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Literature review: What is literature review

This guide explains and shows best practices and steps for developing, managing, and completing literature reviews. Different kinds of literature reviews are completed for a variety of projects including class papers, articles, grants, and thesis.

Definition

What does review of literature mean?

Literature review is what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. The literature review is more often part of the introduction of the research report, or thesis.

The purpose of writing review of the literature is to convey to your readers what knowledge and ideas have been established on the topic. 

The literature review must be defined by the research objective, the problem or issue being discussed...etc.

Writing a literature review will let you gain two important skills: 

Information seeking: The ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books.

Critical appraisal: The ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.

The most challenging tasks in writing the literature review is to decide what to include and what to exclude. To write a good literature review you need to focus on two important things:

1- You should have a clear idea about your topic, your research questions, and the concepts included in your inquiry.

2- You should carefully go through the abstracts and outlines of each reference and select the ones you need to include in your literature review.

How to select your literature review from other studies:

1- choose studies with similar research questions.

2- studies that have similar theoretical approach as your study.

3- studies testing the same variables.

4- studies on the same issue but with different target population.

5- more frequently cited studies on your topic.

 

 

 

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