How to write a good Literature Review?

How to write a good Literature Review?

A literature review may be defined as the primary and the original scholarship on a particular topic.  Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources that are relevant to a particular issue. The main objectives of a literature review are to review, evaluate and analyze the available sources to spot out their strength and weaknesses.

The making of a perfect literature review comprises of four stages. They are:

    * Defining the problem.
    * Data search.
    * Data evaluation.
    * Analysis and Assumptions.

Defining the problem includes the details of the topics and issues being examined and about their related content.

Data searching indicates the task of collecting relevant materials about the topic under focus.

Data Evaluation performs the comparison between all the collected resources to pick out the best that gives the clear understanding regarding the topic.

Analysis and assumptions involves the summarizing of all the findings and conclusions of the literature.

Before writing the review, read all the research material you have gathered. Make sure you do this thoroughly as you would need all the detailed information on that particular subject. After you feel that you have understood everything, you now put your understanding onto the paper. You review will be a combination of the summary and critical reviews on your chosen subject.

In the assessment of each step considerations should be given to Provenance, Objectivity, Persuasiveness and value.  Provenance includes the author’s credentials and arguments to make sure whether the author has got solid evidence to justify his views. Objectivity presents the clear perspective of the author. Persuasiveness check out the author’s least and most convincing points. The value factor weighs the real contribution of the article and makes sure that in what ways it provides better understanding towards the subject.

A literature review may constitute an essential part of a theses or dissertation or may be a self contained review of writings on a particular subject. Before writing with the review make a rough draft of what you are going to do. This will help you in organizing all your data systematically and thereby prevents you from deviating out of the topic. Once you have an outline then starting with the work becomes easy.

Your review should start with the thesis statement followed by your introductory paragraph, the main body of your review, which is in turn divided into sub-categories, and finally with the conclusion.

Therefore, you review will first summarize the facts and knowledge that you have managed to collect from the existing research work, followed by your critical comments and evaluation. This is where you are supposed to exhibit your point of view and what you think. However, you can refer to other reviews to prove your point or explain something, but make sure you add this in the bibliography part.

Finally, in your conclusion you tie up all the loose ends and reconnect the thesis statement. This completes the process, and in the mean time you have developed the skills for critical thinking.