Published on 22 February by Shona McCombes. Revised on 9 June A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research. Conducting a literature review involves collecting, evaluating and analysing publications such as books and journal articles that relate to your research question. There are five main steps in the process of writing a literature review:.
Start Here - How to Conduct a Literature Review - Research Guides at University of Alabama
Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge within the limits of critical bounding assumptions. The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory that explains why the research problem under study exists. Abend, Gabriel. Theory Building in Applied Disciplines.
The literature review analyzes relationships and connections among different works. This differs from an annotated bibliography which provides a list and brief description of articles, books, thesis, and other documents. The literature review should not merely list and summarize one piece of research after another.
A literature review is an integrated analysis-- not just a summary-- of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question. That is, it represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question. A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment. Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you.
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