are completed, you will have a complete draft of your literature review.