Reading and writing literature review

This handout will explain what literature reviews are and offer insights into the form and construction of literature reviews in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. 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. A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.
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Literature Review Examples

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The Importance Of Literature Reviews In Academic Writing |

In essence, a literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research. It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic. In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap i. However, your literature review does not need to be inclusive of every article and book that has been written on your topic because that will be too broad. Rather, it should include the key sources related to the main debates, trends and gaps in your research area. A review of literature presents much more than a summary of relevant sources. The act of reviewing involves evaluating individual sources as well as synthesising these sources in order to gain a broad view of the field.
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How to Write a Literature Review

The literature review chapter of your dissertation or thesis is where you synthesise this prior work and lay the foundation for your own research. So, what exactly is the purpose of the literature review process? There are at least four core functions:. Importantly, you must complete steps one and two before you start writing up your chapter.
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A literature review summarizes and synthesizes the existing scholarly research on a particular topic. Literature reviews are a form of academic writing commonly used in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. However, unlike research papers, which establish new arguments and make original contributions, literature reviews organize and present existing research. As a student or academic, you might produce a literature review as a standalone paper or as a portion of a larger research project. In order to understand literature reviews, it's best to first understand what they are not.
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