A Literature Review is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of books, scholarly articles, and other sources relevant to a specific topic providing a base of knowledge on a topic. Literature reviews are designed to identify and critique the existing literature on a topic to justify your research by exposing gaps in current research. This investigation should provide a description, summary, and critical evaluation of works related to the research problem and should also add to the overall knowledge of the topic as well as demonstrating how your research will fit within a larger field of study. This should not be confused with a book review or an annotated bibliography both research tools but very different in purpose and scope.
Writing Literature Reviews - Psychology - LibGuides at University of California San Diego
Literature reviews, a key component of scholarly write-ups, call for a high degree of academic maturity from researchers. In addition to exhibiting the depth of your reading, they help demonstrate your grasp in the research area. The review of literature is of high significance in certain disciplines, especially within the social sciences, where it becomes the primary tool to evaluate, juxtapose and critique the existing body of scholarship. To put simply, it is a survey of literature such as books, articles, write-ups, and other sources that help you address the important issues, theories, and concepts of your research. In other words, it examines secondary sources relevant to your research areaand aims to provide a critical evaluation and summary of them your research question. Here are some of the reasons why the review of literature is important in academic writing:. Firstly, a carefully written literature review test files to your knowledge of the research field.
Specifically, a literature review:. Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic. If you have limited time to conduct research, literature reviews can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone. For professionals, they are useful reports that keep them up to date with what is current in the field.
Writing a Literature Review in a Research Proposal. The longest section in your research proposal will be your literature review. Your literature review should be about pages of the most relevant literature in your field. What I advise my students to do is to get as many articles as possible that relate in some way to their topic, and then read the abstract and the first paragraph of each of those articles.
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