How to write a literature review for a research study

Literature review outline

This section differs slightly between reviews which are part of research articles and narrative reviews. It must relate to your study. The critical evaluation of each work should consider: Provenance -- what are the author's credentials? A methodological scope will influence either the types of documents in the review or the way in which these documents are discussed. What types of sources should I review books, journal articles, websites; scholarly versus popular sources? It is essential to check that you have constructed your synthesis well, and with sufficient supporting evidence. Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported. Selection Methods: the criteria you used to select and perhaps exclude sources in your literature review. The contents of a literature review are determined by many factors, including its precise purpose in the document, the degree of consensus with a given theory or tension between competing theories, the length of the article, the amount of previous studies existing in the given field, etc.

What's next? Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using.

how to write a literature review for a research study

Why do I need a literature review? Use Caution When Paraphrasing When paraphrasing a source that is not your own, be sure to represent the author's information or opinions accurately and in your own words.

Literature review introduction

How might your research add to this understanding, or challenge existing theories and beliefs? Plagiarism Plagiarism is regarded as a serious offence by all Universities, and you need to make sure that you do not, even accidentally, commit plagiarism. Types of Literature Reviews It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers. But how is a literature review different from an academic research paper? A good strategy is to begin by searching the HOMER catalog for books about the topic and review the table of contents for chapters that focuses on specific issues. Is this article helpful? Let's say you want to see how the division of household labor affects the level of satisfaction that a person has with their partner. Read and evaluate the sources and to determine their suitability to the understanding of topic at hand see the Evaluating sources section. For example, weave references to other sources into what you are writing but maintain your own voice by starting and ending the paragraph with your own ideas and wording. Some of those differences may actually lead you to change your plans. Should you summarize, synthesize, or critique your sources by discussing a common theme or issue? It is therefore probably worth allocating some time to sitting in the library, with issues from the last year or two of the most relevant journals for your research topic, and reviewing them for anything of relevance. You've probably been to the library and looked up sociology journals by now. This makes you wonder about American whaling methods during the time portrayed in Moby Dick, so you find some academic articles published in the last five years on how accurately Herman Melville portrayed the whaling scene in his novel. Not all research articles contain an explicit review of the literature, but many do, whether it is a discrete section or indistinguishable from the rest of the Introduction.

But how is a literature review different from an academic research paper? It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.

sample literature review for research paper

It is important to keep the focus on your study, rather than on the literature Wellington For example, check out the books assigned for the deviance or juvenile delinquency courses. Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.

What is literature review in research methodology

Or you may be operationalizing some of your variables differently. And a review does not necessarily mean that your reader wants you to give your personal opinion on whether or not you liked these sources. To help you do this, you will need to establish a structure to work to. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach. Literature Reviews Introducing Research Articles The literature review found at the beginning of a journal article is used to introduce research related to the specific study and is found in the Introduction section, usually near the end. A literature review in this sense is just like any other academic research paper. Systematic reviews On the other hand, systematic reviews follow a well-planned methodology to qualitatively or quantitatively analyze a defined number of studies. The direst time estimates will allow for a couple of assessments. Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies. Clear categorization of sources selected into those in support of your particular position, those opposed, and those offering completely different arguments. If you are required to record and present your search strategy, you may be able to include the technical details of the search strategy as an appendix to your thesis. Structure and Writing Style I.

The bibliography or reference section of sources you've already read are also excellent entry points into your own research. By Publication Order your sources by publication chronology, then, only if the order demonstrates a more important trend.

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Doing a literature review