Five Points to Consider when Writing Literature Review
- Writing Tips
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The role of a literature review is to discuss published information in a specific subject area and sometimes information in a particular area for a certain time period. You can make your literature review a simple summary of sources but it should have an organizational pattern combining the summary and synthesis.
1. A suitable topic
Identify a topic on a motivational subject that motivates you can enjoy researching and writing. A narrower topic is better because you can limit the sources to read for you to get a good survey of available material. Make sure that your topic is a well-researched area that several people have researched and written about to get different points of view. Ask your instructor to clarify on the number and types of sources you should include. The instructor should also confirm if you should critique or rate the sources.
Check whether your sources are current. There are some disciplines where you should use current information. Go through other current literature reviews and bibliographies in your field to find the expectations for your discipline.
2. Center of the ideas
You should organize your literature review around ideas and not just the sources. It requires you to list your sources then go into more details about each. Read widely but focus more on your topic area. Consider those issues and themes that help in connecting your sources. Look at whether:
- They present one or more solutions
- Is there a missing aspect on the field
- If the material is well presented and if it is portrayed according to proper theory
- Do issues and themes show any trend in this field or create a raging debate
Identify one theme about the organization under review and focus on it.
3. The target reader
Your literature review should let your reader anticipate what it has. Craft a simple but powerful statement that reveals your organizing principle to the reader. For instance, when you are writing about tumors, you can use a simple statement. "The current trend in treating tumors is to combine surgery and medicine. Many scholars have now accepted this practice as a significant subject for academic consideration ", is a good example. You get more attention from your reader by organizing your literature review in the best way possible.
Your literature should cover all the basic categories. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion/recommendations. Give a brief idea about the topic in the introduction, discuss material from your sources in the body and write about lessons from reviewing the literature. You can end your discussion at this point.
4. Organization pattern
Settle for an appealing organization pattern that pleases readers. You should discuss material by presenting adequate evidence. Refer to several sources when making a point. Back your interpretation about the sources with evidence proving the validity of your discussion.
If you use quotes, do it sparingly. A literature review does not have space for in-depth, discussion. It is unnecessary to use detailed quotes. You can only use short quotes to when emphasizing a point but they should be far apart.
Select the most significant points from each source for highlighting. Use the information that directly relates to the focus of your literature review. Summarize and synthesize the sources in each paragraph and through the entire review.
5. Your voice
Although you use ideas from other people, it is important that you present them in your voice to stamp your authority. Start and end paragraphs in your own words when weaving references to sources in your text. You can paraphrase a lot but make sure that information and opinion by authors is accurate.
After completing writing, revise to make sure that your literature review is perfect. Make sure that it presents the material but not an argument and that the sources clearly relate to your research problem.
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