How To Write The Literature Review

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.In short, a literature review shows readers where the reviewer is entering the academic conversation on a particular topic in the context of existing scholarship.

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Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.g., educational reform; immigration control], argumentative approaches to analyzing the literature can be a legitimate and important form of discourse.

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].

If you have to write an undergraduate dissertation, you may be required to begin by writing a literature review.

A literature review is a search and evaluation of the available literature in your given subject or chosen topic area.

The writer then analyzes the points these studies have made and determines how each has addressed the question(s).

How To Write The Literature Review

Finally, the writer synthesizes (brings together) information from the other studies as evidence for each of the points that s/he is going to make.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.VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.VCU University College Writing Center Many patrons who find this guide have experience with research.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.Some people, though, find it when they are just starting out as students at VCU.If that describes you, the following guides may be helpful.A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources that provides an overview of a particular topic.Literature reviews are a collection of the most relevant and significant publications regarding that topic in order to provide a comprehensive look at what has been said on the topic and by whom.

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