Monday, November 14, 2011

More about Literature Review

Literature Review can be described as 'identifying, evaluating and critically assessing' what has been published on your chosen topic of research. It helps get a deeper understanding of previous research relevant to the topic. Plus allows you to understand how literature has been developed. 

Some key questions one may ask to help critically review an article include:
  1. What is the main topic under review?
  2. What are the results?
  3. What methodology has the author used? Is it appropriate?
  4. What are the main issues raised by the author?
  5. To what extent do the findings echo existing studies?
  6. What questions are raised?
  7. Is the article fair / biased?
  8. How does the article relate to your own views?
  9. Does the article display a contemprary view or are the findings / sources dated?
  10. What are your own conclusions about the literature?
Structure of a Literature Review (with Introduction, Body & Conclusion):
  1. Include basic definitions
  2. Discuss why the subject is of interest
  3. Discuss what research has already been undertaken on the topic, and whether there is any research on aspects of the topic that needs to be investigated? 
  4. Provide a clear summary of the research opportunities and objectives that emerge from the literature review.
What makes a good Literature Review?
  1. Read a few good, relevant reviews
  2. Write critical annotations as you go
  3. Develop a structure
  4. Write purposefully
  5. Use the literature to back up your arguments
  6. Make doing the literature review an ongoing process
  7. Get plenty of feedback
  8. Be prepared to redraft.

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