How to write a review of literature for a research paper

Writing the conclusion What is a review of literature? The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in itself -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations.

How to write a review of literature for a research paper

Step 1 Focus on your specific topic.

how to write a review of literature for a research paper

If you interpret your topic too broadly, you will have far too many sources to review. Narrow down your assignment as much as possible while still satisfying the topic to make your review easier to manage. Step 2 Find the relevant literature. If your assignment is to review specific works, then this step is already accomplished for you.

However, many literature reviews are oriented by topic, rather than by specific works, in which case you will have to research appropriate pieces on your own based on the topic.

Step 3 Briefly summarize the literature you find or are assigned. A literature review is more than a simple summary of existing literature, but having brief summaries in front of you will facilitate the creation of an organized and complete review. Step 4 Synthesize your summaries.

A successful literature review will present an organized overview of existing literature that presents a new or interesting perspective. While your job in a literature review is not to develop new arguments, it is to provide a fresh look at material in a more in-depth way than with a simple abstract.

For example, you may want to explore the progression of thoughts in various pieces of literature over time, or inform your reader how local or temporal influences may have affected the writing of the literature you are reviewing. Step 5 Provide sources and location of relevant literature.

A literature review often plays a role in future research papers written by other academics. By providing links to your sources and any helpful additional information, you are laying the groundwork for successful future academic discoveries.

The Writing Center; Literature Reviews About the Author This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page:The audience can make an idea on what is the focus of the paper, for the literature review offers a hint in this direction.

Importance of a Good Literature Review

Readers can, therefore, predict which is the area of focus. It shows a different perspective on previous research, identifying any contradictions or . The most common mistake that students make in writing a literature review for a research paper is to lose sight of its purpose.

You include the literature review to explain both the basis for and contribution of. The main focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument, and a research paper is likely to contain a literature review as one of its parts.

The importance of a literature review

In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute. 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.

A literature review can be a precursor to the introduction of a research paper, or it can be an entire paper in itself, acting as the first stage of large research projects and allowing the supervisor to ascertain that the student is on the correct path. Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.

What is a Literature Review?