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. Your opinion counts!
Home - How do I Write a Literature Review? - LibGuides at Eastern University
The literature review chapter of your dissertation or thesis is where you synthesise this prior work and lay the foundation for your own research. So, what exactly is the purpose of the literature review process? There are at least four core functions:. Importantly, you must complete steps one and two before you start writing up your chapter.
A literature review does not present an original argument. The purpose is to offer an overview of what is known about the topic and to evaluate the strength of the evidence on that topic. It usually contains a summary, a synthesis, or an analysis of the key arguments in the existing literature. The literature may come from books, articles, reports, or other formats. Sources may even contradict each other.
A literature review should be structured like any other essay: it should have an introduction, a middle or main body, and a conclusion. Introduction The introduction should: define your topic and provide an appropriate context for reviewing the literature; establish your reasons — i. For example, if you were reviewing the literature on obesity in children you might say something like: There are a large number of studies of obesity trends in the general population. However, since the focus of this research is on obesity in children, these will not be reviewed in detail and will only be referred to as appropriate. Main body The middle or main body should: organise the literature according to common themes; provide insight into the relation between your chosen topic and the wider subject area e.