Literature Review

Literature Review

Understanding Literature Review

  • A literature review is a detailed study of existing research articles, books, and other sources relevant to the field of your project.
  • This gives you an overview of the progress in your area of interest and strengthens your understanding of the field.
  • It’s a crucial part of any investigative project because it sets the groundwork for your research, and gives your work credibility.

Goals and Importance of Literature Review

  • The goal of a literature review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the current understanding of a topic.
  • It also identifies gaps in knowledge that your project can fill, helping to clarify your research problem and questions.
  • Literature reviews show the context of your investigation within the existing scientific landscape.

Conducting a Literature Review

  • Start by identifying the key words and concepts related to your topic.
  • Make use of academic databases such as Google Scholar, JSTOR or ScienceDirect to gather your material.
  • Ensure that your search is thorough and that you’ve covered all the critical literature related to your subject.

Analyzing and Evaluating Sources

  • Evaluate the credibility of your sources by checking the author’s qualifications and the date of publication. Primary research articles are the most credible sources.
  • Analyze the source’s methods, results, and conclusion for relevance, accuracy, and quality.
  • Look for agreement or disagreement among sources to understand different perspectives on the subject.

Writing the Literature Review

  • Begin by giving a general overview of the topic and explain the importance of the topic.
  • Following the introduction, present a summary of each source, stating its purpose, methodology, and conclusions.
  • Discuss the findings, and compare the works, pointing out where they agree and disagree.
  • Finish with a conclusion summarising the main findings from the review and their implications for your project.

Citing Sources

  • All sources used in your literature review should be appropriately cited according to the required citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.).
  • Remember to include a full reference list at the end of your literature review.

Conducting a literature review meticulously is an essential skill for any investigator and doing so will significantly contribute to the success of your investigative project.